Douchebag’s what I meant.

Just had a rather irritating conversation with someone about the use of language and how we communicate and the words that we use. The whole exchange left me really quite angry. Angry enough to post about it.

What kicked off the anger? Well, the following line which started the whole conversation:

People who swear only do it because they have such a limited vocabulary.

What was my response?

Fuck you.

Not particularly eloquent, but hey. 

I swear a lot. In fact I swear a huge fucking amount – as regular readers will know. I wouldn’t say that I swear because I lack the vocabulary / education/ intelligence / creativity to come up with something better. I swear because sometimes that’s what the conversation calls for. 

If I say ‘fuck’ it’s because ‘fuck’ the word I was looking for. I get very angry when people patronize me by suggesting that I should use a ‘better’ word. Sometimes ‘fuck’ is the most accurate word for that situation or expression, so why would I use another word?

Fuck’s what I said and fuck is what I meant.

Now, some people don’t like swearing and that’s fine. They don’t have to swear. But they shouldn’t police my language either. I’m not stupid, and I’m not inconsiderate – I don’t swear in front of other people’s children, and I do try not to swear in front of people who find it really offensive. But that’s a courtesy, not an obligation.

Likewise, when I write, if a character is going to swear then they are going to swear. I’m not going to hold it back because of reader sensitivity.

Lately I’ve been working a couple of projects that involve a rather large amount of swearing. It’s in character so I’m letting it be. However, when one of my friends read the early draft of my stageplay they were a little scandalised. 

You can’t say cunt on stage, Claire! They won’t let you!

Now, I’m not really sure who ‘they’ are, but I am aware of the strange sort of aversion people have to the word ‘cunt’ which baffles me a little. Perhaps it’s because I’m Irish and ‘cunt’ is thrown around in the same way that people use words like ‘teapot’ and ‘bean.’ It’s often used as a term of endearment – something my English and American friends really can’t seem to wrap their heads around.

But it is true that it’s one word that you never hear on television and rarely in film. It’s censored out of pretty much everything and people seem really reluctant to use it even in print. 

It throws me a little. I mean, we can watch and read and write about violence, sex, horrific and gruesome attacks, death, war, rape and torture. But we can’t say ‘cunt’ in case someone finds it offensive?

Fuck off!

Til next time, cunts!

Love, etc

C

*the title of this post is from The Walking Dead S01E03 when Daryl tells Shane to watch his mouth and Shane replies, ‘Oh no. Douchebag’s what I meant.’

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Douchebag’s what I meant.

  1. I couldn’t agree more! Really enjoyed reading this post.

    • Thanks. It’s one of those topics I get a bit ranty about sometimes.

      • Rightly so I should think. Sometimes people swear, or characters swear. That’s just life, and to remove all of it because someone else doesn’t like it would make me think the person complaining about the swearing is a special snowflake. Kids are one thing, but as long as someone is generally respectful one adult isn’t responsible for looking out for another adult’s delicate sensibilities.

  2. Amber

    I was under the impression that ‘cunt’ is a slur of some kind…? I’m really sheltered about most things, so I wouldn’t know anyway.

    • It can be. In the UK it’s considered to be the worst swear word there is, but in Ireland it’s dropped in the same way people say ‘tea’ or ‘taxi’ – it’s not a big deal here. I think I might do a post at some stage about regional attitudes to certain words and phrases. Where I live ‘cunt’ is a very common and non-controversial word (although sometimes it IS used as a slur in the same way you would call someone a dick etc. and when it IS used that way it’s meant to be the most insulting thing you can say to someone). Confusing. Lol

  3. Pingback: The Ballad of Stephan J Harper – Part 1 | clairewriteswords

  4. 🙂 There’s some research that suggests that letting go with a string of cuss words in the right situation can alleviate stress, lower blood pressure and can make people temporarily more pain tolerant. They’re tools in our lexicon. And many people do swear, so leaving it out of fiction seems disingenuous.

    • I saw that too. Although I have to say that when I’m really stressed or upset I get to the point where I can no longer form coherent cusses, it turns into a stream of random words. My daughter knows she’s really in trouble if she hears me shouting ‘tree biscuits’ or similar. 🙂

  5. Coming back to the article. I was agreeing with you Claire —- until this part ” It’s often used as a term of endearment ” Cunt? Really?

    Hmmm………. can’t agree with that at all. Terms like Bitches and Cunt are derogatory and i find them offensive and will never allow anyone to call me that. I can’t see anything endearing with those terms, no matter how they are bandied around as being harmless.

    The same way “whore” is insulting, cunt and bitch have derogatory vibes, and i think your point is that you don’t see them as having such vibes. To me they do.

    Alas, it’s one of those things we aren’t going to agree on. Just thank your lucky stars I’m not Stephan or i’ll be asking you to explain your feelings!

    PS – I wanted to sign off “See you later Cunt” but just couldn’t do it! I’ll just say catch you later Claire. 😉

    • I definitely think that swearing is one of those subjects that is very emotive and everyone feels differently to it, which is what makes it so fascinating. I think it’s amazing how different people react to different words and how they use them.

      In truth I think it’s fascinating that our language has evolved in such a way that we developed a need for those words at all. I think it says a lot about the human brain and how it works.

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