Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Flippin' Confines of Language are Strangling Me

I’ve decided I swear too much.

I should have come to this realization years ago when I sat down to my first Thanksgiving dinner with my new step-family and hollered “Fuck!” when I spilled gravy all over the table from the gravy boat. But, whatever. Fucking gravy boats.

I don’t know if it is because A.’s family doesn’t swear and so my verbal bombs seem particularly explosive or maybe I subconsciously up the profanity a few notches for whatever reason when I am around them, but spending time with his older sister and her hubby over the weekend brought my potty mouth to light. All I know is there were a few too many “God dammits” going on, even for my taste.

(A.’s heard his mother say shit exactly once, and the situation easily and fairly and genuinely warranted a lengthy, expletive-filled diatribe with fists pounding the tabletop for emphasis. She’s a saint, and even better, a saint that is not annoying. That is a rare combo to happen across.)

How the hell does one re-train oneself to stop swearing? (See! This is going to be IMPOSSIBLE!)

Can I manage to stop swearing out loud but still swear here, on this blog? I don’t know. I tend to “compose” posts in my head while I am out for walks (and then promptly forget them when I sit down in front of the computer) and if I am thinking about saying “what the fuck” I am sure to slip up and say it out loud. Especially if I am on a roll with the post in my head, getting all ragey or self-righteous and that roll extends to life in real-time, real-space. Also, sometimes I just need a good “fuck this shit” to express myself, you know?


(Hmm. Didn’t quite impart the level of frustration I was hoping to express. Damn.)

Anyway, it certainly wouldn’t hurt me to expand my vocabulary. A larger pallet of words at my disposal would certainly help me express myself with more deliberateness, more clarity. (And any carry over into my crafting of The Thesis would be fantastic, obviously.)

I wouldn’t mind sounding a tad more educated.

So, in the future you may see me experimenting with sentence construction containing a lot of the following: jeez, golly, shucks, darn it, cheese and crackers, flipping, and good grief. Also, is it “jeez,” “jeeze,” “geez,” or “geeze?”


  1. That spelling question drives me nuts. My opinion is that there is not a correct spelling--I found both listed on I go with "geez" for no discernible reason, possibly because J words are rare. Definitely no E on the end, though, please!

    Also, good luck with the swearing thing. Let me know if you learn the trick to making yourself stop. I will never achieve that goal and thus my kids are going to be potty mouths from a very young age.

  2. i've given up trying to make myself stop.

    however, i have a friend who works with kids, and she says "EFF!" instead of fuck so as not to taint them. i started saying eff to make fun of her.. but.. it STUCK. i say it completely seriously now, like in traffic and everything. it's fucking weird ;-)

  3. You're totally fuckin' nuts. You stop swearing? Jesus Christ.

    With love from a fellow potty mouth,

  4. MT-ski - hell ya!

    P.S. - MT-ski is your new pseudonym on this here G-rated blog.

  5. But, whatever. Fucking gravy boats HA HAHAHAHAHHA! Damn right.

    I have this bad habit too, especially around kids. It's usually the f-word too. Oops.

    When I imported my old journal entries, I deleted all the curse words since I knew Jason's mom would be reading. Man, that was a LOT of work. Now I try to swear in my writing only if necessary.

    My favorite curse is motherf-er, which is probably the WORST.

    I vote for "cheese and crackers!" because it's awesome. I also really like "FRICK!" (Said really high-pitched like Elliott Reid on "Scrubs.")

    And I spell it Jeez. I figure it's short for Jesus Christ. :)

  6. P&D - Frick. Genius.

    Also, cheese and crackers!!!

    But, motherf-er has such a good CADENCE to it, yes?

  7. This is going to sound so Dr. Phil, but bear with me. It might be useful to think about why you swear before you stop trying to swear.

    Deal with the why and the how becomes clearer.

    (I'm going to eat some ice cream to wash the taste of that last sentence out of my mouth.!)

  8. There's a movie, Johnny Dangerously, where they come up with all of these words that sound almost like swears, but aren't, like "corksucker" and "farging iceholes". You should check it out. Calling someone a corksucker is kind of the diet sode of cursing, but, it still takes people off guard...

  9. The only way I learned was to be around a toddler who is rapidly grasping the idea of language.

    So what I'm saying is, have a kid! then you'll curse less, eventually!

    I am such a problem solver.

  10. This was GREAT. I laughed out loud at the gravy boat incident.

    I can't tell you how many times "fuck this shit" really and truly seems the perfect response. It's much more fun than, "Gee whillickers, I give up!"

  11. Welcome, Manager Mom and Jess Riley (congrats on the book)!

    I'd love to throw out a corksucker, but I just know it will end up coming out as cocksucker. I JUST KNOW.

  12. One Thanksgiving I was at a friends house. They said grace, then I reached for the turkey platter and spilled my full wine glass ONTO the turkey platter. They were used to me cussing, so that wasn't as big a deal as a platter full of wine soaked turkey.

    Also, my favorite non-cuss is when Butters from South Park says "hamburgers".

  13. With kids, I catch myself all the time mid-cuss. Shit becomes 'sssssssssssugar pops'. Fuck becomes 'fuuuuuuuuungu'. Jesus Christ becomes 'cheese & rice'. It's sad, really.

  14. I think "geez". When I was a kid, my mother wouldn't let us say "geez" because she thought it was short for Jesus Christ (like Shauna says above). I always assumed my mother was nuts (but now I'm questioning myself because Shauna seems a lot LESS nuts than my mother) and it was short for "gee whiz", which makes it totally benign. But which might also mean that it should TECHNICALLY be "gee'z" with an apostrophe, if we are saying it is a contraction of gee whiz. Are we? I don't know because my thoughts are getting muddled because my toddler had me up at zero dark thirty this morning and WOULD NOT go back to sleep DAMN IT and I am fucking tired. GEEZ!!! Or JEEZ or GEE'Z. What the fuck ever.

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  16. I feel the exact same way! I've really let myself go when it comes to cursing. And it DOES sound so uneducated! I've been trying to reign it in also...we should form a support group!

  17. As long as your non-curses are relatively imaginative, you should get the same level of satisfaction out of them as a good "fuck". I like "Jesus Wept!" although that doesn't completely get you off the blasphemy hook. Or "St. Joseph's Baby Aspirin!" Sadly, few things can quite capture the focused vehemence and musicality of motherfucker. That's just, well... a motherfucker.


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