I’m probably going to end up in all kinds of trouble for this, but, oh well.
Cussing is a Big Ugly Deal in the Christian community. Otherwise kind and loving churchgoers are unfriending people for cussing on Facebook, writing snarky reviews if an author uses the F-bomb, and are generally horrified by the appearance of words that earn a “bleep” on primetime TV and quite a few words that don’t.
Now, don’t misunderstand me… If you can’t communicate your story/movie/TV program/article/interview/FB post/Tweet without using a series of repetitive F-bombs, you are a lousy communicator. Buy a dictionary and read it, please. While you’re at it, pick up a thesaurus.
BUT… on the other hand, everyone who gets all “judge-y” about the proliferation of redundant cuss words needs to stop and examine their own speech. Saying “fudge” or “frick” or “fooey” in a moment of frustration, anger, or rage is just a candy-coated version of the F-bomb. The motive behind an outburst of “poop” or “crap” or “darn it” isn’t any different than the less socially acceptable forms. It’s the motive behind our words that counts, not the order in which we string our letters and syllables.
My point? All of you who cringe in horror and get offended when you see a “bad” word, it’s time to step back and recognize that we all say “bad” words. It’s a heart issue, not a vocabulary issue, and unless your heart is perfect, you’re guilty of the same crime. Have a little mercy, if not for the sake of those doing the cussing, then for your own sake.
On that note… if you have friends who don’t ordinarily avail themselves of F-bombs and S-words and the like as part of their regular, lazy, uneducated vocabulary, and you see those friends availing themselves of these words in their tweets or FB status updates, PLEASE take the time to ask them what’s going on in their lives and how you can help. People who don’t usually use profanity to express themselves and then suddenly begin doing so are usually in some kind of crisis: spiritual, emotional, mental, social, etc. They don’t need people pointing their bony fingers and rebuking them for using a “bad word,” they need someone to step in, say “what’s up, buttercup?” and pray with and for them until they can see the light at the other end of the ugly tunnel they’ve found themselves in. Just a thought.
Let me repeat myself: There is no legitimate reason for using cuss words (real ones or their candy-coated substitutes). From a writing standpoint there’s no real reason for using adverbs, either. Both, in excess, are lazy communication, and we should strive for better. But while we’re doing that, let’s stop acting like we’re worthy of sainthood because we haven’t said s*** or d*** or f*** for awhile.