COLUMN: Profane In The Membrane
Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013 01:03
To those who have never sworn, cursed, or uttered a bad word in your lives, I have one question for you: How the f ... f…fudge…do you do it?
By now, most people have already abandoned their New Years’ Resolutions like a mother eagle would abandon her fledglings—with much love out of birthing them and watching them grow, disappointment when they fail to fly out of the nest, and hope that she will maybe encounter them soaring through the skies by the next New Year. However, I am better than the mother eagle. I have remained tenacious in my goal to refrain from swearing for the entirety of 2013. It’s been three months and 20 days, but I am proud to say that I now have the chaste mouth of a nun.
“Wait, Ryan,” you’re saying right now, “disregarding how uncomfortable that nun analogy made me feel, I’ve heard you swear a handful of times in the past three and a half months. You are a lying sack of …”
Keep the language PG-rated, voice of the ambiguous reader! I wouldn’t want you cursing and sounding like a drunken college student in front of all of these readers!
I’ll admit, there have been a few isolated incidents where I may have let a couple vulgarities slide. The first one happened when I threw out my back while emptying water out of my clogged shower. You really can’t blame me for swearing here because how the … heck does a 20-year-old suffer an injury more common for a shuffleboard court at a retirement home? The second time occurred when I discovered that I will be living in the Mods next year. I’ll now welcome the onslaught of obscenities directed toward me.
Apart from the few bumps I’ve hit in the road, I’ve made significant improvements from my old ways. I used to fill rooms with f-bombs just to elicit a few laughs and swear out of frustration when I’d lose my car keys. And now, lingering in the immediate future is a daunting challenge for my formerly foul mouth: March Madness. As my bracket turns to shambles and my hard-earned money lands in the hands of some jerk who flipped a coin for all of his picks, I’ll be struggling to maintain my current restraint. For that reason, I need to further examine our desire to swear besides the fact that we’ve been doing it since we saw Old School in second grade.
When looking at the inoffensive alternatives to profanity, I’m not surprised that my fellow students and I continue to swear. You would sound like a well-mannered car salesman who wears the same sweater and ironed khakis everyday if you walked around shouting “gee whiz, the inclement weather in this city really grinds my gears!” The last time I yelled “Holy Cow” was probably when I got the birds and the bees talk at age 10. These phrases don’t stick in our college environment because we have the choice to say what we want to our friends without being sent to the principal’s office.
We choose to swear because it’s the most extreme way we know of using our language to express our emotions. An aptly placed f-bomb when describing your least favorite player on the Yankees would really let someone know how much you dislike Robinson Cano. The vulgarities place a heavy emphasis on words that we want to stand out so we can show our sadness, our excitement, or our passion. But when we use these words too much, they lose their value and we begin to mindlessly rant instead of prove a point. Their uses become jumbled as our mouths become fouler and we forget why we choose to swear in the first place. For example, if you asked your friend, “Hey man, you’ve been to fudging Australia?” then he may think you’re impressed at his world travels. However, if you misplaced the f-bomb and asked, “Hey man, fudging you have been to Australia?” then he will think you doubt his dreams of saving the Great Coral Reef and his capability to independently travel the globe. He’ll give up all hope on his biology major, and because you’ve awoken some old self-determination demons, he’ll drop out and move in with his parents. You just ruined a friendship and killed one of the natural wonders of the world, thanks to your potty mouth.
A profanity is nothing more than an easy way out. Bunches of words exist out there that are stellar replacements. So when my iPhone screen inevitably cracks again, I’ll slow down and think of a better way to express my stupidity.
Yet at the end of the day, so many circumstances still exist that can’t be described by anything else but a profanity. Skydiving and being stalked by a shark are both adrenaline-rush moments that created these vulgarities.
I’d even go so far as to say that March Madness is a similar thrill-junkie moment, which would basically give me a pardon for all swears uttered over the next three weeks. Therefore, with all that being established, please join me in saying one last thing: FUDGING DUKE!
Editor’s Note: The views presented in this column are those of the author alone and do not represent the views of The Heights.