So I’m gonna talk for a while about swearing. Now I swear. A LOT. Fuck. Shit. Damn. I say them all. But why? Because I want to offend? No. Not at all. You couldn’t be further away. There are very few occasions I will swear with the intent to offend. I swear to add emotion and feeling to a sentence. Sometimes “That pan was hot.” is not enough. Sure, the way I say it may add some emotion. But if I scream “THAT PAN WAS HOT!”, perhaps I am merely expressing the physical pain the hot pan has caused upon me. But by screaming “FUCK! THAT PAN WAS HOT!” I am also implying the emotional effect the harm the hot pan has cause has had upon me.
Ok. Perhaps not the best example. And one may argue that it shows a lack of my intellect. Now I agree that swearing is sometimes a wall to hide behind to dodge the need for proper thought. “You’re an idiot.” “Fuck you!”. But if you say to me “You’re an idiot.” I shall aim to hold my own in my belief that I’m not. The thing is, you’re assumption that I am using “fuck” because I have no better words to use is completely wrong. “Fuck” is a fantastic word. The word “Fuck” hold far more meaning in those 4 letters than the word “ouch” would when faced with a hot pan. It is far more powerful. One step above “ouch” you may say. In fact, I would say the word “fuck” is perfect for the situation. To merely dismiss the use of it because it’s a swear word is ridiculous. In fact, the whole concept of swear words is just bullshit.
Lets take some other things that may be used to hurt people. Like a baseball bat. A perfectly harmless device, but I could use it to beat 7 living daylights out of someone if I so desired. But you do not find the baseball bat offensive UNTIL it is placed in a situation where it may be used to beat 7 living daylights out of you. In fact, until that point you would consider it mighty fine for playing baseball with. Now take a gun. You are far more likely to find this immediately offensive. Why? Where as with the baseball bat its main use was to play baseball, the guns main use is to kill things. The very drawing of the gun implies to many that you are deliberately setting out to harm someone. But there are other uses for a gun. You may wish to shoot clay pigeons. You may wish to shoot targets. You may even be out just to get lunch (ok. This one may still be offensive to some.). But society dictates you are going to use this to take a person’s life. Now lets look at something in transition. A bow and arrow. Again, a device that may be used to kill someone. But societies view of the device has changed. If a person is carrying a bow and arrow, you may be wary of the intentions of the person but would likely soon brush them under the carpet and assume it was purely for sports use.
So all of these items may or may not cause harm. But our focus upon that is dictated by societies decision on the purpose of the item. If I say “fuck”, you may be offended IF you are in a group in society who is of the view that “fuck” is only used to offend. But I don’t mean to offend most of the time. If I mean to offend, you will be very aware of it. Just as if a person means to kill you with a gun, you will be staring down the barrel and be VERY aware they are trying to kill you. I guess you could also say that the reason so many are killed with guns is because society has placed them as the obvious device for killing people. This social view of it has immediately made it more dangerous. If you don’t place the word “fuck” as one which is specifically to offend then it is less likely to offend. In fact, if I ever have children, I will make sure I swear in front of them. Why? Because if “fuck” is not a word used purely to offend for them then they have one less way to offend instantly without thinking things through. If my child wished to offend, they would have to make a conscious and well thought out effort to do so. Or at least more so than just simply saying “Fuck.” and then after that fraction of a second thinking “Oh damn. Was that too harsh?”.
Swear words have uses beyond offense. To hold them in a special group of words designed specifically to offend is like saying “I expect you to need a quick and easy way to offend people in your lifetime so here’s the weapons.” an restricts their use in other fields. These powerful words hold pure emotion. No visualisation. No description. Just pure untethered emotion. So please, if you feel great emotion, swear your heart out. Use your vocabulary to its full.