I have been thinking about bad language.
Partly this is because some of the writing I am doing has to have some of those words in the mix. Without them it is simply not credible.
Also I have been playing an album by Sun Kil Moon a lot recently, and it has a lot of swearing on it. To be honest, I kind of wish it hadn’t, even though I love the album.
But good guys do not swear. Or at least that is what I was told growing up. Except a lot of them did; as I listened to their conversations when at rest; as I heard them dodge death from behind the wheel of the car or nurse a thumb whacked by a carelessly swung hammer…
Perhaps they were not really good I thought.
But I grew up swearing too. Not much; less than most, more than some, I would say. Michaela never swears. Not even at me. (I know- scarcely credible huh?)
For me, certain words act like the valve on a steam boiler. Over use them and the valve is no longer effective. I do not use them against actual people, although sometimes I wish I could.
Some words I never use, and I am never sure why really- they are just words after all. Language is always evolving and the taboo associated with words seems to evolve… even if most of them are always something to do with reproduction in some way or other.
I knew a woman once who inserted the word fuck between every other word she ever spoke. I fucking went to the fucking shop to fucking get some fucking milk. You get the picture. I asked her what she did when she really needed a swear word in an actual emergency and she looked at me slightly confused, then told me to fuck off.
Beware, spake I, lest when needed, your words lie sticking in the dirt like arrows shot too soon. She was not fucking impressed.
But some things deserve to be sworn about- some people are indeed bastards.
Some things that happen in this world deserve to be punched right in the nose with the ripest bit of Anglo-Saxon we can put into print.
Not by me though. I am a good guy.