I didn’t grow up with a swear jar in the house. But I knew better than to curse at home. I didn’t really curse at school either. I was a nerdy nerd. I was as happy go lucky as possible in the context of poverty, crime and despair. The teachers all knew me as a pet. I was often showcased before visiting district administrators. I was a “pollito” as described by my teachers. I had no idea what that meant, but I took it to be that I was a good kid, maybe even naive.
I grew up into a distinguished woman who has given hundreds of speeches and pep talks. I try as best as I can to exhibit optimism even if overlayed with snark. And that’s the rub. Somewhere along the way, I developed snark. A biting snark. And I don’t suffer fools well. Amazingly, I’m still optimistic. But I do have it in me to curse like a sailor. Do sailors really curse that much? The few I’ve met have been supremely well-mannered. This is a total side note, but did you know that a majority of our curse words in English are Germanic in nature versus Latin? I’m not saying anything other than that is interesting. To me, at least.
OK. Let’s stay on me. I curse. I curse a lot. I like cursing. There are certainly times that deserve a very expressive word. I don’t do offensive curses. I’m still in shock that the P word is now a free for all ever since our then presidential candidate had been retroactively caught saying it. There are also no truths now. So, who is to know if most of our curse words have a German root. OK. Back to me. I’m not running for any political office, by the way. At least today. I may in two years. And I’m happy that my cursing shouldn’t be an impediment.
Let me tell you why I will keep cursing. But first let me note I had a boss years ago who hated my cursing. He didn’t hate it for professional reasons. He liked that I was pretty and found that my cursing was un-ladylike. I relished cursing around him. I did, absolutely feel extreme horror, the first time I cursed around my mom. I was in my late 20s and I immediately covered my mouth in shame. I think that may have been the only time around her.
Here is the thing. A recent research study (Feldman et al, 2017) noted that those individuals who curse more, may actually be more honest. Or they may be perceived as being more honest. Profanity is associated, according to just this one set of researchers, with integrity at a societal level. And, let me tell you integrity has always been a core personal value of mine. So, you may think I’m not a lady, despite my high heels and girly dresses, but I’m full of integrity. So take that! I’ll take NY cursing over lacking integrity 😉
And with that, I am finishing my Smals rant.
Unbelievably, folks, I’m ending this post without stating a single curse word. Wow.