Wednesday, January 21, 2009

On Profanity

Everyone who knows me probably knows that I have a bit of a potty mouth. I'm not really sure why. Maybe I can blame it on being a golfer. The little white ball can do really frustrating things, and swearing on the golf course is generally accepted. Which is ironic, since it's one of the few sports that actually has rules against bad language. Anyway, I want to work on cleaning up my language a little bit. I would've made it a new year's resolution, but A) would've broken it when the colts lost and b) it's going to take some time and probably some exceptions for me. So the new plan is to clean up my language by the time I turn 30 (15 months and counting). I think that for the most part, people over 30 shouldn't use bad language. Here's my current exception list. It's broken into two part: 1. People who are always excluded from this no swearing after 30 policy and 2. Times when it's okay for everyone else to break the rules.

People who should be allowed to swear whenever they want

Military and Retired Military People - This isn't blind patriotism or something like that. They just seem to be really really good at it. I'm guessing that there's some sort of swearing class during basic training, but all the research that I've done (An Officer and a Gentleman, Top Gun, Stripes) hasn't shown any formal classroom swearing lessons. Anyway because I think it's an art, and military people are great at it, they get a free pass.

British People - They can say whatever they want. It just sounds cool.

Really Old People - I think I'm going to go with 75 or 80 as the minimum age for this category. Much like British people, it's just fun to listen to old people swearing. Also, if we take away the naughty words, all they'd have left are words like davenport, trousers, and supper. And the elderly won't get a free pass here. If they want to retain their swearing privileges, they'll have to give up their racial slurs. Your kids and grandkids will thank you for it. 

Rappers and Comedians - They would sort of be grandfathered in here. Sort of a tools of the trade kind of thing. Come to think of it, there aren't many rappers older than 30 anyway, so it's a pretty small group. I just think that any profession that requires rhyming should have the entire language at their disposal. Otherwise we'll end up with rap songs talking about truck, itch or bass. And I think those are the key elements of country songs.

Doctors and Lawyers - Only the kind that are like the ones on TV shows and movies. Come to think of it, if you're in a profession where there are television dramas depicting your profession, you can swear. If it's entertaining enough for a television show, then it's probably stressful or scary so we'll let you swear. So I guess cops and firefighters are okay.

Times when everyone else can swear

Extreme physical pain - sort of self explanatory. Also covered would be death of a loved one and getting a not so good diagnosis at the doctor's office. Oh, and losing your job is on the list too, but only if swearing is directed at your former boss. 

When you're driving - had to put this one in here for Kate. Come to think of it, I should probably add in 'anytime Angelina Jolie is mentioned' but that one would lead to constant swearing at the Pitt-Jolie household, which wouldn't be good for Pax, Zahara, and the rest of the crew.

Something happens that is going to cost money to fix - This would include losing something that needs to be replaced, getting in a car accident (already covered by previous rule), homeowner mishaps, your pet eating something he shouldn't (but don't swear at the pet), and running over stuff with your mower. I probably should come up with a sliding scale for how much money the fix would take that makes it okay to swear. Something like if the cost of the fix would be more than you make in two hours of work, then it's probably okay to swear. So if it's two hours of salary or two hours of work to fix whatever is broken, then you've got the green light. 

When hanging out with friends from high school or college - Please note use of the word friends. If you are just around high school or college acquaintances or classmates, then you probably shouldn't swear. It's either a chance encounter or a reunion. Either of which requires you to put yourself in the most positive light possible to show how awesome your life is. This means no swearing. If it's a guys/girls weekend with your actual friends, then swearing is okay. 

When blogging - Just wanted to give myself the option.

Okay, that's my list. Feel free to add on via comments. I won't disagree with anything you add, as it would make it easier for me follow the rules. But nothing is coming off the list. I have fifteen months to adjust my behavior, or I guess I could just become a rapper.


Anonymous said...

Two additions to your list.

1. Technology Malfunctions - not surprised you left this one off your list since you are ept in this area. For the rest of us, it's curse the cursor! What else can one do when the system goes down. Technology Bytes sometimes!

2. Stupid mistakes by ones self. It seems to be cathartic to call yourself a 'dumb _ _ _ _ ' now and then.

Nate said...

Anon - Approved and Approved.

Dusty said...

When you are watching "The Biggest Loser" and they go to a commercial right before they post their weight on the scale. Usually followed by Bob with an "oh my God" expression on his face!

Nate said...

Dusty - Approved. May I also submit when TBL does blatant product placement during the show. This would include the Jello, gum, and Jenni-O turkey spots that happen in every episode.

Dusty said...


Caitlin said...

Thank God I am not approaching 30, because you know my favorite word, as classless as this may be, is in fact f*ck. It just has so many uses! And if you spent one day in my office you would hear it about once every 45 seconds, from the young, the old, the I hope that means I won't have to give it up.