seeking the story in the ordinary

This morning, I said the f-word in front of my son. I didn’t mean to. And I certainly don’t endorse that. But I was just so f*cking tired.

I’ve always believed that cursing has value. It broadens the range of linguistic expression. It effectively and efficiently conveys extreme emotion. Sometimes you need to get your point across and “heck” just isn’t gonna cut it. And ultimately, all language is beautiful, right?

Plus, sometimes when I curse, I get to feel like the “old” me, ya know? The me before kids and cooing and sanitized speech…

So inevitably, curses creep into my writing. My dear mother disapproves. Below, our exchange from earlier today:

Mom: While [curses] have their place in writing, you need to ask if they should have a place in your writing. I think it diminishes the professionalism of the piece…an unnecessary distraction…just my opinion–old-fashioned I know…but still willing to stick by it.

Me: I disagree, and think it is an old-fashioned perspective. Sometimes a curse word packs the exact punch you want. And it doesn’t automatically indicate unprofessionalism–especially if used sparingly and the rest of the writing is solid. We’ll have to agree to disagree.

Interestingly, my mother went on to admit that she was quite comfortable (infrequently) cursing in speech, just not in writing.

So what do you think? Do curse words serve a purpose? Do they have a place in our speech? In our writing? Discuss away, bitches.


My third…cursing in utero. Apparently it’s genetic.


One thought on “On Cursing

  1. Oh yes, cursing can convey so much! When I read a well-placed curse word, it can take me anywhere from laughing to sadness. It elicits strong emotion. Curse on!

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