Why The Face?

I swear.
Obviously, it's not a big deal.

Sometimes even the silliest things like getting my dollar coin stuck in the vending machine makes me swear out loud. *bleep* Or when I crack open a jar of pasta sauce only to have it splayed all over me like Carrie *bleep*. When I receive my exam results. *bleep*

But lately, I've noticed that I've been getting looks from some of my friends, acquaintances even random strangers whenever I swear that it warrants a post. Clearly swearing is an attention-seeking activity. Whether I like it or not, heads will turn whenever I swear. I am very much human and I do have emotions that are punctuated into words. Also, understand that I am in no way an F-bomber. The need to swear in my opinion is purely situational.

Swearing is not an attractive quality when overused. I say this for both men and women. Nothing sexist going on here. It's not about swearing being a manly characteristic because it's not. Swearing is merely an adjective used in situations where it calls for an emotional injection. Given the most common expression I've heard is that "we always learn the bad words first". Pro tip for learners of new languages. Lean the profanities first. You'll be a star among the locals in no time. *wink* Vulgarity does have a lasting effect on people's emotions and are guaranteed to pack a punch whether we mean to or not. They are not normal words. Not at all.

Take the time when I blurted out 'damn' in front of a friend. Granted, 'damn' to me is by far the lowest in hierarchy in terms of swearing intensity. His face got all scrunched up and he said, "Why are you using damn? There's no need for that". While this line of conversation may have been taken out of context, I'm sure we can all agree that no matter the level of swearing, it does have an effect. People take notice when we swear. It merely calls out attention to ourselves though mostly not in a positive way.

I was seven when I first heard 'fuck' being uttered. A classmate of mine had screamed fuck at our homeroom teacher whose face turned an ugly shade of eggplant and hauled said classmate to the head of primary's office. The next scene has him standing at the front of our class for the rest of the day and sentenced to a week of detention. His head held up high. The little guy was not at all remorseful. He must have hated our homeroom teacher so much. Little me was too entertained at the events that took place to care what fuck meant. Still the whole class was curious. Could words have that much power? That day, we learnt that it was an unmentionable. A bad word. We grinned at each other. Yes, we felt as bad-assed as seven-year-olds possibly could. We knew a powerful, yet unpleasant word that the other classes didn't. We ruled. Fortunately, none of us had the balls to recreate the fuck debacle. We had decided that it was better to be spectators than a participant in an otherwise unfavourable disposition. Not worth it ffs. Uh-huh.

Swearing is a habit. It's a choice. A vice like many others. It also violates respect and tramples on social etiquette. So should we swear or not? As a general rule, one should not swear. Resist with all your self-control and back away from swearing just to be safe. Judge the situation and your surroundings. Are you in Ireland? No seriously. Are yar? The Irish are famously known for their notorious everyday swearing. All in good fun they say. Don't look at me like that. Are you addressing your parents or your friends?

In fact there are a host of words that should never be uttered at all. The ones that are laced with discrimination and prejudice of gender, race, sexual orientation and ethnicity should be avoided at all costs. Case in point "Why don't you drink up? Don't be a pussy." Here, pussy, a derogatory word for women's genitals is used as an insult and is seen to offend all of womanhood and the subject for not being 'manly' enough. On the other hand some might argue that if it's said by a friend, it's meant to be friendly. Each to their own but I can't stand for the belittlement of women. Never. The same can be said for the term 'gay' and 'retarded' used in replacement of 'stupid'.

I'll admit that swearing in public is a major turn-off. But among friends, it may well be seen as a sign of closeness. Of brotherhood or sisterhood. Of trust. Understanding and acceptance. Like how most of my friends don't mind when I swear around them and vice versa. Not to say there are no boundaries as I will draw the line at personal attacks. That would be ad hominem and hitting below the belt.

So what then should I say in public in place of my favourite 'damn'?

Great Batman of Gotham, I got a B!

P.S.: Props to anyone who caught the title post's reference. Virtual cookies await you!


Occasional hand model with a taste for adventure.

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