As a frequent essay writer, I’m always searching for new words to enhance my writing and to
trick my professor into thinking that I’m smarter than I am impress my professor. My obsessive thesaurus usage has not only bumped up my grades on papers, but also led to my everyday vocabulary morphing into a mixture of a 12-year-old girl and a medical examiner on Law and Order. For reference, a typical ‘me’ line would sound like “OMG I’m like v disgruntled with this heinously long line at Starbucks”. As I discover new words, I have begun to push out the unnecessary ones – namely, all swear words. Granted, there are some instances when yelling the F-word at the top of your lungs is super cathartic (toe stubbing, coffee spilling, and that one time you thought you booked your Apple Genius appointment for Sunday, but instead found out you actually booked it for the next Wednesday and you have to wait 4 hours to get a new phone battery) but, for the most part, I believe that swearing is the easiest way to tarnish your image.
I put a lot of effort into how I present myself to the world. My clothes, hair, actions, and speech are all meticulously planned every day. I think that language is a key facet of one’s personality and plays a major role in how a person is perceived by others. Swearing is like putting a bumper sticker on a Mercedes, wearing crocs with a ball gown, walking in the mud with Louboutins – you get the point. Swear words rarely ever add substance to a sentence, and always class them down.
Plus, along with elevating the impression you leave on others, speaking in a positive, eloquent way will elevate your own self-image. When you take the extra 30-seconds to think about the words coming out of your mouth, you may actually end up re-thinking your whole take on the interaction. For example, if you’re cruising down the highway at a comfortable 110km/h (or sitting in the passenger seat like me because I refuse to drive on fast highways) and some motorcyclist speeds by you at 130km/h, instead of yelling a string of negative, albeit creative, curses, take a second to breathe, and instead say “well, I hope he gets to wherever he’s going faster”. I give you liberty to decide with what level of sarcasm you wish to say this phrase. In this situation, you have opted out of irritating yourself further with swear words aimed at someone who can’t even hear you and instead chosen to fill your car with a positive energy that you can carry with you for the rest of your drive. To quote Kanye West (and you know I always will) “the more positive energy you put out, the more positive energy you’ll get back”.
Maybe my view on swearing comes from my upbringing, where words like “stupid” and “suck” were banned in my house, replaced by less harsh words like “dim” and “unfortunate”. But, I have definitely grown to learn that there is always a better word for whatever profanity you wish to spew. A word that, often times, conveys a more emotive and discernable meaning.
The intention of this post is not to police the way you speak or to have the entire world speak like me (trust me, that would be VVVVV annoying), it is rather to get you to change the way you think about language. Don’t just use your voice as a projector of all the thoughts swirling around in your brain; use your voice as a tool of presentation. Learn how to speak with intention and spend time cultivating your vocabulary. Just don’t Thesaurus alternative swear words because, admittedly, “number two” probably doesn’t seamlessly glide into a conversation.