Swearing! We all do it, right? But maybe not in front of children? The practice of swearing or cursing in public is extremely varied, from when people do it to what people consider inappropriate, so we had a chat about what it means for us.
Jaya: How To Fucking Swear
Victoria: You can swear up a storm…I don’t swear.
Jaya: I will! Is not swearing something you choose to do, or does it just not naturally come up in your conversation?
Victoria: I don’t do it because I think it sounds forced and unnatural when I do it! But I don’t care at all if anyone else does it. I do swear sometimes when I, like, cut myself or break something, or do something else stupid. Oh and I do blaspheme a lot.
Jaya: This weekend when I was at a family party and there were a bunch of kids around, I said “god dammit” and someone (jokingly) said “oh not in front of the kids!” and I had no idea what he was talking about because it did not occur to me that what I said was a problem.
Victoria: Yeah, there are some circles in which blaspheming is worse than “vulgar” swearing.
Jaya: This also happened to me at college. I was waiting behind a girl on line and she was complaining about her professor saying “god dammit” in class, and how dare he blaspheme. And I was so confused.
Victoria: LOL. Well for your family, I’m sure it was the dammit that was the problem. I will say that, and damn, and crap.
Jaya: Even then! It does not register to me anymore as a curse. Maybe that’s a problem? Crap is so not a curse.
Victoria: Hahah I think it just means that you don’t really hang out with kids ever. I am sure you will adjust accordingly if you do have them or start hanging out with them more.
Jaya: Did your parents ever swear around you?
Victoria: Not when we were little! My mom started up again when we hit high school age.
Jaya: So did mine, my dad pretty much always did though. Not a lot, but he’d slip up way more than my mom.
Victoria: Yeah, I remember my dad telling me, when I went through a swearing phase in 5th grade, that he used to swear a lot when he was young but he didn’t really see the need to anymore. He doesn’t really swear that much- way less than my mom.
Jaya: I do find myself swearing less than when I was a teenager. But I also only started swearing when I was 13 or so, much later than most of my friends because I felt awkward doing it. So I think I started feeling comfortable with it, did it all the time, and then realized that a well punctuated curse word is far more effective than saying “fuck” in every sentence.
Victoria: Hahaha, see, awkward. I do start doing it more when I hang out with people who are doing it a lot.
Jaya: I’m not particularly squeamish about it though. I think like most conversational topics, you have to know your audience when you’re cursing, but there’s nothing inherently bad about it. I think at this point the sting has been taken out of most curses
Victoria: Right. I think you only have to watch it around kids and maybe in some office environments.
Jaya: I feel like if they are my kids (if I had kids), cursing would be like alcohol. I’d rather they get it from me than out on their own. Like, learn how to do it in the house.
Victoria: HAHAHAHAHAHA. You are the Betty Draper of swearing.
Jaya: And you just wrote my tombstone.
As I understand it, swearing is fine as long as you loudly exhort those around you to “PARDON MY FRENCH” afterwards.
Oh man, I have a FILTHY mouth, and definitely blaspheme a lot, but because I’m an Australian in the US I just sort of grin cheekily and get away with it. There’s a lot to be said for being able to blame your character flaws on cultural differences 😉 HOWEVER my 2.5 year old triplets are starting to pick up those words so it is time to try to be a bit more careful – although they’re even cuter than I am and would no doubt also get away with it.