Frankly My Dear, Nobody Gives a BLEEP!

I can still remember sitting in that packed movie theatre, watching Brendan Fraser jump around in one of my favorite childhood movies, George of the Jungle.

To this day, I often refer to the actor by his character’s name!

Anyway, close to the end, there is a scene between Ursula (the heroine), her nagging mother and her hen-pecked father.  Breaking character; however, this scene displayed her father standing up for his daughter’s wishes despite his wife’s opposition.

At the end of the scene, once both females depart to further the plot, the dad is left alone, and under his breath mutters, “That woman’s a pain in the a**.”

Keep in mind I was six years old, and fairly sheltered, but I honestly couldn’t remember hearing any expletives in a movie before that time.  It didn’t ruin the experience, as I said, it was one of my favorite go-to movies, but it did jar me a little.

Why am I reminiscing, you might ask?

Well, something happened recently that pushed me over the edge.

I was sitting in the dining hall at school, scarfing down a grilled cheese and a bowl of chili, when the peaceful serenity that usually accompanies my meals was broken.

In a table next to me were several gentlemen that were having a good ol’ time discussing … what else?  Shoes.

Now, what I gathered from this very boisterous conversation was that said shoes were designer sneakers, and apparently the other men in the group were jealous of that fortunate soul donning the stylish footwear.

If the conversation was on Jerry Springer, it would have sounded something like this…

“What the BLEEP dude, those are some BLEEP awesome BLEEEEEEEP!”

“BLEEP yeah brah, BLEEP cost me a BLEEP load.”

“BLEEEEEEEEP!”

“BLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP and … uh … totally BLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!”

There might have been more substance, but all I could hear was an unnecessarily loud string of redundancy.

Let me just say that I don’t consider myself a goody two-shoes (well, maybe a little).  Growing up in the theatre, there isn’t a lot that shocks me, but I do have a problem with foul language being loudly spat while I’m trying to enjoy my sandwich!

That, was the profanity that broke the prude’s back!

Sitting there hearing them swear, for no reason other than  they simply had nothing better to say, really got me thinking.  I hear those same words, which hardly ever seem to be used according to their dictionary definition, every single day.

When walking to class, while eating lunch, grocery shopping, working on projects in the library, from other students and even from my professors, and I feel that society has become sort of numb to it all.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be all “holier-than-thou,” but what I am saying is that people seem to have absolutely no censorship, whether talking to their friends or their boss!

The occasional curse word is tolerable, like when something goes wrong or adding zip to a punch line, but so many limit themselves to a select few words when there are hundreds to choose from.  For those, I recommend investing in a thesaurus!

Even children hear and spew these words and phrases on a regular basis, with no idea what they are really saying.

Perhaps I am a prude after all, but I can’t help but think that if a six year old today were to hear that line from George of the Jungle if it would have affected them the same way it did me.

After all, why should it?

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171 thoughts on “Frankly My Dear, Nobody Gives a BLEEP!

  1. A well-argued post. Although I don’t agree that swear words are necessarily a bad thing, but I do agree that they have become ‘normal’ in conversation on both sides of the Atlantic and that isn’t good. My pet hate is the spread of ‘gangsta’ street talk over here in the UK. Any subculture that refers to women as ‘hoes’ and ‘bitches’ has got a problem…

  2. I agree some people have a very limited vocabulary. I swear but I can also hold a conversation without cursing at all. I hated it when I was in school and all you could hear was “f*** this, f*** that, your a dirty ****” it gets old. Honestly I hope people start getting more creative sometime in the near future. :)

    • Well said! I think people use profanity for dramatic effect. They just don’t have the creative communication skills to come up with more original responses. It’s the great tragedy of American culture. We’ve dumbed down over the last century.

  3. Bravo. A kindred spirit. I curse when required (when hammer hits thumb}. Expletives in abundance add nothing to the conversation other than demonstrating the speakers linguistic laziness. Yes, I’m and inarticulate word-snob and ?x#@! proud of it. Great post, and congrats!

  4. I probably swear too much, it’s bad habit. I at least try to be creative with my profanity though; throw in some metaphors and some similes, create some weird imagery and suddenly the fact you said Fuck becomes largely irrelevant. That’s what I think at least. I know what you mean when someone just swears for the sake of swearing though, some people seem to think it makes all the other pointless noises that come out of their mouth have some kind of point when they punctuate them with slightly shocking noises. They’re all still noises and they’re all still pointless though.

  5. Agreed. Swear words aren’t necessarily “bad” per say, they just get rather dull after a while. There are more creative ways to express yourself effectively :) Congratulations on being “Freshly Pressed”!

  6. Serious congrats on FP! And great post :) I definitely agree with you – people do need to use their vocabularies more! I’ve always been glad that I liked reading and read a lot not only now, but as a kid. I think reading gave me a range of words to choose from other than cuss words.

    Granted – I went through a stint where I talked like a sailor – but I worked hard to get out of that! (Apparently camping for two months in Canada, the frustration got to us all and could only be expressed in those choice words… whoops!) And now I think I’ve successfully gotten out of that phase… or I have for the most part :)

  7. That’s proof that the educational system of today is close to almost useless. I get that actually teaching students to swear is… plainly unethical, but, there has to be some people who can teach the kids some words synonymous to the average curse words. I’ve heard 4th Graders say “f******” when the more appropriate word to use for the statement was “cockamamie”. I don’t even care how goofy “cockamamie” sounds, it’s just not right for kids to curse. It’s not just about etiquette, but it’s also about properly preserving the cake called the “English language” in the enormous refrigerator called “Vocabulary”

    • Let me start by saying that I love the way you phrase things, very poetic! Also, I admire that you used the word ” cockamamie” in a sentence! Bravo! I don’t know if the schools alone should be held completely responsible; however, I feel that things of this nature really do begin at home, but using such words in the school does help enforce it.

  8. Words are only given meaning to the person who hears them. Simply because only weak minded individuals allow words to actually offend them in my opinion. A word is only offensive because you have been told by other people to be offended by said word. I think it is actually the way a word is spoken should actually be the paremeter of how offensive a word is,

    If someone shouted a swear word at me I wouldn’t be offended by the word I’d be offended at the agression the person is showing towards me. If I was in a resturaunt and I heard someone call someone else stupid in an agressive angry manner I would find that way more offensive than if I overheard a friendly chat where the people involved were swearing every other sentence,

    Non swear can be way more offensive than swear words, I mean which is more offensive

    Your child is a little sh*t or I wish death upon your child..

    quite clearly the second one is more offensive because of the intent behind it.

    Words cannot hurt people unless the the person lets it offend them what you should actually worry about more is the intent behind the words and if there is no vicious angry intent behind those words or they are used in a fictional non reality based scenario such as a film then there really is no need too be offended by it.

    The leadsinger (Chronic swearer)

    • Well, let me start by saying I don’t curse, and that I personally don’t see a reason for it. That said, I don’t discriminate against those who do, in fact I even wrote that cursing can be a very useful enhancer to a sentence. The issue I have with an excessive use of foul language is not that it offends me, as I agree that the words themselves are just words; however, I simply get tired of hearing it. I would get tired of hearing any word or phrase being repeated over and over again, as I feel most people would. Thank you for a different perspective, though.

  9. When words are over-used, they sometimes lose their original meaning. A similar process happened with “pas” in French. Today, “pas” means “not”. Originally, in French you’d say “Il ne march” – “He does not walk”, and for empahsis you would add “pas” – “Il ne march pas” – “He does not walk a *step*”. Eventually, “pas” lost its original meaning and its emphatic role. So maybe we’re seeing the same thing happening here.
    You can read more in “The Unfolding of Language” by Guy Deutscher. It’s a great book.

  10. Well written! Being a native Swede I must say it´s a sad story! The english language gives you so much more to work with- than let´s say the swedish does! It´s a crying shame that people “shut down” their skills of using proper, meaningful and describing words on the account for “f****” words! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed :)

  11. I completely agree with all that you’ve written. Swear words are heard wherever one may go, and teenagers, especially, use them most often. Yeah, I am one, (a teenager) but hey! luckily my vocabulary is slightly more extensive. People go like, “hey b****!” or “what’s up you a***?”, rather than simply saying hi or good morning. -_- as much as it’s okay to swear sometimes out of frustration, it tends to get on my nerves a bit when abuses are used more often than most words, especially in high school.

  12. I couldn’t agree more! This is something that seems to bother me more and more with each passing year. My problem isn’t specifically with the cursing.I’ve been known to yell out an expletive or two from time to time, but there is a reason for it. Maybe I stubbed my toe or dropped something…or maybe that girl really is being a B#tch! Road rage is a horrible offender when it comes to disrupting my brain to mouth filter. That being said, I absolutely hate it when I’m in public and I hear entire conversations that seem to be nothing more than an excuse to curse! I would give an example, but your post pretty much summed up the gist of most of these conversations! I too, have felt the need to throw a thesaurus at these types of individuals! Good to know I am not the only one who thinks this way.

  13. Totally agree with you! I think foul language has gotten even worse recently (either that or I’m more in sensitive to it)… It’s just a shame that some people refuse to be more articulate when expressing their feelings…There are so many great (and powerful!) words out there!

  14. I don’t think you are a prude to expect people to use language to SAY something! That excessive overuse of words as you describe is really a cop-out from thinking of a real word, don’t you think? A great way to develop a lazy mind. Not to sound holier-than- anyone, but to be, well, clear . . . !
    Keep talking!

  15. Brilliantly stated! I grew up sheltered, and although I’m certainly not sheltered now, I still just feel icky when someone swears just for the sake of swearing. But I have to admit – I use an occasional naughty word with my closest friends or my husband. It makes me feel like a grown-up. :-)

  16. Great post! I’ve always hated overhearing lame conversations that only consisted of F-bombs and curse words. It always makes me sad when people can’t articulate the things they want to say in a better way, using actual words, in the proper context. The long lost art of…language!
    I’ll enjoy reading your future posts! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed :)

  17. Pingback: Emotionally Charged Profanity | Changing The Way You See The World.

  18. An interesting point of view , probably mainly feminine , but I agree. Only swear when it is appropriate and not every other word. In the school dinning hall is not the right place. I swear too much myself , but not when I write. How strange ?I know.

    • I don’t know if you have to be feminine to be annoyed by redundant swearing. That said, I also believe there is a time and place for everything. It is very interesting that you curse, except when you are writing, though.

  19. i totally agree! there’s nothing that’ll put you off more than sheer ignorance with a side of sh*ts and f*cks. i’m sad to discover i use an excessive amount of expletives, especially now that i have a baby learning to talk and me being her example. i guess when it’s all around you, you let your guard down and they just sort of ‘slip in’. revolting.

    following your blog, though, this was a great read!

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