Tag Archives: profanity

The Art of Naughty Words

24 Oct

In the past few years as I have tried to expand my writing opportunities, and in doing so I have often encountered the dilemma of profanity.  The naughty word, the swear word, expletives, obscenities.  Should I use bad words if I am trying to appeal to the masses or get a certain job and need to have a certain image?  I’m still trying to figure it out.  I keep going back and forth.

One thing I have ruled out is profanity just for profanity’s sake.  I’m beyond the whole “shock value” thing and I really don’t have that filthy of a mouth.  I have been known to go a little heavier on the obscenity-peppering in the past but that was when I was writing for a different crowd.  And the subject matter was a little more on the raunch side.  Now I like to be the fabulous proper lady who shoots a zinger here and there.


^ That’s me.

In several reviews for my book people mentioned the profanity but they said they enjoyed it.  However, the fact that they mentioned it makes me a little squeamish.  Maybe there was too much?

And then I had an extremely self-righteous ex-friend… huh I won’t even give him the privilege of calling him a friend, he never was.  Anyway he’s one of those assholes (whoops there I go again, but this is warranted) that feels it is far better to be “brutally honest” (emphasis on brutal) in what he is thinking rather than be kind.  As if his opinion is somehow the be-all, end-all and he is giving you the honor of a critique.  What a douche.  Now I welcome criticism but when you do it in a mean way, well you’re just being mean.  Criticism should be in the form of suggestion, not in a “you are wrong” manner.

So this person who I have known for almost 10 years finally reads my blog and the first thing he says is “Only people who are not smart enough to have something to say use profanity.  I tune out the minute I hear or see fuck.”  Oh really, Joe Righteous?  I’ve heard you use that word a few times, along with calling your ex-wife a c*nt.  He’s just incapable of giving a compliment and must always remain superior to everyone, thus the real reason for criticism, not because he’s so unabashedly honest.  I’ve accepted that and just decided it’s not worth dealing with his negativity anymore.

Ok, so maybe I should tone down the profanity, he has a valid point.  But to insinuate I’m stupid or low brow so I have to use it is just insulting.  And if I wasn’t so refined and intellectual, I’d give him a gigantic, “Go fuck yourself”.

Now here are my examples of use.  If you are one of these street types or low-lifes that all of your sentences are constructed in the exact same manner of every other word being profanity, then yes I’ll give you the “doesn’t have anything more intelligent to say” theory.

Example:  “Bitch-ass motherfucker comes up to me and fucking asks for a motherfucking cigarette. I’m like get your own fucking cigarettes, cocksucking bitch.”

Sorry if I offended anyone.  That greatly offended me, I don’t like that at all, but that’s what I hear out on the street a lot.  Or in an interview with a rapper.  That type of swearing has no merit whatsoever.  It makes me cringe and weep for our youth.

However, I believe a well-placed profanity can be funny and creative and serve to drive home a point.  It’s all about context.  I love “out of character” moments.  You know, like a tap dancing monk, or something.

For instance… if I’m telling a story about sitting in a business meeting where everyone is proper and business-like and a co-worker is rambling on about some office procedure or a problem therewith  and I say that I think in my head “What the fuck are you talking about?”, I think that’s funny.  Because it’s a direct contrast to what’s going on… proper – improper.

Or sometimes I enjoy the randomly placed expletive within syllables to prove an emphatic point.  “Absofuckinglutely” has always been one of my favorite words.  I don’t go around saying it all the time, I don’t say it to children or nuns.  We’re all adults here.  It’s like I would say it if someone asked me “Would you like to go to Europe, all expenses paid?”… “Absofuckinglutely!”.

However, I was just approached about a job.  It would be a high profile job working for a non-profit that deals with a serious social issue.  Will these writings with this language usage somehow discredit me?  Or paint me in a bad light?  They can’t take me seriously?  Well, I look into some high profile people and there causes and how do they jive?  Pamela Anderson is campaigning to ban pro bullfighting.  She likes the animals apparently… does her kind of bimbo appearance cause people to not take her cause seriously?

So what do you think?  Should you just be authentic at all costs?  Or should you try to compromise and use decorum most of the time?  Or should you try to please the  masses and be totally G rated?  I’m guessing that I’ll eventually find my way by losing out on jobs or becoming famous for my salty language. 🙂




Look at My Buns!

4 Jun

I’ve been known to say and do many odd things around my kids.

There’s the time we were living in Denver about 7 years ago, we went to the grocery store to get cookout supplies.  We’re driving back down into our neighborhood and my son was about 11 or 12 and was sitting in the front passenger seat, the two girls ages 7 and 9 in the back.  I saw some kids up ahead walking on the sidewalk (on my son’s side of the car) who we didn’t really know but they were annoying young teens who always roamed the neighborhood.  So I instructed my son on what to do for a laugh when we drove by…

He yells out the window, “Hey, look at my buns!”… then holds up the package of hot dog buns we just bought out the window.

And we sped off.

It sent my pre-pubescent children into belly laughs in the car.  It’s just one of our memorable little family chuckles.

Another time, it was like just a year ago or two, we’re all in the car (kids are all teens) driving here in Rochester in the winter down a wide city street.  I see some young boys, about 7-9 on the side of the street attempting to throw snowballs at cars as they pass.  Now mind you, these kids were young and I don’t think the balls were gettin’ within 10 feet of the car.  We were all laughing about something else and as I approached, I got this slightly animated cranky old broad face and said , “Oh yea, come on just try and throw one at me ya’ little bastards” and leaned into the steering wheel like I was Mario Andretti and as I passed them I gave them “Grumpy Cat” Face and gave a little shake of my fist.


Just as I get passed I look in the rear view mirror and see a pitiful little pflurf of a snowball go up in the air and land like 5 feet from the kid… to which I murmured “Heh, take that bitches” in a grumpy old broad voice.  For some reason that became another memorable moment that always elicits laughter.

One might not think my language or “risque” humor would be appropriate around my kids.  But I think it has cultivated the opposite… they know when things are appropriate and when they are not.  They understood that I was parodying a grumpy old ignorant man or woman when I was messing with the snowball kids.  They know that I would never call a kid a little bastard, well to his face anyway.  heh  They also know that the bun joke was just a silly play on words.  We weren’t malicious and said, “Kiss my buns” or “Lick my buns” or “Give it to me hard in the buns”.  Oh sorry.  Or it wasn’t like I told my 11 year old to say, “Look at my dick!” and hold up a picture of Andy Dick.

By me exposing my children to different language and different situations, they can better understand things.  They don’t use profanity or talk back to me or other adults or peers, ever.  (I’m sure they use profanity when out amongst friends but not maliciously)  My kids have never yelled at each other or me “I hate you”, nor have they ever called each other a name.  Oh sure, they get annoyed with each other once in a while but they just stew for a while, stomp around and finally address it with, “Why are you always borrowing my stuff without asking and always breaking it?”.   There’s never any “Fuck you, you asshole whorebag stuff stealer!”.  I would not tolerate that… ever.  I just taught them from a young age that we all treat each other with respect, not just our family but everyone on Earth.

I think it’s because their Father was such a dirty fighter.  He was an incredibly competitive hockey player, so a fight was like… you stepped on his toe so he had to try and slice your jugular.  Ya’ know something like this, Me: “God, why can’t you just pick your underwear up off the floor?”  Him:  (yelling at me with his massive muscular frame in my personal space) “You know what, your Father doesn’t love you because you’re not as successful as his other uptight kids”  Uh ok, I’ll just defer this round to you.

After that mishigas (Yiddish for clusterfuck) I decided my household was always going to be rational and respectful.  There really is no yelling other than boisterous nonsense with laughing involved.  I never yell.  They never yell.  I know, I know it ruins the image you have of me doesn’t it?  But I’m telling you icy stares go a long way.  Oh wait, I misspoke there is the occasional exasperated yell from the kitchen “Jesus Christ, why do you people keep piling crap on the garbage like a Jenga game when it’s full, instead of just emptying it?!”.  Then I usually go in and calmly address it by telling them to empty it otherwise I’ll find out who put the last thing on top and I will make them sleep with it in their bed.  Nobody’s perfect.

I know a person who grew up in a pretty uptight family, everything was controlled.  No foul language, no off color humor.  Now as an adult this person started to become themselves and kind of gravitates toward adult humor, “That’s what she said” type of humor.  Which is fine, I have some of that.  But the trouble is the person now has no filter at this point.  They just blurt stuff out in front of the wrong crowd.  Ya’ know, it’s ok to say that joke at cocktails with our good friends but not to my co-worker you just met.

What’s my point?  I don’t know, I just wanted to swear a lot today.  Nah, I just think that it’s not a terrible thing to be off color with your kids.  Now I don’t mean like this Mother-Daughter porn team I’ve heard about, or the Father-Son pimp team that’s on trial in NY currently.  Not that kind of inappropriate.  I just think exposing them to things teaches them how to make choices in life instead of sheltering them from it, then they have no idea how to deal when confronted  with it… without Mommy and Daddy around.  Just my two cents.  Now off with you, ya’ little bastards, enjoy the day…

Oh and today only for my loyal readers get a FREE Kindle version of my hee-larious book, “When Life Gives You Lemons… at Least You Won’t Get Scurvy!” Making the best of the crap life gives you.  on Amazon.com.  CLICK HERE NOW!!!!!!

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