Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Bad language

Today, I've got another Words of Wisdom shared at my girl's school. It has to do with bad language. I thought I might share with you a little tid bit about OhCaptain to let you in my mind, just a little bit.

Strap on your helmets and step into the wayback machine. We are taking back to when grunge was king and I was but a 20 something in search of a path.

After my first trip the gates of a college, I was out of school but careerless. I worked several part-time and one full time job at the same time. Kinda like how I blog, ya know?

One of these jobs was working at one of the local bars. Let's not mince words here, it was your typical local meat market bar. Lots of 20 somethings in search of, you know. Beer. ;) I did some bar tending and table waiting here, those tips were nice, I also helped out at the door on occasion checking out kids fake ID's, but my primary role was the Saturday night DJ. Wow. What a job for a aimless 20 single 20 something male. They job paid cash, got tips, allowed the consumption of beer, the beer was free and I got to pick the tunes.

Early on at this job, I had heard some wise man that I can't remember who, said

Using bad words means you aren't smart enough to say something better.
Now, being the cocky ass that I was, I took that as a challenge to never go blue. For the most part, there's no way my DJ show was G rated. You are trying to entertain a bunch of drunk people, there's no unicorns and bunnies here. It's grown up time. But for me, the challenge was to make the grown up time fun, entertaining and never use bad words. For the most part, I succeeded.

This came in my email yesterday, it the Words of Wisdom as read by one of the schools students over the PA. It made me think back to that first quote, about not being smart enough to say something better. Here's what they read:

Have you noticed how much bad language there is in the movies, in videos, and in music? Back in the olden days, when your parents and teachers were young people, you never heard bad language on TV or on the radio or in the movies. It was thought to be hurtful and disrespectful. In other words, hearing a lot of cursing and bad language upset most people.

Now listed to these ancient words of wisdom:
Speech is the mirror of the soul; as a person speaks, so is that person. – Publilius Syrus
In other words, the words we speak are a mirror of who we are. The words we speak show our reflection, like a mirror.

Today, if you hear bad language, think about what the words are really saying about the person using them. And if you catch yourself using bad language, ask yourself this: Am I the words I speak?

Good words to think about. Don't get me wrong, I'm no saint. I use bad words. My kids have a policy of telling mom every time I do it, but I too am not a big fan. They have their usefulness, but it's more fun to find other ways of saying the same thing. Here's some of my favorite swearing substitutes:
  • Holy Schmidt Big Mouth! (Might be a Minnesota thing...)
  • For the love of Pete! (Thank you Shrek!)
  • Farfignugen
  • Gosh darn it. (It makes me laugh...)
Do you have any favorite substitutes? I'm always on the prowl for new one.


Anonymous said...

i must say growing up "sucks" "crap" and other various mild swear words meant big trouble if you were caught saying them. the "real cuss words" were never even thought about saying. that being said, i used to have this awesome switch that would turn f*$# into fudge and sh!^ into sugar. unfortunately the Army and living on my own and not attending church seems to have broken my switch.
a few more substitutes:
freaking (very popular these days)
gol dangit (verrry country)
son of a biscuit eater
gosh, golly, goodness (were all technically substitutes for taking the Lord's name in vain so therefor not allowed growing up either)

OhCaptain said...

We weren't exactly religious people growing up. My mom preferred we used the substitutes as much as possible. Darn it :)

surprised mom said...

Growing up, my Mom was NOT a fan of swear words and nothing got her angrier than hearing one of her children saying them. As I grew older, I just knew that swear words just weren't classy and wouldn't work in most situations.

That said, I polled my family about swear words substitutes. They came up with some funny ones.

Schwizzle sticks (my favorite)
dang it or dang nabbit or dag nappit

So there you have it. I keepp wondering what the daughter at college says. I'll have to ask her when she gets home.

WeaselMomma said...

I was always taught that using vulgar language was a clear indicator of someone who has little grasp on English.

OhCaptain said...

SurprisedMom: Excellent list! I used but forgot about fudgesicles!

WeaselMomma: exactly!

Another I forgot:
B as in B, S as in S - a local radio personality does this one all the time. I love it!

terri said...

I'm not a fan of bad language. If and when I use it, I'm alone in the car. The people I work with have terrible potty-mouths! They can be highly professional on the phone with customers, but in casual conversation, the f-bombs fly!

I say "crap" a lot. One of my new favorites is, "Shut the front door!"

The Wife said...

Our nanny uses "oh my bath beads" (and now the kids say it) . . .

I actually love to say "sucks" . . . or "sucks rocks" . . . it just feels good. To say it.

"Shtuff" instead of "sh*t" works . . .

Crap is good. And "Moron" is a great substitute for the a**hole who cuts you off when driving . . . that, or "Dude!" . . . even my kids know to say that when someone cuts you off.

Anonymous said...

ok, i must say that i've heard the "only people who don't have better vocabulary, use swear words" and i disagree. i probably read about 8-10 hrs a day (you know, since i'm a flippin' ((there's another sub.)) disabled, lazy so and so) and i have an enormous vocab. i am just surrounded by hicks who don't and it rubs off on ya :) Plus they would think i was being uppity if i started throwing out big words :)

dmarks said...

Makes me think of Rahm Emanuel, who talks that way and was also caught out on bashing mentally-disabled people in the process.

Surprised: Sounds like Ned Flanders!