Monday, June 13, 2016

Cursing, Swearing, Cussing.

I don't curse. I have specific words that I qualify as curse words--by no means the worst words that I could say; I say worse words than most of these--and they are as follows: h*ll, d*mn, *ss, sh*t, b*tch, f*ck, and the n-word. That last one is the only one on this list that I'll qualify as actually one that shouldn't be said by people.

And you never hear me say these words unless I have to as an actor. Or if I'm quoting someone, or the very, very rare occasion that I need to use a phrase that truly is irreplaceable.

Back-back story. I live in a somewhat conservative household, and it was more so when I was younger. We weren't allowed to say fart or butt or 'take the Lord's name in vain.' Mind you, we were legally Muslim, as my dad is and my mom adopted it. I think that one was just how my mother was raised, even though I kind of doubt that she truly believes in God at this point, though. Not that I've asked her...

Back-story. I tried cursing when it was getting cool around age 9-10. I said 'bee-atch' or 'bi-atch' once on the playground and everyone took notice and I was embarrassed that I had called that attention on myself for doing a bad thing. I said 'bitch' once in an email. ...And that's about it. I doubt that I used many of these words more than that.

But why? Why am I not cursing?

Well, simple (though unfortunate). I promised myself that I wouldn't. I decided I wouldn't as a preteen or so and gosh-darn it, I keep my promises.

So I'm not sure what the reason really is for not allowing myself to go back on that. I mean, my best guess is that it's a control issue. Psychologically speaking, curse words and the like come from the right side of the brain as something akin to animalistic grunts of passion of some sort, be it pain, frustration, surprise, pleasure, etc. They are not used by the left hemisphere of the brain where language is based and words are used for their linguistic value.

I'll get back to that but first a connected diversion. My lack of cursing has led to an interesting character trait. People usually call cursing 'colorful language' because, I guess, of the emotions those words invoke. But, in truth, these words could not be more overused and, thus, bland as all get out. What I've been using is actual colorful language. Because instead of the words listed above, I say words like: fiddlesticks, shucks, shucky-darns, golly-gosh, etc. Pretty much the most podunk words imaginable. This, to most, is amusing. And...I kinda like that.

But back to the brain, my point is, I have words that are equally as emotionally-based. These words come out as bursts of emotion just as "Damn it!" would. So I'm not doing anything different. I'm just switching some phenoms around.

So I have no psychological advantage or superiority or even a difference. So why not just make it the same mainstream words where intent is clearly understandable to people across the globe? I mean, that's the point of language, right? To be understood as exactly as possible? Yes, it is. That should be our goal as civilized human beings.

So...I'm going to take a big step. It won't seem big to you because I'm sure anyone who comes across this post is gonna just think I'm being dramatic about these words that they use all the time. But it is a big deal to me because it changes a fundamental thing about me that has been unchanged for a decade. I am altering a conscious decision, a vow, that I made to myself.

Here's the important thing, though; I'm not changing because of pressure to conform to society. I'm changing because I want to be a person capable of change. I want to grow as a person and let myself grow up and not just be stuck in the state that I cemented myself to as a tween who had all the answers. Now a lot of those decisions have to do with alcohol and drugs and whose lips touch mine, and I'm still too afraid to change my mind about those. But this...this can have no real repercussion on anyone or anything or a single atom of myself. This is safe, but it doesn't feel like it.

I'm starting small. I'm just going to write these words. In my voice. Not the way that I write them in my stories that I write, because that's not me--that's whomever is narrating or performing dialogue. I'm going to say them in posts like this that are just me. I've already done it once or twice on this blog and honestly, it's liberating. It's taking away a pressure that I needlessly put on myself. After I get comfortable with that, I'll stop bleeping the curse words in songs when I'm singing alone in the car. After that, who knows?

And who the fuck cares?

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