I was in the Infantry. I learned to jump out of planes, shoot straight, drink lots, and cuss even more. I joined at 18 and the experience was one that influenced the remainder of my life. In ways both good, not so good, and bad.
Every veteran can recite the laundry list of things being a soldier taught you, of how it molded you into a strong human-like person. I get it. I was told “Wow, you changed dude.” The experience of serving is like nothing else.
But let us speak quickly about a certain bad f’n habit that every motherf’n soldier picks up quicker than a !@#$#@#$ can !@#$@! three !@#$@@$%@!!!!
Horrible bathroom manners…….no not that, although that is a growing problem.
No I mean cursing.
Now, soldiers around the world by no means hold the patent on cursing, however in days long past they were the greatest purveyors of spreading illicit words around. “Curse like a sailor” is a saying because those lonely sailors on port call earned that saying. It was expected as a part of service. However, should a “normal” citizen sprinkle a sentence with disturbing adjectives and adverbs, they would be looked at in disgust. If a child ever dared to utter a quiet “dammit” around an adult then an ass-whoopin’ would commence, at minimal you would be eating soap for dessert. No matter how many children cursed at school amongst friends, or adults cursed in the privacy of their own garage or sewing circle, it was frowned upon to do so in public. This unwritten social norm was strictly adhered to by all, except those dirty soldiers but they were different.
Then things changed.
Somewhere in our storied past. Spouting cuss words became a little less obscene. First it was “damn” and all its contractions. It didn’t draw as many shocked expressions when said aloud in average public conversation. Curse words began to appear in greater numbers in movies and music. Not many people even noticed. It just happened. It happened slowly so as to not draw too much damn attention.
Then other words began to creep into our language on a daily basis. Children began substituting words on a regular basis. “Crap” and “darn it” were considered by some people to be cute and harmless. Those kids grew up and morphed their child cussing into adult language. What was cute was now normal.
Today, if you listen to most conversations it sounds like sailors on shore leave. Even though those having said conversation don’t know the difference between BASIC training and Boot Camp. It is commonplace. Everyone does it. worse still, it has invaded social media. It is bad enough that people like to post about everything they do.
“Going to the gym to work out”
Instead most people write things like, “Heading to the gym to get motherfuckin’ huge! Gonna work my ass off! See you bitches later.”
Is that really necessary? The first sentence already provided me with all the information I never cared to know. The second just makes you appear to be an idiot. What has the commonplace usage of curse words intermixed with everyday language done for us as a whole?
My opinion is that it only enhances our view of being stupid. This is just me talking, my opinion. I am entitled to it just as you are entitled to disagree, but that is it. Mixing cuss words with normal speech at random is a sign of lower intelligence. What are you hoping to accomplish? Does it show your superiority? Your mastery of the urban dictionary? It only tells me that you lack social grace.
Now mind you, I am not against cursing. I curse. I do. I just choose not to spice every sentence with an ill timed fuck just to seem cool. Cursing has its place and time. If used in those correct times and proper places it has more emphasis. They carry tremendous weight when used properly. Let me explain.
If I curse rarely, meaning I don’t enhance every sentence with cursing, I don’t use it in place of more appropriate adjectives. I say “blue house” instead of “fucking house”, I say “jerk” instead of “asshat” (even though I do love that word). By doing so, people around me are not jaded to hearing curse words. Instead I use them at those appropriate times. Like when I am angry. If I am mad, curse words will fly at the source of my anger. Others take notice. Not only by my tone and body language but the very nature of my speech has changed. It draws more attention and perfectly captures my mood. It serves the intended purpose.
Cursing can also be used when trying to be funny. Let’s face it, no matter how puritan your views on cursing are, a well time cuss word in a funny story is hilarious! comedians use this to great effect. Great comedians have mastered this art. They will mostly speak clean in their routine with a few slight curse words to keep everyone attentive, then spew out some foulness that instead of causing revulsion causes an uproar of laughter. It was well timed and well delivered.
Perhaps, I am just getting old. Perhaps, I am not fit to live in the world anyone with my antiquated views. Perhaps, I just don’t feel a desire to fit the norm of being hip and cool. Being “with the times” has never been a driving force for my actions. I was a bad teenager, I was, no need hiding it. However, through all the horrible times I put my parents through my Mother never cussed at me……except once. That one time. Honestly, I do not remember 99% of the lectures, groundings, and speeches I got from my parents. What I do remember however is that ONE time my Mom cursed at me. It held weight. I served its purpose. If more people used cursing such as that, more people might be listened to and subsequently remembered.
My 2 coppers, feel free to disagree.