Confession: I’ve been known to cuss and swear.
Perhaps you’ve had this said about you as well. No judgement, I’m inclined to think most folks do at some point.
For example, I love to play the original Super Mario Brothers games for the Nintendo and Super Nintendo. They are a source of joy from my childhood that I’ve continued to enjoy into my adult years. Another confession: I’m terrible at these games. I have been for several years now, but I enjoy them, so I keep playing.
Here’s the thing. Whenever Mario or Luigi fall off a cliff, miss a jump or run into a goombah, I’ve managed to utter words of the four-letter variety. Yes, you know, the ones I mean.
In the privacy of my home, behind closed doors, or within the company of friends, these four-letter words have been spoken as well. After all, they are really easy to say – only four letters. They just roll off one’s tongue, and more and more folks seem comfortable with using an F-word in place of just about any word in a sentence.
But why? Has language evolved so lazily that our frustration can only be summed up in four-letter words? If so, do our words mean anything? Since we can be so flippant with our frustrations, what’s to stop us from being the same way about our joys? It seems just about everywhere is a target for an F-bomb. Yet an F-bomb, like any bomb, will leave casualties.
Let’s have a less vibrant vocabulary for public discourse or kindergarteners that grow up to use four-letter words to describe all their thoughts and feelings.
The real question becomes, do we want our words to be meaningful, or is obscenity the only way we know to express ourselves?