Profanity….yes or no?
My friend Gale Molinari at Galesmind.com posted this meme yesterday.
In general, I agree with the above sentiment. We all know people who cuss constantly and after awhile it can become annoying and offensive. People who pepper every sentence with the 7 verboten words not approved by the FCC sound, well, stupid, crude and boring.
However, I also think an occasional, well placed epithet can add impact and emotional urgency under certain circumstances. We’re all grownups here, and it’s not as if we haven’t all heard these words and know what they mean. They have stuck around the English language for so long for a good reason, and while their original references to various private parts, bodily functions or female dogs in heat have been diluted by their myriad other uses in recent times, if they’re not overused, they retain their power to drive your point home.
I don’t think…
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I tend to agree with the, “if its not overused” part.
I’m reminded of this exchange from George Bernard Shaw’s “Don Juan in Hell:
THE STATUE This is metaphysics, Juan. Why the devil should – [to the Devil] I beg your pardon.
THE DEVIL Pray don’t mention it. I have always regarded the use of my name to secure additional emphasis as a high compliment to me. It is quite at your service, Commander.
THE STATUE Thank you: thats very good of you. Even in heaven, I never quite got out of my old military habits of speech.
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