I do, and I don't. There's this part of me that believes that swearing makes you stupid, that it limits your vocabulary -- that instead of saying "I'm so frustrated!" or "That makes me really angry!" we drop the F-bomb and curse up a storm, and consequently we lose the ability to articulate ourselves fully. I also know a number of people who swear almost as if the words were forms of punctuation: "So there I was
and I had my girlfriend with me
and we went to the bar
!" It becomes almost painful to listen to, and, I'll be honest, I tend to think less of people who talk this way -- that either they're too ignorant to know how this makes them look, or they're too socially inept to think it has any importance. But I'm a terrible snob sometimes.
That being said, I don't really have a problem with swearing when you have more to say than just an endless litany of curse-words, and even though the intellectual part of me thinks I should shriek out "Wow! That really hurt! I'm in so much pain right now!" it is
a heck of a lot easier just to scream the F-word at the top of your lungs. (And, sometimes, a lot more satisfying.
) I guess my disdain comes into the picture when the only thing you have to say is F-this, F-that.
Finally, I have this weird habit of making up "swear" words. It's a family thing, because my little sister does it, too -- the funny thing is, though, neither of us was ever really punished for swearing. We were taught appropriate and inappropriate times to curse (e.g. in front of Grandma is maybe not such a great time to drop the F-bomb), but our parents thought it was more important that we understand what to say in "polite" conversation than to have a list of things we must never, ever say ... ever.
Of our made-up swear-words, "argle fargle" remains my favourite. I also expand upon regular swear-words -- for example, "craptastic" or "[F-word]sicles." I don't know if this makes me clever or just really, really weird.
My friends have a 14-month-old daughter who has learned a few choice swear words (because Mommy, who is a SAHM and therefore spends the most time with her, occasionally lacks discretion
). It's become a game for us to say "Rowan, say [the F-word]!" and for her to repeat it. We're such a mature bunch. (Fortunately, Rowan's grandmother -- who is way cooler than my
grandmothers ever were -- thinks it's as funny as the rest of us. I'm just waiting for the moment when she bellows it out in the middle of a crowded mall.)