Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

Archive for March 15th, 2009

Swearing Is Dumb

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/03/15

Another blogger inadvertently reminded me of my mother.  He didn’t say something my mother would say, but he did something my mother would accept.  My mother has a saying:  “Anyone who swears is too dumb to think of another, more appropriate word.”

My mother is definitely naive in many ways, but I agree with her saying in principle.  If you’re incapable of carrying a casual conversation without swearing, you’re either too dumb or too inept.  Arrogance and inconsideration play key roles, but they would be included in the “inept” category.

What did the blogger say that reminded me of my mother?  The blogger used the altered term “urinated off.”  As I said, my mother would accept that term.  Acceptance is not the same as approval.  She would accept the term.

Now, if it weren’t for her red hair, she would easily be a blonde.  Many years ago, when I was in high school, my sister and I were trading barbs around the supper table and I said, “you’re the kind of girl who gives change for a quarter.”  (Yup, I said it.)  My mother said, “yeah, two dimes and a nickel.”  My sister, let’s call her Sasha, explained to her what I meant.  Mother said, “SASHA!!!”  And my sister complained “I didn’t say it, he did!”

Don’t get me wrong, my mother is my hero.  And I wish I knew more people like her.  She would saw off her leg if it made people close to her more comfortable.

But, back to “accept but not approve.”  My mother has worked for a grocery store since the early 70s.  About three years ago, she briefly got her hand caught in the end of the conveyor belt.  Her response?  “Dern it!”  It hurt bad and her hand swelled up and she was unable to use it for a couple days afterward.

An 18-year-old bagger who saw it happen said, “that’s okay, you can say it.”  Mom said “say what?”  The bagger said, “you can swear, nobody will mind.”  Mom said, “oh, no, that never even entered my mind.”  And she was telling the truth.  Swear words never enter her mind and she’s always shocked when she hears teen-age girls swearing.  She cannot understand the fascination and dumbness involved in swearing.  There’s no need and it detracts from everything, as far as she’s concerned.

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