ELDER MUSIC: Classical Gas - Part 6
Sex and Old People

Profanity and Crabby Old Lady

EDITORIAL NOTE: Ted Carr, who worked in the tech industry during some its most exciting years, retired about six years ago. He now hosts a podcast called Retirement Journeys – Real-Life Experience that Informs, Engages and Inspires and in February, he invited me to be a guest on his show.

We had a wonderful time talking about growing old, ageism, retirement, my career before that and much more. Ted has now posted the podcast at his website which you can listen to here. It's about 21 minutes long and there are more such podcasts you might find interesting.

Thank you, Ted. I am pleased and honored to have been asked.

* * *

Every now and then, Crabby Old Lady has been known to publish words in these pages that in her youth were never said in “polite company” and certainly not used in newspapers and magazines targeting general audiences.

When TimeGoesBy was new, back in 2004 and for some years beyond, she would never use “dirty words” any more than The New York Times or the Washington Post or The New Yorker would do so those days.

But time passes, tastes change and those venerable publications along with TGB sometimes allow such “profanities” as shit, fuck, cock, etc.

Crabby is certain that those titans of mainstream print have codified editorial guidelines for the approved use of such informal language. Crabby? She just goes with what feels right at the moment. Quotations, of course, are acceptable. And on rare occasions – particularly when a politician has said something exceptionally stupid or loathsome – she'll let fly a “What the fuck.”

What Crabby can be sure of when she does that is that a cluster of unsubscribe notices will arrive indicating “offensive” as the reason for canceling. So be it.

A week ago, in his monologue, Late Night host Stephen Colbert ran afoul of people with similar pristine sensibilities and before the show ended, #firecolbert was trending on Twitter.

Here is his transgression prompted by President Trump having dissed Colbert's CBS coworker, John Dickerson:

Crabby is pretty sure you can figure out what he said. If not, here is how Inside Edition published the remark on their website including their coy abbreviation:

“You attract more skinheads than Rogaine... You have more people marching against you than cancer. You talk like a sign language gorilla who got hit in the head. In fact, the only thing your mouth is good for is for Vladimir Putin’s c*** holster."

The usual suspects, mostly those of the conservative persuasion, erupted as expected and it didn't take long for FCC Chairman Agit Pai (you know, the guy who wants to gut net neutrality so the big internet providers can make more money) to threaten Colbert with “appropriate action.”

”The FCC's response will depend on whether Colbert’s remarks are considered 'obscene,'” Pai said according to The Hill.

“'We are going to take the facts that we find and we are going to apply the law as it’s been set out by the Supreme Court and other courts and we’ll take the appropriate action,” [Pai] told Talk Radio 1210 WPHT Thursday.

“'Traditionally, the agency has to decide, if it does find a violation, what the appropriate remedy should be,' he said. 'A fine, of some sort, is typically what we do.'”

To do that, the FCC will need to meet the U.S. Supreme Court's test for obscenity and blah, blah, blah.

All this had Crabby Old Lady assuming that, based on nothing more than conventional wisdom and her experience with blog unsubscribers, old people are a large percentage of those taking umbrage with Colbert's somewhat unusual choice of words.

But maybe not. A quick (very quick, no big-time research involved) trip around the internet turned up this, for example, from a 2011 report about a then-new Broadway show. From the New York Post [their abbreviations, not mine]:

”Standing under the marquee for Broadway smash The Book of Mormon, 92-year-old theatergoer Gloria Lewis is shocked by the musical she just saw. Packed with profane lyrics, such as 'F – – – you, God, in the a – -, mouth and c – – – ’' and characters with names like 'General Butt-F – – – ing Naked,' you can hardly blame the sweet little old lady for being a bit ruffled.

“But Lewis isn’t agitated in any negative sense. In fact, she’s blown away by the 14-time Tony-nominated musical, which is drawing enthusiastic, raving crowds of seniors just like her nightly.

“Very brilliant!” says the feisty senior citizen from Queens, who is a retired investigator for the Department of Labor and laughs in the face of anyone who thinks she or either of her octogenarian pals might be offended by the language.

“As her girlfriends, 85 and 88, smile and giggle by her side, Lewis says matter-of-factly: 'F – – – is a very common word today. Offended? Not at all.'”

Last fall, Stanford University published a widely reported study titled Frankly, We Do Give a Damn on the relationship between profanity and honesty. The researchers concluded:

"On the one hand, profane individuals are widely perceived as violating moral and social codes, and thus deemed untrustworthy and potentially antisocial and dishonest.

"On the other hand, profane language is considered as more authentic and unfiltered, thus making its users appear more honest and genuine.

"These opposing views on profanity raise the question of whether profane individuals tend to be more or less dishonest..."

"We found a consistent positive relationship between profanity and honesty; profanity was associated with less lying and deception at the individual level, and with higher integrity at the society level."

The study did not differentiate among age groups but Crabby Old Lady now feels free to assert that when she lets loose a long string profane invective after having banged a toe or includes a mild “what the fuck” on this blog in reference to a latest political idiocy, she is being authentic, genuine and honest.

Anyone who disagrees is free to unsubscribe.

Meanwhile, last Wednesday, Stephen Colbert issued on his show, a non-apology while including an acknowledgement to the overly sensitive who believed his original comedic tirade was homophobic. (Oh please):

And so go the culture wars. What do you think?


Comments

I've had a "potty mouth" for 40 years and I'm certainly not offended by profanity, unless it's used hurtfully (calling a woman a "cunt" to shame her, for example). What's interesting to me on a personal level is that I feel annoyed when I hear my management use it at work - saying things like "Get the fucking deal done" or "We don't do any of that bullshit" and the like. While I'm not outraged or horrified or clutching my pearls when I hear this sort of thing, it strikes me as being unprofessional and inappropriate. I'm trying to figure out why.

On another topic, I'd be very interested in your opinion on this Sunday NYT article:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/05/style/seniors-social-media.html

It certainly made me utter several choice words!

I was far more influenced and bothered by my mother who never said a "bad" word. Nor would she allow herself to express anger in any form, ever, so an entirely normal condition or feeling was walled off. And yes, she created suffering for herself.

I, on the other hand, am not generally offended by swearing of others nor myself so long as it's not used to cause harm. The loud, boisterous use of them to command attention as some are wont to do is merely irritating.

Sometimes a motherfucker shout out relieves a moment that has me twisted in knots. I'm doing much more of that these days.

I am not a prude about bad language and use it myself when I'm upset about something. The one thing I object to is when I hear young people (and it's always young people) talking, and every other word is fuck. It's not about being upset in their case; it's just a word that can be substituted for just about any other word in a sentence. That, to me, is just plain crude, and lazy to boot.

Colbert is a late night comic, for crying out loud. If he had said it to a puppet on Sesame Street then I'd get upset along with his critics.

I don't swear a lot and only in front of certain people but I'm not offended to hear it unless it's every other word or in front of children. I do think swearing is over used in the media now days but it's the aspect of it being lazy writing that gets me more than the words themselves.

Yes, I sometimes feel someone is using a word like fuck so many times that they are limiting their possible enjoyment of a much larger language world. But I'm happy to hear that those of us who let fly now and then with a good solid WTF, etc are more honest than those who deny their expressiveness.
I'm trying to get on board with younger women reclaiming pussy and cunt............mostly because isn't that how most women have been thought of much of the time by men anyway? Still, I do get it, just not ready to use them yet.

I grew up in a double-standard household. You know, like that of Ralphie, in A Christmas Story, who when asked where he had heard the 'F' word that had come flying out of his mouth when he dropped a lugnut while his father was allowing him to participate in the changing of a tire (one of the rites of passage of those days, no doubt) lied and blamed it on a friend. In truth, as he narrates, he had heard this word from his father on a regular basis.

The only time I can recall saying anything remotely profane in the presence of my mother, was when, at the age of 15 or 16, I said that something I had read or heard (probably regarding the Vietnam war) was "BS," using the initials only. My mother's eyes widened as she pursed her lips, then said that ladies don't talk like that. I can't recall what I said back, probably nothing; that's how it usually went in our 1950's-60's "do as I say, not as I do" household.

How much this contributes to the fact that I've never become very comfortable with profanity and rarely use it, I don't know. Personally, I have to admit to having resorted to using it more often in the past few months, though I still try to avoid it in favor of words that more clearly and deliberately express what I observe, experience and feel.

This is one more example of the utterly puritanical and hypocritical USA -- that so amuses my European friends, where so-called profane words are said in the public media or in print without hesitation. I have a different meaning for profanity and profane words: dictators are profane, evildoers like the current non-popular-vote winner and the so-called Attorney General commit profane acts, the profanity of the Holocaust or bombing Syria or ICE or all the rest, dt "speeches," etc..

Although I agree with Nancy: the repetition can become quickly tiresome and pointless. It's like the over-over-overuse of "you know," or beginning every sentence with "So..." [a strange new habit] or even the constant repetition of "have a nice day."

I am obviously feeling monday-ish.

I once read that constant use of obscenities and blasphemies was a sign of an unsophisticated mind. In my opinion, certainly a limited knowledge of non-offensive yet otherwise juicy adjectives and interjections. I'm weary of watching shows where effin' is the only noun modifier. Where are the witty, pithy wordsmiths of yore?

I tend to avoid profanity because (1) it rarely is the clearest way to communicate something, (2) I want to remove any potential barriers between myself and my audience, and (3) I recognize that people will form impressions of me based on the words I choose—just as I do of them. As Mary Wise and Nancy Wick mentioned above, profanity can create an impression of unprofessionalism, or laziness, or ignorance. I suppose, Ronni, now that you've explained that you are using profanity to convey strong feelings, I can be more intentional about adding that to my mental list of impressions, but it's not usually the first thing I think when I hear profanity.
Also, when you're building relationships online, each blog post has the potential to be someone's first interaction with you—people aren't always starting from the beginning and reading everything in order. It's more difficult to stay aware of that when you've developed the kind of interactive, loyal online community that you have. And of course, it's certainly a legitimate choice to speak only to that community and not worry about newcomers and their first impressions.

Very thoughtful comments as always from your readership, Ronni. I'm 77 and swear with the best of 'm, but I do consider my audience. And i agree the every- other-word use of fuck is as tiresome as the awful upward inflection at the end of every sentence.

As a kid I'd have been sent to my room, or worse, for saying even "hell" or "damn" and as a result those words weren't in my active vocabulary until college. I still rarely use profanity/obscenity except in moments of pain or anger. I've generally thought of it as demonstrating a limited vocabulary and lack of manners (depending on the situation). And I abhor its growing acceptance as part of the coarsening of our society. In writing, "WTF" doesn't bother me, but I still find the f-bomb crude, offensive, and entirely unnecessary.

As for Stephen Colbert ... I was watching that night and was almost on my feet cheering as he blasted Trump in the manner he so richly deserves. Luckily we have late-night comedians who can express such feelings without the limitations imposed on the mainstream media. Those who don't like it can simply turn off their tv.

I remembered reading or hearing about a scientific study that found that cussing relieves stress so I googled it. And, yes, the study showed that it relieves stress as well as acts as a pain reliever....a few weeks ago I dropped a heavy alarm clock that hit my ankle and I cussed like a sailor.

Also the study found that it is a coping mechanism, helps one feel empowered.

I agree with everyone about the misuse of cuss words, particularly in overheard conversations sprinkled with "F... this and F... " indicating young people's limited imaginations and vocabulary.

I'm not offended by selective, and what seems appropriate in the context, profanity. I typical do not use profanity if I can avoid it mainly because it is too easy to slip in a profanity by accident. I remember a time in church where a speaker tapped the mic and said "is this f__king mic on". Very embarrassing.

I also reflect on being told about 50 years ago as we were leaving college as freshmen for our first Thanksgiving home - many going home for the first time since for leaving school. To remember "when you ask your mother to pass the potatoes do not describe the potatoes." :-)

I think generally in a business environment profanity is not a good idea.

If FCC Chairman Agit Pai is so concerned - how could he have accepted a position from a man who not only uses the exact same type of words toward individuals (on on air) but lies on top of it. His sincerity (Agit Pai) in his position is a joke. Not only a joke it is hypocritical....another Trumpet

As a 72 year old female living my retired years in Florida I rarely use profanity and for the most part don't like to have conversations with others that constantly use profanity. As in every sentence.
Having said that, I must admit this was not always the case. In the 70's and 80's I was far more apt to indulge in it's use, mainly for it's shock value or to express extreme anger or frustration.
I think that I have mellow out in the beautiful Florida sun and today my words reflect that.
My children and grandchildren often drive me out of the room with me saying as I exit that I wish their education had included a more extensive vocabulary . lol

Assuming that many of we readers were youngsters during the 1950s and came of age in the 60s when free love, drugs,rock and roll and the furthering of use of 'dirty words'..a phrase I always hated even when young, I'd guess we weren't around casual profanity to the degree that many kids are today. My dad swore with Goddams and SOB. Sonoffabitch remains my go to swear word when I have a small accident, like dropping something, falling down on the weeds I've just pulled up or tripping over the rake, which I do more frequently as I've aged.

My mother-I can't remember ever hearing her use a conventional swear word-she made her own up. "Hot spaghetti" was a particular favorite of hers for kitchen type accidents, dropping something that broke or simply forgetting something she meant to remember.
'Sis on you pister'..meant piss on you, sister/mister. a bit more strongly said.
Moms all time swear word showed up on a sy-fi series a few years ago.'Goram' is said on 'Firefly' as a general swear word and it's what my mom always said for God Damn. I always laughed when I heard it on the series...mom was ahead of her time.

English is such a transitional language and as others have expressed, it's a shame that the eloquent words of older days have been replaced by swear words used constantly...but it makes script writing easier I'm sure.

The FCC threat is a real joke-listening to any stand up comic on Comedy Central and you'll hear everything Colbert said and more yet no one threatens those comedians with fines. It's that Trumpsters (or Trumpets..Thanks Joan, I like that) can't control Colbert and they cling to their faux religiousness and pretend riotousness when someone else uses the words they say all the time...hypocrites is what we have not that it's anything new.

It was nice hearing your voice, Ronni. Good show and interesting podcast.

Be well all..Elle

Another great post, Ronni, and one that is stimulating interesting conversation!
I have found that in the past year, I seem to be uttering the word F---- more regularly than I used to. But this, in part, is because I have been hanging out with someone who regularly uses the word in his sentences. I don't particularly like the word and would prefer to work on incorporating a different exclamation when something surprising occurs. But out here, in California, where I moved almost two of years ago, it seems to be a regular inflection, somewhat, as one of your commentators pointed out like "you know" or "like."
I just posted something on my FB page. It was a very insightful piece, but throughout, the author had spattered profane language. I, as Melanie Jongsma, had a moment's hesitation because I also have a wide variety of people from around the world and many come from societies where the use of such language would be considered offensive. I went ahead and posted it anyway and, although I thought about apologizing to the readership for the profanity contained in the piece, I did not.
Sometimes, when I listen to Stephen Colbert, I think, "Really! (squirm) Does he really talk like this? He looks so straight, but, wow, is so edgy! And he is so clever and I really love his monologues and the position he takes and, well, I guess, we live in a different world and/or this is how Donald Trump makes him feel: dirty. And Donald Trump makes me feel dirty too."
I agree that letting go in the heat of anger is healthy. But I do think that the free use of profane language does say something about where we are as a society, and basically, I feel that is in the gutter.
Does this make me an uptight, prim little old lady? Maybe. Some would peg me as such. But I also think that how we use language, and by the way, there are so many beautiful words in the English language, says something about who we are and an overused word, whatever that word might be, shows a limited mind.
As for hypocrisy, well, that is a topic for another day.

P.S. With everything I wrote, I forgot to mention that I actually thought that Stephen Colbert's monologue was very creative and enjoyed it immensely.

We just keep lowering the bar in this country & it makes me sad. We need more moderation in many things including language. Dee

It's generational, and in that context, class-determined. I was born in 1937 into an upper-middle-class family. I never heard anyone in my parents' generation say anything stronger than "hell" or "damn." And, in a maddened state of rage, "god-damn."

As a young adult, I would never have said "fuck," though I might've said "shit." My college boyfriend, who came from a working-class Greek-American family, used to tease me and call me "garbage mouth."

Somewhere in the '60s, I think, it began to change. I blame Woody Allen, who made it clear that you can be smart, highly cultured, and profane, all at the same time. My language has, for many years now, been peppered with four-letter words. I do try to choose my listeners, though. There are still plenty of people whose sensitive ears are sullied by "bad language," and I try not to alienate people unless it's necessary.

We've also developed an aversion to some words that used to be considered acceptable. Those words are mostly related to gross bigotry, and the less we say those, the better, so I'd say, over the years, a win/win all around.

I have a feeling that if that same dialog had been directed to a prominent democrat, the same people who are so offended would be laughing their heads off. Margarett

I was born 12 years before Kate Gilpin and can testify that adults did use more profane words than damn or hell. They just avoided using them in front of "the children."

However, the presence of 'the children' did not stop my grandfather from using his only swear word, "shit' often. When at home he removed his uncomfortable dentures and the word came out "thit".

Having heard that word all my life, it became my swear word when I dropped something, hit my toe, or had other irritations. It still flies out of my mouth when irritated, but is rapidly becoming too mild for my anger at the political situation - that has been alluded to by others - and my profane vocabulary is increasing daily.

Having joined the Navy at 17 and served aboard a submarine on long deployments, I think I can say that I'm as well marinated in swearing as most any of your readers.

One of the first hilarious moments I can recall from when I was a young sailor was when the Chief called us in one day --- and he was not much for swearing -- but this day he said "Now I don't want to have to give a 'You fucking guys' speech, but you fucking guys . . . "

I also had a sailor from Nebraska whom I served with who never actually swore, but whose hilarious non-curses made the point that it's not the words that deliver the impact. He was famous for saying things like "Hokey Spoons!" in exactly the same situations where others would say "Holy Shit!" -- I still find myself saying "Hokey Spoons!" a lot, and boy do I get some strange looks.

What I find is that I generally find people fall into one of two groups:

There are people who are simply inarticulate and who just insert curses the way others insert "uh" and "um" - verbal droning. They are no more fun to listen to when they clean up their language than when they don't.

And then there are people who are fun to listen to because employ profanity like an artist -- it may not be to your taste, but there's no denying that it's art. Turns out, these people are usually just as fun to listen to even when they clean it up.

I think, Mary Wise, that what you may be finding offensive about your workplace examples is that the higher-ups in those settings are using profanity to emphasize the power difference between them and their audience -- instead of to establish rapport. Swearing generally bonds equals or reduces inequality, because it's a "forgiven transgression." But it can also be used to emphasize that the more powerful person can say whatever, but the less powerful one is constrained to "be polite." That's when I find it distasteful.

I remember when I graduated from college, I had to re-learn all of the appropriate adjectives for polite and professional society. I've been pretty successful at limiting my expletives in my professional life, and only throw them in for effect/emphasis in my private life. I'm not generally pleased with myself when I use the terms we all know. I try to do my part to keep the level of discourse at a high level.

We all know the words and phrases, selective use is probably good for most of us. No one is responsible for policing usage except ourselves.

Actually, I'm having more of a problem with "feisty senior citizen" in that New York Post article than anything Colbert has to say.

I recall getting into the doghouse in the 1950's for using the word "crud," a word that no longer even registers on the profan-o-meter.

In the past few months, I found I had to substitute the word "Fish" for the usual cuss-word, simply because the F-bomb was getting monotonous, and had lost its value in describing the current political situation.

Additionally, I think the Orange has a very thin skin.

Like many other TGB readers, I grew up in a language-censored household--at least for the females. My mother once admonished me strongly for abbreviating the word "gentleman" to "gent" in a casual conversation! When I went away to college I discovered that even "good girls" can do profanity quite well. Since that time I've tried to employ it reasonably sparingly, when appropriate to the occasion/audience. The older I get, the more reasons I find for a spirited "WTF", "BS" or "MF" along with the milder "dammit" and "holy crap".

In my opinion adults who have reached the age of most TGB readers probably should be able to handle the occasional 4-letter word without developing a case of a vapors, but everyone has a right to their own level of tolerance. Those who can't deal with it can vote with their feet/subscription. They will be missing spirited discussions and interesting people.

Occasions calling for profanity have increased exponentially since the ascension of The Orange Apparition as president (or should I say dictator-wannabe) of the U.S. What a detestable individual he is! I'm so glad that France turned its back "bigly" on the woman whose election would have strengthened the white nationalist movement in Europe and validated The Orange Apparition's endorsement.

Really, the "C" word? That's what they're getting their panties in a bunch about?
I thought Howard Stern brought us out of the dark ages. When are we going to put away that Puritan attire? John Alden doesn't live here anymore.

Don't skip the link to Ronni's interview. She's wonderful, easy-going (for a Crabby Old Lady) and tells some great stories.

The swearing and Colbert: We're all hoping Trump is an embarrassing anomaly and will sooner or later self-destruct. We're HOPING. My worry has to do with the office of the presidency. Two thoughts:

1. No president would ever single me out to 'do' something for our country, to 'serve' it in some way. That said, what if one had during my lifetime? I would've stepped up to the plate with Ike, Kennedy, Johnson (with reservations). With Nixon though I would've winced but probably done it. Same with Reagan, even though I thought he was horrible. George HW Bush was pretty much a good guy although I rarely agreed with him. I never particularly liked Clinton but I agreed with him most of the time. George Bush made me ill but if he'd needed me, I'd wince again and (probably) would do it. Or maybe not. I would've 'considered' it. If I didn't, I'd feel like I'd let my country down somehow.

However, if Trump wanted me to do ANYTHING I'd go into hiding, surreptitiously move to Canada. He's beyond the pale.

2. My problem: I hope Trump self-destructs, but doesn't take the office down with him. On some visceral level, when I see a photo op of him in the oval office, usually signing something and surrounded my idiots, I think the oval office is a joke - which implies that the oval office could very well have always been a joke. That's not good.

So - when Colbert, a highly respected comedian (if that's not an oxymoron) starts making cracks about our president sucking Russian dick, I worry less (read, not at all) about Trump and more about the office of the presidency. Trump is trashing it - but let's not allow (or egg on) everybody else to trash it.

When Trump is gone, I want the White House still standing.

Now forget all this and lick the link at the top and listen to Crabby Lady be fun and tell great stories.

So sad that profanity has become the norm nowadays. I long for the days when women were the bastion for pure speech and kept society at a little higher level of propriety. I remember when a man would never swear in front of a lady but now the women(I can't call them ladies) swear worse than the men.
As for Stephen Colbert, I don't want him fired, but I will turn him off as many will do because his tirade was unprofessional and made him look like an uneducated idiot.
I find when I am around someone, no matter how intelligent they may be, if they start using curse words, I don't look at them quite the same again. You are how you speak, no matter what is the norm in society.

Swearing my way back to facebook. LOL

Dad was born in 1925, was raised Catholic and served in the Navy. He used profanity all the time at home. He, surprisingly, did not like hearing it in movies or TV.

I had to stop watching The Wire after 3 seasons because when I drived I was MF-ing this and that.

Stephen Colbert was funny!

Fuck, Stephen C was funny in the extreme and yes, we're all angry even us in the Great White North. And terrified at what our neighbour has become.

I was raised to be a lady but I have a terrible potty mouth in rebellion. Ladyhood never got any ladies anywhere apart from being decorative accessories to the real human, the man. Swearing "Like a man" helped me in many situations.

I find it enormously empowering and it silences many of the men who stand in opposition to me at a community level. I find my swearing is even more powerful in my seventies when people are gobsmacked.

My proudest moment came when my granddaughter told me she and her friends had a competition as to which grandparent had the dirtiest mouth and I won hands down.

And PS can these publications stop using the effing term "feisty"? It's only applied to elders who break the stereotype of doddering, senile, blue-rinsed and loose-dentured.

XO
WWW

WWW and a couple of others who mentioned it...

Of course, I agree about that "feisty" word in one of the quotations and I tried to address it when I was writing this post but it took me away from the point of today's story so I let it go knowing plenty of you would recognize its ageism.

Generally, I cannot think of anyone it should be used to describe - of any age - because it has become such a miserable stereotype for old people.

Swearing is part of colloquial language. It is one of the more difficult parts of becoming fluent. My Dad always swore in Russian! There was one memorable night in college when my Korean-born roommate and I taught each other to swear in the other language.

After college, I put it away (both Korean and English). I thought swearing was not consistent with the person I wanted to be. Recently when I used a mild curse word, friends who have known me for 40 years looked surprised. They didn't realize my vocabulary extended in that direction. I have been able to find plenty of "clean" words to express my dismay, anger or disgust.

However, live and let live... if YOU want to use those words... I understand them and the emotion expressed. Generally I'm not offended or shocked. But please cut out the "likes" and "y'knows".

Perhaps this appeared in the comments above, but overusing impact words makes them lose their impact. Also, it fails to force you to draw upon a much larger and more colorful vocabulary to engage you audience. He was angry, and that makes him slip off the sharp edge of comedy.

This is a good one, Ronni.

Five minutes ago, in a South Carolina hotel room, we watched CNN.

* fired Comey.

Hooooooooooly sh!t, Batman!

Sh!t just got real.

John Gear, you made me laugh so hard.

Bruce Cooper, I am a fan.

I pick and choose where and when to swear.

Never in front of my ILR friend. I watch it over there.

My family does swear. Dad was a Navy man. He could make us pee our pants laughing.

We joke, ass around and have a blast at family reunions.

Stub my big toe on a chair leg?

Get cut off while driving in Montreal?

¥£€*^%#^%#!

Better still, I can also swear in French.

Two swears for the price of one!

French from France swears refer to anatomy, body shaming.

"Your ass is huge."

French from Quebec refers to religious symbols.

Like the chalice.

Put these two together, you get a lonnnng, colourful five star rant.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. I've never written that before. That was fun.

I agree with Dee. For the most part, excessive profanity makes me sad. it's so unnecessary. I'm not a purist; "shit" is my go-to word although when kids came along, I substituted "shoot" and it kind of stuck. Shit was my Mom's word; I don't think I ever?? heard my Dad swear. The use of many "swear words" doesn't offend me unless they are used to excess and then, I simply don't have time for it. Expressions used in speech are habitual, and swearing is a habit I prefer not to have. For me, simple.

But I'd never give up this blog. You are all wonderful!!

Fantastic bunch of articulate comments on profanity. I'm not a purist either, I'll let fly in unusual circumstances, but I flinch when I hear or read it. I agree that when it's used too casually it becomes offensive, never belongs in a professional setting and can and does lose a person friends and opportunity. But if a person doesn't have that filter, they're probably shooting themselves in the foot in other ways too.

Never ever do I use the slang words for body parts of either sex in conversation. I thought Colbert went too far, but it was bleeped! Isn't that enough?

I agree with Donna, I just have never used profanity, the word shit might come out of my mouth when upset and can remember one time years ago dropped something and my young granddaughter heard
me say that and I quickly felt so ashamed and said that to her.
Her reply "that's alright grandma, mama says it too"
me me smile.

I had to read all the comments that were maid after I posted..all you guys (a gender neutral word IMHO) are so funny! I agree with everyone about the fucking language shit.
elle

hate it when spell check spells the wrong word..maid...not even close..of course I meant made!
e

I plan to be a feisty old lady some day and people better watch out! *%$@# :-)

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