#@$%&*! Profanity in Media

This week’s blog hop topic is:  #@$%&*! There is more and more swearing in television, movies and books. What are your thoughts?

The proliferation of profanity has gotten out of control in today's world. In 1939, when Rhett Butler ended Gone With the Wind with the famous line: “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn,” it was only the second time the word damn had been in a movie.

 My, how times have changed.

 So much so, that swearing has lost its impact. Dropping an "f" bomb is so commonplace nowadays, its shock factor is almost nil. Instead of a nuclear detonation, it barely makes a ripple.

What to do? I personally believe the answer lies in creativity. If a situation is so dire that swearing is called for, don’t fall into the lazy pattern of simply inserting the ‘f’ word. Be original! Use your imagination.

In my long and tireless pursuit of knowledge of this topic, I eventually unearthed (it took about 90 seconds on google) the following advice from Dr. Cynicism. In his blog, Cynicism 101, he says there are (WARNING: the following contains foul and obscene language, which is kind of the point) “several possible conclusions for effective cussing: (1) use combinations of multiple words, (2) traditional curse words (shit, fuck, damn, ass, etc.) can be speckled within these combinations; think of them as the foundation for which you build your house of cussing, (3) randomness is essential; it adds an element of surprise and confusion to your verbal fury, which stuns opponents and targets of your onslaught, (4) be mindful of the timing and context within which you curse; this is something that comes in time after months and years of practice, and (5) make sure to put your own creative spin on cursing; think of it as adding your signature to the word-hate you spew forth.

Okay, time for some examples. A good professor doesn't just lead, he/she leads by example. I primarily use two forms of cussing: (1) short phrases or compound words that are used as outright anger shouts, or used for following the opener, "YOU....", and (2) long phrases or sentences that I scream at people, typically after they've done something incredibly stupid or have angered me.

Short Phrase Examples:

Fuckballs McFizzle-Tits
Shit-ass cocklizard
Thundershits
Shit-ridden nun-fucker
Twinkie-dicked bean-penis
Raging yeast-shitter
Taint spanker
Saucer-nippled McDoogen-fister
Bastard-lips McStreusel-cunt
Vagina crap-jam

Sentence Examples:

I'll punch your mouth hole with my loin thunder.
I'll march all up in your vag-sauce with my vengeance, bitch. (one for the guys)
I'll slap your cock with your ex-wife's new husband. (and one for the ladies)
I will pummel your soul until you birth a litter of pain babies.”

Simple, huh? But, if you need some training wheels (after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day), try The Foul-o-Matic™ Insult, Swear & Curse Word Generator. This handy tool creates dirty phrases for you with the click of your mouse. However, it is to be used with caution. Don’t become dependent on it. Use it judiciously and sparingly as a muse to help you invent your own, one-of-a-kind lexicon of curses. Some examples from The Foul-o-Matic™ :

Raging piss monger
Indeterminable llama butler
Prodigal bum head
Scrotum minge
Eyeless earwax ball

This is a valuable lesson: cursing does not have to include your typical, run-of-the-mill, four letter words! Another source of inspiration can come from other languages. Here are some popular ones to spur your creativeness (translated, of course):

From Afrikaans: “Suck on my hemorrhoids and wait for better days!”
From Arabic: “Your butt is red!” (meaning “You’re a dumbass.”)
From Bengali:  “Fat dog!”
From Greek: “Fart on my balls!” (meaning “You’re powerless and ineffective.”)
From Hungarian:  “Dog dick!”
From Japanese: “Hit your head on a corner of tofu and die!”
From Swedish:  “Shit-boot!” (basically meaning “Asshole!”)

So, let’s review. If a high shock factor is absolutely required to effectively communicate, go for it! Let loose! Curse! But, if you don’t want to suck (big hairy donkey dicks) at it, be original.

Hop of to my friend Stephany Tullis's  Blog  to see what she has to say about swearing. And while you're there, check out her wonderful books!