I’m sitting, quietly watching a movie, when the guy next to me starts yelling at the screen, “That fucking maniac! Is he fucking kidding me?! I can’t believe it!!” He was shaking his head and laughing as he said it.
After this was repeated a couple of times, I realized that, for him, cussing isn’t meant to express anger or angst or fear. Nope, it is simply a word to throw into any old sentence, like an adulterous adjective wanting to hook up with any noun available.
Inside, I cringed at the string of expletives. Not because I have a problem with cussing. Not at all. I find cuss words to be very handy and necessary at times.
If I am about to hit another car on the freeway, “SHIT!!!” can be repeated for several moments until fear and shock wear off.
Although I was raised not to cuss, not ever, because I was told it was not what “good” people did. Only “bad” people cuss, or at least that is what I was led to believe.
As if cussing was a reflection of a horrible person rather than a horrible situation.
My love of words quickly led me to the truth.
Words are powerful in expressing who we are and what we believe in. But more often than not, they simply reflect our current situation and our response to it. When that is the case, I think many situations definitely call for cuss words.
- Discovering that the car battery is dead
- Working on a computer that suddenly displays the blue screen of death
- Watching a beloved pet fall off the side of the patio
- Finding an army of ants swarming around a half-eaten donut in your kitchen
All completely valid situations in which cussing would make complete sense to anyone within earshot.
Also, cuss words are great for grabbing people’s attention. A sign that says, “Get shit done!” will get more attention than one that says, “Get your work completed.”
Now, perhaps it is a bit hypocritical of me to like cuss words in general for certain circumstances but to be annoyed at the man next to me for his continuous cussing during an action movie.
First, he is talking during the movie, which should be outlawed. I know this isn’t the wild west, but I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one in a theater more than happy to drag him out into the lobby, place a popcorn bucket over his head, and tape him to the nearest cardboard advertisement.
…he is talking during the movie, which should be outlawed. I know this isn’t the wild west, but I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one in a theater more than happy to drag him out into the lobby, place a popcorn bucket over his head, and tape him to the nearest cardboard advertisement.
I just find gratuitous cussing annoying and more than a little crass. Really?! Unless you are trying to develop your career as a gangsta rap artist, I just don’t get the attitude of “I’m going to use fuck, shit, and any other cuss word I can think of in every sentence I say because I’m just that badass.”
I find it pointless. The words no longer have any meaning. They lose all impact. I could insert the word “like” for the cuss words, and suddenly it switches from gang member to valley girl in a heartbeat.
“That is fucking messed up!? Are you fucking kidding me? ”
“That is like messed up! Are you like kidding me?”
It completely changes the tone (and kinda makes me giggle just a little).
Fortunately for the movie cusser, I’m not one for vigilante justice for those who talk during a movie, and I don’t actively call people out for persistent, ineffectual cussing.
But I am more than happy to share my opinion online.
America is a free-speech country after all.