May 01, 2014

Why I Talk Dirty

One of the questions I get about this blog is why I use naughty words so often when there are plenty of perfectly good polite ones that will do the job.

The question used to come from embarrassed (and worried) colleagues. And it still comes from my wife.

People tell me that dropping f-bombs and other 4-letter words on the blog costs me readers and credibility. That may be true. But I do it anyway.

Here's why.

First, dirty words are not a big deal to me. Having grown up in New York City, every sentence was typically punctuated by an f-bomb. It's how I learned to think and how I talk and I don't see why I should change it when I write. It may not be pretty, but it's the real me.

Second, I think it's a healthy contrast to all the mealy-mouth bullshit being perpetrated by the newly corporatized, sanitized advertising industry. I don't mind being wrong but I do mind being timid. Naughty words have a use -- they remove any hint of ambiguity.

Third, I think Americans are a little more prissy about language than is absolutely necessary. Recently, I gave a talk in London. The night before the talk I was having dinner with the great Dave Trott. Having never spoken in the UK before, I was wondering if the language I was going to use in my talk might be offensive to British sensibilities. Dave, who has lived in both the US and the UK, assured me that the Brits are actually a lot less prudish about language than we are.

Fourth, one of the great things about being an old fart is that I don't really give a shit what people think. If people don't like my language, I'm not going to worry about it. It's not that I'm trying to intentionally antagonize or irritate anyone, but I'm also not going to pretend I'm something I'm not to please anyone. It's one of the very few upsides of senile dementia.

And finally, no matter how bad I am, Parker is worse.


dave trott said...

Ben Elton is a famous comedian over here.
He says, after one of his TV shows his mother called him up to complain about his use of the F word.
He said "Mum, everyone uses it".
She said "Perhaps, but it's supposed to be used as an exclamation point and you're using like a comma".

Jim Powell said...

I like that Dave.
Ben Elton was once asked regarding his swearing "Would you say Fuck in a church?"
He replied "No, but I'd have one."

Sean Peake said...

You'll enjoy this

VinnyWarren said...

Took me ages to figure out that using the "C-word", as Americans so daintily put it, is frowned upon here. It's the best one!

JayZed said...

Huh? I hadn't noticed.

bob hoffman said...

Have you noticed that all the really good naughty words have a soft u. So to speak.

Grace said...

I love cursing and I'm very fond of people who use naughty words because I feel that it's a sign that they're sincere and authentic. Often times I wish I was clever enough to hide my true feelings, but fuck it. Life is short. Might as well tell people how I feel.

VinnyWarren said...

It allows you to build a rhythm of profanity.

dave trott said...

The difference between the US and the UK attitude is that to Chaucer and Shakespeare the language was seen as 'bawdy'.
The people who objected to this impure language and thought all left on the Mayflower.
Leaving the ungodly rest of us to swear, whore, get drunk in pubs, and not go to Church in Sunday

lisab said...

Dont know if anyone has seen this but well, duh.