During my growing up years there is nothing that has irritated me more than a certain four letter word and the mention of a certain finger on our hands. Nope, I am not saying that I was always this “Politically Correct” and stating that I had an aversion to it. But honestly, seriously, by God I had an aversion to it.
It is not that I have anything against people who swear. Believe me, I have experienced the sheer thrill that it beings about. It is almost liberating to be able to swear out loud. But what is the necessity for it? That WAS my question. As a teenager I use to cringe each time the word was used in front of me in school. But it had become some kind of a hep thing to say or imply. This was in the 80’s and back then these words were not yet universally accepted or rather were not yet universally not accepted. It was just there for anyone to use if annoyed with someone or to annoy someone. The two words and the matching finger action was a craze in my school. And being the “Politically Correct” do goody that I always was (and still kinda am) I have had to be at the receiving end of quite a bit of it.
There came a time when I became frustrated with the use of the word just to create “I am a popular” feeling. Many a time these were used in the most inappropriate times. Times that didn’t even warrant it. Mind you , back in those days we had no internet to google and find “When, Where and How to swear, for the Dummies“. One particular girl used to just show the finger whenever she felt like it. During one such instance, I crossed my legs and hands over myself and said “don’t even try!” Yeah, she thought I didn’t know what that depicted or maybe she herself didn’t realize what it actually symbolized. The cringe that was on her face when she realized the true meaning of it was mind-blowing!
This , I am sure will not be a problem these days. Every child from nursery onwards has heard it at least once somewhere, and much before they leave primary section, most of them know what it means. How I know, you ask? We , by mistake rented an English DVD movie one night and the movie had nothing but profanity from scene one. But by the time we could switch it off, the words had already been out in the open. Kids weren’t even curious as to what the words were about!
We are all extremely careful about we say in front of our kids, then how do they manage to learn all this? I guess that will always remain a mystery to me. But is it? Whether we go to malls, parks or movies we will invariably find a bunch of teenagers or young men and women using such words as “WTF man, what does that teacher think of herself/himself?” . Or another frustrated(???) young thing will say the F word holding its head back and running its hand over its forehead. He/She has forgotten to get something or to do something! And that somehow justifies the use of the word. We used to use Sh*t for such occasions. No harm done, each to his/her own I guess.
In a household, in the not so far future are we going to hear these young things ,that grow up to be parents , speak to their 5-6 years olds the same way! No! They will refrain from using it at home in front of their kids. But why? They think it is wrong to use it maybe? Then why use it all? That IS my question? Why use it all?
Isn’t Stupid, Idiot, Useless , Crazy and Bullshit good enough words to show your anger or frustration? Maybe not! These don’t even help me much anymore. I rather swear, it is rather intoxicating and liberating, but the “Politically Correct” me only swears onto the computer screen when in solitude and only in the mind when in company. Believe me , these words, even if unsaid out loud (or untyped out aloud), give an immense feeling of satisfaction!
But the question still nags me, why there is this need to swear?