Seven Words You Can’t Say On Television has always been one of my very favorite comedy routines, as had Carlin always been my favorite comedian. Love of the man is something that my father and I have in common; I think that he was a genius. If you haven’t had a chance to read his biography/autobiography, I highly recommend it. I will add the link at the end of this story.
I think that the first time I got in trouble for cursing was in fourth grade. I have no recollection whatsoever of which word I used, but I do remember arguing with the teacher over her admonishment of my use of the word. In my defense, I remember explaining to her that it was just a word like any other word…and then I finally relented and carried myself to the principal’s office…slowly.
I love to use curse words, and I am honest about that fact. I do not use them uncontrollably. I do not have anger issues, or any desire to yell at people in public. I am simply fond of using language that is not often accepted in public. I can go back to my defense of these words as I proposed them to my teacher so long ago. Words are simply words; it is the meaning behind them that matters. Is the only reason that we condemn these words because we have fear of the depth of emotion that might cause them? Was I punished as a child simply for having very strong feelings and not hiding them? Well yes, I believe that I was.
When it comes to my own kids, I certainly do not encourage them to use curse words. I try to limit the use of certain words around them as well, although as they get older and older I am becoming much more relaxed about it. I often remind them, if they do overhear me using inappropriate language, that they are absolutely never allowed to say that word in front of other people. I do not condemn the word itself though. I simply explain that certain words make most people uncomfortable especially if they hear them coming out of the mouths of children. My kids are not the type that are seeking to make anyone uncomfortable or to offend them, so this works out for us.
I love curse words because they are simple, and they are raw, and they are real. There is nothing pretentious about them, and they rarely lie. I appreciate passion in people; I don’t think that we get riled up about things nearly as much as we should. If someone is using bad language when they are speaking to me, I know that they actually care about what they are saying. There have been quite a few studies done over the years on foul language, and the findings are very interesting. Many have found that cursing relieves a great deal of stress, and that people who use bad language regularly are more relaxed. Some have shown that the people who curse more often are likely to be more honest and trustworthy individuals.
So I guess I love that little handful of words because they are the language of the honest rebel. Throughout my life I have even sought them out in foreign languages. I can even curse a tiny bit in Finnish, and I am proud of that. The point for me has never been to insult anyone. I genuinely adore people, and I am not looking to distance anyone by offending them. I curse around a select private few who can appreciate my colorful language for what it truly is. Curse words come from the heart when I speak them, they carry passion and determination; they are a kind of poetry to me. When I am using bad words I feel independent and alive. It is a practice that I believe, in the right place and time, can be truly healthy for anyone.
Here is the link to George’s book: