In college, on the street, on the television. Golly, even in that last bastion of good-clean-fun, the video game, there is swearing. Lots and lots of incredibly obscene swearing.
Fucking hell, it’s all a bit much isn’t it?
I swear an exceptional amount. It’s kind of crept up on me. I have been told I swear “like a sailor”, which is quite loveably quaint, but it does concern me that I swear a lot compared to other youths. Jesus Christ. Generally, if avoid it in front of old people and little kids, it’s alright, I think. But still…
Swearing definitely has an important part in the English language, beyond punctuating my sentences like pauses in a piece of Shatner dialogue. People need insulting. Pain or disappointment must be communicated somehow. And there are few better ways of getting shock value humour than a well placed curse out of context.
Though that is just it. We’re getting densensitised. It’s odd, but the Inbetweeners is genuinely how my friends and I speak (well, Will and Simon. As of yet, I have never referred to women as “gash” in any other than an explicitly ironic situation.) In KickAss, when little Chloe asks the gangsters to show her what they can do, it almost slips your notice she called them cunts.
I did try for a while to just use fictional swear words, the best being Frak (from BSG), Drokk (Judge Dredd), Smeg (Red Dwarf), Zark (H2G2) and Tunk (Kick-Ass, the comic), but I stopped as I annoyed everyone. They were more offended to hear fake expletives than actual ones! Oh dear…
I can’t help but wonder which words will inevitably come to fill the gaps left by the hard hitters of today… “Hell’s teeth” is no longer a decent expletive today, any more than “retard” a medical term. I hope it’s something funny, like “cheese”, or something topical, like “Gideon”. I’d call someone a Gideon. It might be a bit harsh though.