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Friday, September 9, 2011

Watch It, Strangers

A while ago, my mom and I were hanging out at a local dog store with our friend, who works there. A woman came in. She acted extremely casual, cursing in every sentence and talking like she knew us. ("This bleeping dog bed costs forty dollars? That's bleeping crazy! It's a bleeping dog bed!" I remember her saying.) All three of us were really taken aback by the fact that she was speaking to us like we've been best friends with her for years when we had only met her a few minutes previously, but what really shocked and appalled us was the language she used. While it's certainly not recommended, if you want to curse with a friend who's okay with it, it's acceptable. However, if you're in the company of a bunch of people you never met before and you have no idea what their philosophies are, you definitely shouldn't be cursing indiscriminately.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Natural Reactions

A while ago, Bleep! member Ariella B. told me about a study she heard about. People were told to place their hands into buckets of freezing water. The first time, they weren't allowed to say anything, and had to be completely silent. The second time, they were allowed to say anything they wanted to, including curse words. Participants agreed that the water hurt their hands much less the second time around, when they were allowed to scream out whatever they wanted to, and curse.

This makes total sense. It's the reason it's a natural reaction to say "ow!" when we stub our toes against a wall, why we flinch when something gets too close to our faces. However, you can say "ow!" and yell and scream and express your pain, but you don't have to use curse words. It's just unnecessary. The English language is so rich, and has so many words for different occasions. Why not use an alternative to a bad word?