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7:53 p.m. - November 21, 2005
Why I Don't Curse Here, You #%^&*@$!
Someone who recently climbed aboard the Smed love train (All Aboard!) said that they liked my essays because they donít have swearing in them.

It was neat that someone noticed and it was neat that it took someone that long to notice.

I am intentionally trying to write without cursing up a blue streak. If you know me, you know NOT my normal modus operandi.

Oh, Iím trying to limit my use of curse words at home, for sure. Thereís an almost four year old who just LOVES to try out new words everywhere she goes, and of course thereís always the chance that Kristinís first words wonít be ďdadaĒ or ďmamaĒ butÖ

And at work, itís not usually considered professional to try out the various permutations and combinations of George Carlinís infamous word set whilst in hearing distance of alums and co-workers, even though many of our alums probably set records for the most swear words put together in one sentence, PLUS style points for combos.

But Iím not always successful at it, to wit:

1. Last night when I was frustrated withÖwellÖlife.
2. This morning at about 3:30 when Kristin decided that it was time to be awake.
3. This morning at about 5:15 when Liz had to give Kristin to me, lest she be a total freakiní zombie instead of a half-freakiní zombie. (Note: in order to alleviate the undead factor, I took the afternoon off to let Liz nap, so I basically worked only Ĺ day this week. Yippee skippy!)
4. This morning at about 6:30 when I realized that Larry Johnson rushed for about 641 miles against the feckless Houston Texans, thus putting my fantasy team in a big hole in a very important game. (Iím going to need a six-field goal game from Ryan Longwell tonight in order to win Ė yeah, that happens a lot).
5. This morning at about 9:00 when I was comparing my football picks with the QB. I let a big one fly when discussing the performance of St. Louis, Washington, Miami and Carolina yesterday.
6. When I got home from the grocery and realized that I forgot cough drops, which are a commodity more precious than platinum in our house right now.
7. When I cough right now, or try to talk. The throat, she still is sore, and I sound like Bob Dylan with emphysema when I try to talk. I just hope the voice is better by the playoff game on Saturday.

Of course, those who have seen a few comments of mine on other places have seen the saltier side of my language. And those that have my mix CDs know that I am NOT shy whatsoever in testing the boundaries, whether it be musical or lingual.

Iím not saying that I use curse words as colorfully as Tony Montana, but I think my most creative use of Ďcolorfulí language came when I fell down the back stairs (designed by Marquis de Sade) carrying my laundry to the laundry room when we first moved into this house. I got raspberries on my hip, knee and elbow, and a bump on my head, not to mention the surprise and alarm. All that, and I still had to do my damn laundry.

(Damn Ė PG -13 wordÖitís allowable. At least I say so!)

But here, in this site, Iíve not used many taboo words at all. This has been intentional. (And yes, hereís another listÖ)

1. I have co-workers who read this. In fact, I put this site on the bottom of the signature of my emails so I really need to be at least PG-13 here.
2. I have family who read this as well, and thatís the same reason as above.
3. Part of me wants to keep this stuff around to show Katie and Kristin when they can read a bit later on what was going on when they were a wee lassie, and I donít want to be embarrassed. (I would be).
4. Itís a challenge for me.

I think the last reason is probably the most important reason, really. Itís just a challenge to write in a colorful, descriptive way, discussing some feelings and emotions, without relying on blue language.

Take this essay for example. I think it was one of my best ones, and to convey what the commercial was about WHILE not resorting to either clinical language OR baser language was a triumph. Yes, I gave myself a garland and paraded around the house for a while, before I was pelted with rocks and garbage. Well, not literally, it was like, ďBig deal, will ya take out the trash??Ē

But Iím not one to judge about how others write. Everyone writes in their own style, with their own words. Thatís the beauty of writing, good writing (which I find many, many examples of around these parts) that your own language and voice shines through and you can actually hear the writing in the voice of the person writing.

So when people like Meany curses up a storm (and with her, itís understandable. If I was where she was, then the expletives would fly) I laugh right with her, because I know THATíS her and thatís how she wants to express herself.

When I write, especially for this place, I try to make it conversational, as if I am having a conversation with the person who is reading it. (Albeit a one-sided conversation, but thatís the way conversations go with me sometimes. Yep, Mr. Motormouth, thatís my name.)

(And donít think that I donít have parenthetical thoughts in my conversations. Thatís just a hazard of the game when youíre dealing with me. Heee!)

Except many times when Iím just having a casual conversation with the QB, or others in the office, I tend to be lazy. I use the Hoosier helping verbs more often that not (which are coulda and shoulda) and am not the best at times with the proper tense or verb choices when Iím just shooting the breeze.

Then I realize what I said and am a bit embarrassed, but then I realize I was a math major with a teacher ed area concentration, so I donít need to know nothiní Ďbout speakiní good.

Plus, nothing Iím writing about has really set me over the edge. Iíve had a couple of essay where Iíve been angry, but Iíve found other ways to express the anger. I do think, though, that I may be setting up for something and Iíll Billy Jack my profanity all in one essay. (I try, and I try, and I tryÖ)

Because of all that (and that wasnít a short explanation, I know, but who ya dealiní with, eh?) I write without swearing.

Just donít be alarmed that if we are actually having a conversation (face to face or on the phone) or you sit next to me at a game, that I become Mr. Pottymouth.

Hey, it has to come out somewhere!


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