Listen now (11 mins) | The Sunday Edition
We were just talking to our kids (17, 15, and almost 13) about this! We are cool with them swearing around us as long as they don’t swear around people who might find it disrespectful. I also added that they can swear as much as they like as long as they don’t forsake all other adjectives!
I’m so glad you’re sweary! I enjoyed listening to the origins of the swear words you mentioned. I rarely directly swear at others but my speech is peppered with swear words for emphasis, either when I am alone (if you were a fly on the wall at my home, you would hear many a “fuck me” uttered in self-exasperation) or among people who, like you, are not offended by their use. My husband never swears and hates it when I do, whereas I am completely comfortable swearing in front of my two boys (16 & 20) and they are equally comfortable expressing themselves freely with me. At the same time, we are very cognizant of when and where swearing is acceptable; audience is everything. I do find the c- word harsh-sounding but had a British friend who was completely comfortable using it. And “motherfucker” is just too many syllables to be effective. I agree that racial slurs, as well as homophobic slurs, are something completely different and abhorrent. I also dislike the use of “Jesus” and “goddammit”- while I am not a religious zealot, years of Sunday School has made that irritating when overused. Probably my most used swear word is ‘fuck’ and its derivatives. It has many connotations depending on how it is uttered- for example, a staccato ‘fuck’ versus a longer draw-out one. Is it uttered under your breath or yelled at the top of your lungs? The same with ‘fuck you’ , ‘fuck me’- it’s really quite versatile. Having said all of this- they lose their effectiveness when overused.