Twenty-One

21

Some people are put off because I often use edgy or “course” language in much of my content online and off. Some even feel compelled, and have the audacity to write to me and share their disapproval, in an attempt to “save me” from my wayward ways. Others claim that those who curse do so because they’re limited and/or incapable of using a higher vocabulary to make their points.

I say that’s all bullshit, and wrote a fairly lengthy, and might I even say, clever-as-fuck explanation titled “Power of the Potty Mouth” to dismantle any and all of these asinine arguments. Anyone who knows me, or has followed my work, knows that semantics is one of several key areas of paramount importance to all I do, promote, and propagate. I do not choose my words lightly (nor should you). Whether edgy or elegant, it’s all on purpose, and premeditated to make my points. If you’re of the easily-offended ilk, you’ll likely not like my style, nor are my target audience. No harm, no foul. But, if you have any sense of literary style, and/or sense of humor, you’ll get a kick out of the “Potty Mouth” piece. Peace.

Stay tuned-in…


 

Power of the Potty Mouth

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Other titles I considered for this article that I didn’t choose, but liked them enough to still want to list them here: “The Pragmatism of Profanity” – “The Value of Vulgarity” – “The Swagger of Swearing” – “The Cunning of Cussing”…

Cursing, cussing, swearing, profanity, vulgarity, course language, strong language, whatever you call it,  being a potty mouth is often as controversial as it is colorful. But really, what’s the big deal? For some it IS a big deal; for others, not so much. For me and my crew, it’s a day in the life. But before going any FURTHER (FYI – to substantiate my assertion below, I actually researched the best grammatical choice of using either the word “further” or “farther” in the preceding sentence), a point of clarification:

**Am I endorsing the constant use of cursing, cussing, and course language? Well, hell no of course… Like everything in life, there’s always the proverbial right “time and place for everything” right? The when and where are up to each of us based on the current situation or circumstances we find ourselves in. It’s subjective. Three questions I ask myself to assist when assessing this: 1) Where am I? 2) What’s my role? 3) Who am I with? You should be asking and answering these questions incessantly yourself to decipher your best next-steps, to get the best outcomes, for ALL of your communication choices in the moment. This is a core emotional intelligence competency that I will expand on in another post.**

What this is not is another post debating or defending the right to swear or use profanity if one chooses to or not. That’s already been done many times. See a good example here.

This piece is different because it’s about disproving the tired accusation that those who consistently curse do so because they are incapable of “higher” vocabulary. The argument has been put forth that those who curse are somehow less intelligent and/or possibly lower-functioning than non-cursers; and that doing so lessens both their message and personal credibility. (Yeah, I know, bullshit right?) This is about demonstrating the pragmatism of, and proving the capability to strategically use the occasional curse word. Let’s examine the following sentences pairs, one with and one without “course language”…

“According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual’s latest revision, Mr. Smith is exhibiting behaviors consistent with Antisocial Personality Disorder.”

“That dude’s one pissed off fucking nut job.”

Two different sentences. Two different delivery styles. Two different impacts. One general message. Which is more effective? Which do you prefer?

How about these two:

“She circumvented her responsibility.”

“Bitch blew off work.”

Same thing right? One “nice” way of saying something, one supposedly “crass” way of saying virtually the same thing. Each sentence I wrote was carefully planned. Each word choice was deliberate and had a purpose. The point is clear: I am equally articulate using politically correct, high-brow vocabulary, as I am using more low-brow verbiage. Furthermore, I’m equally competent choosing to use fifty-cent words, as I am comfortable choosing to use five-cent words. And because that’s true, my license to curse is a valid, and valuable addition to my communications toolbox. Both worlds ring true to me, and are useful to my purposes given my needed style of communication at any given moment. This affords me more choices (these next two lines are my personal favorites):

“My palette with which to paint and demonstrate my written dexterity, and my verbal virtuosity is large.”

“Fuck yes it is! That shit’s by design bro…”

See, properly-placed vulgarity can add value to enervated vernacular (look it up…).

The truth is, it DOES matter how things are said. It’s both WHAT and HOW you say what you say that matters most. What doesn’t matter, is how others EXPECT you to say what you say, or PREFER you to say what you say. Only YOU should decide what and how you say what you say depending on your purposes and audience. This is the thesis of this vignette. Don’t miss it.

I don’t cuss because I have to; I cuss because I choose to.

**The audience I’m most interested in reaching are those who are NOT offended by the occasional curse word or two, or three. The audience I’m most interested in reaching are those who have been around the block in life, and experienced the world in a way that doesn’t require them to get all riled-up over a person’s choice of words. The audience I’m most interested in reaching are those who recognize their own daily hypocrisy, and are transparent enough to embrace it, and rise above their occasional susceptibility to self-righteousness. The audience I’m most interested in reaching are those who focus on real, and important issues, not head-fakes or sidebar bullshit… like whether one uses profanity or not. The audience I’m most interested in reaching are real people, who don’t take themselves too seriously, and appreciate others coming from that same place and point-of-view.

But there’s a lot of stigma attached to swearing. Some assert it comes with a cost. Even today, it’s still socially frowned upon by many, in many settings, by and large. It always will be. Hypocrisy is alive and well… always will be (you know who you are). No matter how intelligently debated; no matter how cunning, some will never give cussing its appropriate street cred. It’s truly a pity despite the power the potty mouth wields. Fuck ’em I say, fuck ’em all. Don’t like it? Don’t read it. DO whatever it is that you do to contribute to the conversation.

Stay tuned-in…

the talk shiFt Top 10: Part One

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The talk shiFt Top 10 (Part One)… Violations and Absurdities

>> Part Two (6-10)

1. Offended by “strong language” – It’s not a matter of IF you use strong language or not, it’s a matter of whether strong language is a real part of who you are or not. I couldn’t give two shits whether someone swears or not when speaking or writing, it doesn’t affect me either way, just be fucking consistent. I come from a real-world where occasional (or frequent) use of cursing is the norm. If you don’t, that’s fine. Just don’t come here busting my balls because you’re offended. Move on. For my purposes here, the use of “strong language” is a deliberate choice because it’s consistent with “who I am when no one’s looking…” Some could benefit from trying on this genuineness and authenticity for a change; it’s pretty liberating and does not violate #2. For more on this, check out Power of the Potty Mouth.

2.  Hypocrisy – First off, 99.9976% (non-scientific) of those who wave flag #1 above, are also part of #2 by default. You see, everyone has, and will again use “strong language” at some point. If that’s true (and it is), then you’re all hypocrites if #1 on this list chaps your ass. Hypocrisy (noun) = “1. a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc. that one does not really possess.” Synonym: deceit. (dictionary.com). Hypocrites are the prime offenders in the courts of the talk shiFtosphere. It’s not because I disagree with what you do or stand for, it’s because you don’t have the balls to be honest about it. You deliberately denounce certain things, and then proceed to do them yourself. You’re the worst of the worst. You’re a fraud; a fake. You’re an artificial person living in a fantasy land of your own making. And many are watching… see the closely-related #5 below.

3. Obliviousness – Most are unaware of their collective unawareness. Putting it another way, most have no fucking clue that they’re clueless. Clueless to what? Clueless to what’s really happening around them. Clueless to how others are perceiving them. Clueless to what their non-verbals are screaming out to others. Clueless to how they’re coming off to colleagues, co-workers, supervisors, and what messages they’re sending. Truly clueless to how much damage they’re doing to their personal credibility, both in the short term and the long term. It’s impossible to to really notice nuances when one’s head is so far up their own ass. Pull it out and take a look around, a real look around. You’ll be surprised at what you really “see” and what you’ll learn when you do. Alas, most won’t though. And so, I’ll keep calling it out here, there, and everywhere.

4. Messenger shooters – Everyone’s heard the adage “don’t shoot the messenger” right? Problem is, most still do. And they do it again and again. Why? The are two simple reasons that are products of basic human psychology. 1. People are largely self-centered, and 2. People prefer to shiFt responsibility to others rather than shoulder it themselves. We want what we want, when we want it. When our expectations (realistic or not), aren’t being met, and we’re getting the bad news, it’s easier to chew someone else’s ass out (deserved or not), rather than slowing down enough to consider what else might be at play. Or, ask what your responsibility in this situation may be? Right. What’s the right thing to do? Nah, it’s too much work. Screw that. I’m in hurry, I don’t like what’s happening here. This is pissing me off. That is pissing me off. Now I’m gonna go off… It’s common, but no less acceptable.

5. Thinking you’re smarter than everyone else – This one might be my favorite. At the core, this one’s about audacity. The audacity to think that you’ve got everyone fooled; that the rest of the world is bunch of dumb asses compared to you. The audacity to believe that you’re just so much more clever than the rest of us mere mortals; that you think you can pull shit and it’s not going to be discovered eventually. The audacity to think that you’re gonna get away with it all, without consequences… You’re not. No one is. Karma’s a bitch, and I truly believe that sooner or later, all of you corner-cutting, lying, conniving, cheating, diabolical, hypocritical motherfuckers are going to get yours, and get it good. You know who you are…

*But that said, it’s not too late. You can right the ship. You can stop the madness. You can come clean. You can own your shit, endure the fall-out, and grow the hell up. This choice is far less painful than living a fractured life of false pretenses, lies, and illusions.

**Oh, and before anyone’s panties get all bunched up: Simply because I call these things out doesn’t mean they’ve never applied to me. In fact, the REASON I call this shit out is because I want to reduce the frequency with which I sometimes violate these very things myself. Truthful self-appraisal is evidence of operating from a place of strength. But unfortunatley, this is often nonexistent with chronic sufferers of all of these violations.

See… honesty, humility, transparency, and authenticity. Try these on sometime; the truth might just set you free. Now that’s smart…

Agree or disagree; just no apathy.

Check out Part Two (6-10)

Stay tuned-in…