I Swear...  

Posted by Matt

I cuss.

I do and I think I should.

I teach English and I LOVE language. I'm not a grammar-phile, or anything, but I love the versatility and multiplicitous quality of phrase and meaning.

That love extends even to low down, dirty vulgar words.

A few things upon which my proclivity towards cursing is predicated:

1. swear words carry extreme emotional weight
2. swear words are meant to be used when you mean to voice extreme emotional weight
3. swear words are weakened and therefore cheapened when overused for less than extreme emotional content
4. swear words shouldn't be used by lil'uns because they barely understand their own emotions to figure out when to use such intense terms
5. polite conversation has very little place for swear words because they sound impolite (and most polite social situations have very little place for expressing intense cuss-worthy emotional content...save it for personal conversations)

When you walk barefooted through your house in the dead of night in the dead of winter and crush your toe on the wooden leg of your bed...you need a cuss word. Nothing else will truly capture the intense pain-rage you're experiencing.

When you want to really tell someone to do a good job--get them pumped; push them to get hungry (not Ethiopian-hungry, more like Rocky Balboa-hungry)--telling them to kick butt is okay. Telling them to kick some ass turns on the internal fight-movie soundtrack and they will, most definitely, get in there and scrap.

***I don't think you should use swear words to hurt people. I like to try not to hurt people's feelings. You can't help doing it much of the time since you're human. But calling people names or using swear words in unkind ways is also a mis-use of verbal power.

***I've told my wife that if she's at home with no gun and someone's trying to get in, to bust out the filthiest cuss words she can at the felonious ass-munch and shout about how she's going to get her glok and bust a cap in his damned lame-ass (while calling 911 on the cell).

***The F-bomb is called the F-bomb for a reason. It's the most extreme word there is and it's become the most cheapened, sadly. People should gasp when you say it. People should get pissed when you aim it at them. You should feel a little giddy and naughty when you express that it's what you want to do to your spouse. We should keep it behind a glass plate with a little red hammer hanging on the wall next to it. I try not to use it (and fail from time to time) because it's the cuss word nuke. When you bust it out, you have no word tougher, nastier, or more extreme to use. When you bust it out, it's like playing the first spade...at that point, everyone fires all nukes.

***Don't take the Lord's Name in vain. It's a commandment, which makes it pretty danged clear. I won't argue that cuss words aren't dirty or filthy, but I don't feel much like dragging the AO's (Alpha & Omega's) name through my filth.

Hey, be a freaking human being...be a Christian. You know when you should and shouldn't use cuss words--who is likely to be uncomfy with them and who isn't. If you realize you've offended, say sorry (but don't prostrate yourself, sheesh). Cussing doesn't make you a bad Christian. I'm fairly sure that, before my final spiritual merging with the Alpha and Omega and my vocabulary is still limited to my terrestrial imperfections, I'm more likely to say "HOLY SHIT" and then quake in fear and awe when I see my Glorious, than say "Wow! Amazing! Remarkable!" and break into some dusty hymn written in King James' English.

Main thing: we all have our problems. Some Christians gossip. Some hurt their bodies with drugs. Some argue too much. Some judge others. Some lie. Some cheat. Some steal. Some lie. Some don't pray. Some masturbate (too much? not enough?). Some cuss...doesn't mean you're crap or that God will disown you.

Maybe you think I've over-thought this and should just either cuss or not. Well, I like to have my reasons so when the world asks, I have an answer. Take my reasoning or leave it. /shrug

By the way, I'm not really much of a cuss-face. This entry has seen more cussing from me in one day than probably most of last week combined. Just making a damned point.




So I’m reading your new blog and thought I’d comment on your posts. This will be my first. Feedback is fun right?

In regards to your stance on "cussing" for the most part I agree with you. It got me thinking though... if I agree with you, why don't I cuss?

I decided it boils down to personality differences. You lean toward being a little outspoken or at least a little freer with revealing your emotions. And there is definitely nothing inherently wrong with that. That’s how you were made. However, I tend to be a bit more reserved with my emotions (similar to Kenny) and therefore rarely reveal my feelings fully enough to be expressed using such strong language. I will say that I have found myself to cuss internally when the situation calls for it.

One thing I will add though... I do feel like "cussing" could be a stumbling block for some people. That one verse about being a darned stumbling block has always kept me from barreling into those grey areas of Christian living. In this I’m not trying to convince you of anything, instead I’m just sharing another reason why "I" may ere on the side of caution.

So yeah, those are my thoughts on the subject.

I enjoyed your post as it helped me to understand where you stand on the subject. And I can definitely appreciate the mentality of having an answer when the world asks. I respect that a lot.

Post a Comment


I'm just a suburban guy. I wish I were hardcore, I wish I were tougher, I wish I listened to cooler music, I wish I weren't a lush, I wish I had big muscles, cooler hair, and some rad tattoos, I wish I were smarter, cooler, and sexier, I wish I knew how to play guitar. Instead, I'm just a band geek, power-nerd wannabe, WoW gamer, 30 year-old dad and husband. I play french horn, I read the Vampire Chronicles as well as the Chronic-WHAT?!-les of Narnia, I like movies, but not all the snobby-artsy ones I'm "supposed" to see, and a good meal to me is Miller Lite with chicken patties topped in barbecue sauce. ...oh...and I have a big mouth.


My Inter-Web Small Group

I'm totally pumped you stopped by. Please, I urge you to comment on the blog postings here. Obviously, do what you can to be polite to your fellow inter-webbers, but also feel free to be as honest as you can.

Honestly--this is a true statement--I pray for you, my friends/readers. Whether I know your name or not, whether I know you actually read today or not, I talk to Jesus for you.

Subscribe to the "Intemperate RSS" so you can find out what we're talking about here, computer or not.

I'm sharing with you stuff that God's put on my heart and stuff that I know my mom and dad are probably embarrassed to see me write (trust me, they trained me to be farrrrrr better than this!).