Posted by anna.
No matter how hard I try. Because no matter how ladylike I try to be, no matter how much I bite the inside of my little lady cheeks and pinch the pink bits of my little lady-palm, at the end of the day, I might as well admit it, I’ll just say “sod it” anyway.
And you realise when I say “sod it”, I don’t actually mean Sod it, don’t you?
I do wish that I only ever said “Sod it” when I got annoyed. Sorry – is anyone offended by the term “Sod it”? Well, sod it if you are, it’s far too late for apologies. I’ll warn you if anything worse is coming up. If I only ever said “Sod it”, I’d count myself as moderate. But no. I wander through the bodily functions: “Oh piss/ oh peff/ oh semen”, the bodily accessories: “Oh tits/ oh dingle/ oh pap-wanking-schlong-wobble/ oh bumhole/ oh my chins”, via the semi-quasi-religious damniologies: “Oh heck/ Oh hell/ Oh Christ-in-a-strap-on”, and headfirst into the jumbling jiggyfied genitalia section (words for sex – we’ll not go into those, obviously. I mean, I’m not here to offend).
Time was – and there are few delicate ways around saying this – when I used to work in a Christian Community. Granted, it was a liberal type of place, and it was widely accepted that I was *kind of* a ginormous Humanist/Agnostic, but they kept me there all the same, because I was good with kids, and made good candles.
Well, I say good with kids. I was good with kids as long as no one was watching.
OH MY GOD, That sounds Awful!
What I mean is, kids love me. Kids loved me because I acted around them in a way that their parents would never act.
Oh dear god, you know, actually, you know, that sounds terrifying too. Hang on.
Sometimes – and this is great if you’re someone who gets to deal with kids but doesn’t actually have to take them home and live with them – kids like it if you swear. Only a little bit. And not out of hand, or violently, directed at someone – but if, when trying to deal with a twelve-year-old youth group who could only see an employee of a Christian Community Centre in front of them, sometimes, it would be difficult to get them under control. And then, perhaps, you would drop something. “Oh bollocks”, you would say. And suddenly – and I know this is cheating, and I’d never make it as a teacher – they’d love you.
I would never, ever swear, of course, in front of the little ones.
Well, I say never. I really would try. I don’t like swearing in front of small children. I don’t want to teach them words that they don’t already know – or at least words they couldn’t identify a picture of the meaning of if – god-forbid – someone gave them a book with those pictures in. No, I would try very very hard not to swear in from of innocents. And children.
But sometimes, that would make it so much worse. Because, you know, when you’re a swearer, your natural reaction to saying something wrong is to swear. However, when the thing that you’ve said wrong IS swearing, the whole thing can descend into a horrible, horrible spiral.
“Do, be careful not to spill this, because if you… Oh, shit! Oh, fuck, sorry, I said shit! Oh! I said it again! And then I said fuck! Shit, sorry, crap! Oh, bollocks, I… Jesus! Sorry, I… Oh hell, I said Jesus! Jesus, I said Hell! Oh, Shit, I…! Fuck!!!”
And after about five minutes, you may as well just settle into your career as a professional swearlady, as you just sit there, softly cursing and rocking, reacting to each ‘bad word’ with three more bad words in a row.
Ooopses. I forgot the warning there. Be warned. There are swearwords above.
But what is a swearword? It’s so hard to tell. To some people it’s only words describing an action, to others it’s only words describing a body part.
Actions, I can kind of see the violence in. I’ll argue vehemently with people using certain action words, but, for some reason, have very little argument with most ‘body part ‘ words. There are great exceptions to this rule, I admit, but, not being on my own site, I’ll refrain from conversation about axe-wounds or beef curtains. Oh bugger. Oh, shit, sorry, I didn’t mean to say bugger. Oh fuck. Argh! Shit! Sorry! Oh, tits, I said…
Seriously though. If you use genitalia as an exclamation, particularly if you use the genitalia of your own sex, how can anyone be offended? You are only calling on the things dearest and closest to you, damning it for not helping you in your time of need.
It’s a visceral, total, primal, human instinct – and the simplest expression of it ever, the closest to hand. I mean – we’ve all got genitalia here, haven’t we?