I am not a perfect soul. If you’ve followed the writing for the past four years, you know that I can get pretty crude and obscene. I’ve documented my own swearing, like that one time right after a church activity, just missing the subway. I’ve written about bathroom manners. I’ve written about gas, my rabbits’ turds, and my last entry was expressing my feelings about bikini waxes. I wasn’t judging anybody who does it, because, hello, I wear religious clothing that I won’t elaborate on (which I feel gives me less of a reason to wax), but I was only saying how hesitant I would be to even try it. Of course the entry was rambling and not entirely on-point, because that’s what I do sometimes. I find myself doing that exact thing right here. I mean, I’m very particular about my swearing. And swearing in general is something I probably think too much about. When you say it out loud, I don’t mind it as much, because it dissipates into the air, dissolves into nothing. It’s a totally different thing seeing it in print, because it’s looking right back at you. My eyes fixate on the cussing.
The entry received a comment which I screened, because instead of perceiving it as part of a natural conversation, my stomach sank, because I couldn’t handle a swear word I personally didn’t place in LJ. Flip, y’all. I’m such a hypocrite. I wasn’t necessarily thinking, my pure blog is now tainted because of a single cussword, because, hello, I’ve referenced to swearing, toilet-flushing, lagomorph excrement, and crotches. But I was concerned about the friends whom I consider perfect souls: what would happen if they read the mother of all cusswords? Would it affect them the same way it affected me? I realize adults can make choices for themselves. And when I choose to keep reading friends’ blogs who habitually cuss, do I judge them? or do I continue to respect them and their writing? I mean, if the swearing really bothers me, I can unfriend or just not click over there. But when I click on a comment for an entry on my site and find the mighty F-surprise, I get a little flustered.
I do appreciate the cussword, as long as it isn’t casual, as long as it serves a specific purpose. Drama, emphasis, whatever. I will use cusswords sparingly, but the ones I use most frequently, and almost exclusively, are hell and damn. Sometimes I’ll use ass referring to a person and his character, but not his backside. If you’ve followed the writing, I’ve been consistent with this. If I have to use a more severe word, I’ll find another way to refer to it. I’ll use phonetics. I’ll use the fun symbols, *%$*#?! – and when I do, it’s more of an homage to an inside joke from high school. Book covers. Yeah.
This is because I’m not a perfect soul. This is the life I try to lead, reining in the uttering of the actual profanity, because it’s the best I can do right now where self-control is concerned.
I’m taking the scenic route to hell, if you can’t tell. Swearing is swearing is swearing, but this is my rant in my little ol’ blog. If I’ve influenced you to swear, to taint, to smear your mind with my justified smut, I’ll take responsibility for it, only because we both know you’re blaming me to make yourself feel better.
So, this is what it boils down to. I won’t screen comments containing swearing I’ve used. I mean, I can’t control anyone else’s language, but I must very respectfully ask if you must swear in your comments, consider my personal ranking system. The higher the rank, the less likely I’ll use it.
1. The Lord’s name in vain. I have zero tolerance.
2. The F word. I do appreciate its multifunctionality. I don’t mind hearing it; I hear it all the time, because it’s part of the NYC dialect, but it’s WAY too strong for me to see it in print. It makes my head spin.
3. Crass words referring to reproductive parts of the body. Men’s and women’s. Exception: boobs. That word is not the same as the one that rhymes with pits, which I won’t use.
4. That word for poop. You know which one. I’ll use crap sparingly, and only as an expletive. If I’m talking bodily function, I’ll use poop, or poo, or as previously demonstrated, turd.
5. Ass, as in donkey. As in idiot or jerk. Again, not referring to the tush, something for which special hats have been designed.
6. Piss, with off. Making upset. More mildly, tick off. If I’m blogging about a bathroom activity, I’ll use pee, tinkle, “number one.”
6. Damn and hell. The former to express frustration, the latter referring to the hot place. Very rarely the former to cast someone or something down to the hot place. (See voice post on damning LaGuardia Airport.)
Otherwise, if I don’t use these figures of speech, I’ll usually try finding a more creative, cleaner way to express myself.
By the way, I wasn’t offended. I’m not used to being cussed at. And I realize it wasn’t about me, but to see a strong word associated with an opinion I’ve shared was a little blindsiding. I wasn’t quite expecting that reaction. No worries.