I am pro- profanity. I believe it’s good; I believe they are often descriptive, useful and helpful words.
When given the old (erroneous) line that people who use swearwords have meagre vocabularies, great comedian George Carlin was indignant. He said “I know LOTS of words. I just happen to like fuck”.
I’m reading a change-your-lifestyle book by John Parkin called Fuck It – Do What You Love. Except he writes it f**k it. I think that’s pointless (he probly did it for commercial reasons. I can understand that. Unlike me, he actually sold a lot of books and if you want to sell on the American market you probably have to sugar-coat reality). Everyone knows f**k means fuck, even the youngsters whose eyes and ears people are ostensibly shielding. I dunno why the acceptance of one and shock-horror of the same thing.
While I was writing a book (Yes! Here it is Umko 50 Years) I read another book on river paddling and Rob Gouldie wrote how his exhausted partner nearing the finish of the Dusi Canoe Marathon asked his permission to rest saying “I’m fucked! Can I trail my paddle so it looks like I’m steering?” He also spoke about climbing through barbed wire fences “without hooking your nuts” and how Dusi runny guts had them “crapping through the eye of a needle” and I loved it. I thought that’s how one should write a book, just as you speak. Don’t be fake; Don’t be faux-coy; Don’t be prissy. So I kept the “fucks” and “foks” in my book uncensored. “Customary Paddling Language” I called it when people objected and suggested I use asterisks.
I also believe (of course I’m biased!) that people who swear are on average more trust-worthy*, so I think Granma Crews made a mistake in the early seventies in Apache Oklahoma when she didn’t buy a fridge from Stanley Wright. Stan could hardly say a sentence without saying “son of a bitch” “sonbitch” or “sumbitch”. It was his “whatchacallit”. Some people say “Let’s load that baby up” where Stan would say “Let’s load the sumbitch”. And he was on form the day Granma went to his shop. They had just about clinched the deal when he said his last sumbitch and Granma Crews decided she’d had enough, slammed the fridge door shut saying “Well you can keep the sumbitch!” and stalked out on Stan who was probably left wondering what he had possibly said to get that reaction! He had never heard old Ma Crews speak like that before!
Lauren Martin writes in the link below that if you’re feeling down or doing something wrong, fucking good friends give it to you straight – they don’t water shit down! As for all the trust-worthy people who don’t (often) swear: Start now. Increase gradually. I’m trying to.