“Neon lights, A Nobel Prize
The mirror speaks, the reflection lies
You don’t have to follow me
Only you can set me free
I sell the things you need to be
I’m the smiling face on your T.V.
I’m the Cult of Personality
I exploit you still you love me”

Let’s talk about words tonight, shall we? Specifically, let’s talk about profanity? Doesn’t that sound like fun? I think so.
….of course, after reading that sentance, I think it’s also possible that I’m channeling the spirit of Mr. Rodgers, but I digress…..
Most of you that read this know me in, for the lack of a better descriptive phrase, the real world. Therefore you know that while I don’t consider myself particularly foul mouthed, I also do not hesitate to to use words that some people consider profane. Mostly for emphasis when trying to make a point, or descibe something. I tend to not use profanity much when I write, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t know why. When I write, I don’t seem to see the need for such words the way I do when I am speaking. It’s a question I shall have to ponder in the future.
I’ve been thinking the last week or so about profanity in language because of a rather interesting discussion that was generating traffic on the Grey Niche Yahoo List. A member of the Barony, in response to a question about common courtesies had responded by saying she was offended by profanity and wondered why so many people seemed to see a need to use it. Now, since the particular person that posted that comment is a member of the House of Three Dragons, and since she had discussed it with me before, I had the feeling I was one of the people she was commenting on. I thinkI showed the restraint of Buddha (who more than one person have told me I resemble, physically anyway) by not responding on the list. Now, to be fair, the person that made the original statement was joined by others that were of a similiar mind, and several people that shared my opinion also joined the discussion. I do need to be clear here, unlike some discussions I’ve seen on various Yahoo lists, this was a polite, repectful discussion. It was most emphatically not a flame war, etc. etc.
Now, had I actually joined the discussion I would have said something like this: I would have first pointed out that i find it odd that the person that doesn’t like curse words often uses what I call “Wuss Words”. These are words like “dang”, “crap”, or other words that sound like real cuss words, but aren’t. They are used in the same way and for the same reasons. I find it kind of hypocritical to say that using profanity is wrong when one uses wuss words. To my mind it seems like somebody that wants to curse, cuss, etc, but just doesn’t have the courage to do so.
I might have further added that to my mind all words have the power to hurt, and there is nothing particularly hurtful about curse words. In fact, there are far, far more harmful words. The plain and simple fact is that any words can be used to hurt or harm, depending on the speaker’s (writer’s) intent. Of course, the other side of that is that any word can also be used to inspire, uplift, and help, again, depending on the person’s intent.
Finally, had I chosen to participate in that discussion I would have pointed out that in my own, personal lexicon, the words I find most profane are these: elected politician, republican, democrat,(any political party, really), congress, George Bush, Dick Cheney, yodel. rap music, Oklahoma Sooner (Hey, I was born in Nebraska), snow shovel (again, I was born in Nebraska), etc. etc.


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