This post is not for underage kids, although I seriously question if kids these days even sit down to read anything while they are busy with their BAEs and YOLOs.
F*ck is a four letter word and not a three letter + asterisk word. Profound thought right? (For the curious, I use the asterisk, not because I feel shy of using these words, but to prevent pervs from landing on my page.) It has been a part of my vocabulary like clockwork as soon as I entered high school. I still was a good girl when I got into junior high, but by the end of it, I knew many more such fun words. My speech was still relatively clearer when I started college. Enter my friend AM, and the F word was rolling off my tongue with surprising ease. Since then, I have struggled hard to keep the usage of such slang to a minimum, but alas, the damage has been done.
My first memory of cuss words, are through my uncle(dad’s brother). He has no control over his tongue, or over that bottle of alcohol, for that matter. He would cuss like no tomorrow and the little me would gaze at him in part amazement and part disgust. He used Hindi swear words too which just have a tendency to leave a worse impression on me for whatever reason. Maybe I am an elitist in my head, I don’t know.
My father has always been very constrained about using cuss words around me and has lost control very rarely. Some of the times have been India-Pakistan cricket matches where the excitement is generously peppered with slightly milder version of cussing than my uncle’s. Another moment that I remember distinctly was the time my dad and I were at a gas station and the attendant was trying to cheat my dad into paying more money. I think I was in high school then. While driving away, in the car, my dad said a particular word that was in Marathi(my mother tongue) and that was the first time I had ever heard it. I giggled and asked him the meaning, and threatened to tell my mom if he refused. Very sheepishly, he answered, “Female reproductive part…” and shushed me after that. I had fits of laughter the whole way home and obviously I relayed the incident right away to my amused mom.
I have definitely struggled all these years to not utter the F-word in front of my parents. But after I started working, frustration is often vented out to my parents and nothing helps me convey my feelings better than calling some particular people F-ing morons. They have been surprisingly okay about it, but do ‘ahhemmm’ a bit if my swearing goes out of control. An occasional thwack on the head helps too. I try everything in my power to not use these words around kids. They are going to be exposed to bad words at school later anyways, but I don’t want to be the person who polluted their seemingly innocent minds and vocabulary. I don’t even want to be a part of the conversation where after my careless utterance, they would want to know the meaning. Also just generally, I would like to clean up my language a bit more. Hearing people use swear words like punctuation, for seemingly no reason, has started to make me cringe. Heck, I cant maintain conversation with some people who obviously think that swear words are the ‘in thing’. I cant watch a lot of TV shows that have free flowing abuses. I have trouble reading and enjoying articles with too much slang. It’s just a general preference that has become more nuanced with age, like enjoying Planet Earth over MTV Roadies.
But unfortunately, the feelings conveyed through ‘That F*ck@ll pig’ are still way more satisfying than ‘That terrible person’.