My mother insisted that those who felt the need to curse didn’t have a proper grasp of language. She did not appreciate the distinct pleasure in emphasis or ease cursing provided. She NEVER saw the point. It offended her ears and sensibilities.
I did not inherit her dislike, although growing up I did my best not to curse in front of her. A stray syllable may have slid past my teeth, on rare occasion a fully formed word. More often, in order to avoid her disgusted glare, I found less disagreeable ways to express myself.
She wasn’t wrong. It is the easy way out. It takes little thought to curse. Like a reflex, it just happens. My mother had a deep respect for the English language that bordered on purist. I thought her ruminations foolish, limited, uncool. She didn’t care. She was a bulldog when it came to her ideals.
I curse. My kids curse (although when they overly-curse I start to feel like my mother did). The words are generalized, imprecise. Think about when you curse…burning yourself taking a hot pan from the oven, the driver in front of you moves dangerously or unexpectedly, your air conditioning dies in the heat of summer, you can’t find your wallet or keys. Reactive, tactless, devoid of thought.
A (my) Mommy-ism: The easy way is the hard way in the end. Consider the meaningful moments in your life and consider cursing through or at them. Your first job interview, your boss, your mother (in my case), marriage, your book signing, the birth of your child, your retirement party. Not eloquent. Not fluent. Not pretty.
There are times and places when nothing feels quite as genuine as cursing. I remain guilty of using these words as much as anyone. But people. We have language. Let’s use it.