Tetmeyer: God bless swearing

Grant Tetmeyer is a senior in journalism and performing arts.  

Grant Tetmeyer

Editors note: This article contains mature language and curse words.

Swearing is amazing. Ask anyone who knows how to use swear words, and they’ll tell you the same thing. From the 10-year-old who just learned how to properly use their newfound vocabulary to the 87-year-old who just lost their filter over the years, swearing is a vital part of all extended interactions between mature humans. And we should all use some of the most versatile words our confusing language has produced. 

I mean, take the word “fuck.” It is a verb, noun, pronoun, adjective and can be used with any other grammatical form that we choose to use. And yet, since it is an aimless swear, we label it as a terrible word that most certainly shouldn’t be used in polite company. I mean, “bitch,” is also the term for a female dog, “shit,” is a more impactful way to say poop, “damn,” is an expression of anger that is acceptable, “ass,” is both your butt and a donkey. But fuck, fuck has so many uses and definitions that it can be used in every context known to English-speaking Americans. 

But we treat swearing as if it’s the greatest offense in the world in some companies. I can guarantee that up until high school, maybe even then as well, any time you saw a swear word in a book or used in a class movie, you would perk up. Because you had the chance to swear. Whether it was volunteering to read the passage with the swear or using it as part of an analysis afterward, there was a chance you could swear in the building where you could get into major trouble for using it. Because if they can’t teach us about sex ed without us laughing at every mention of the word penis, why would you try and teach appropriate swearing? They’d much rather keep us from doing something than learn how to actually use the extent of our vocabulary in effective ways. 

This is the core problem that I have with the way that we treat swearing. We are taught that swearing should be done in private, and it’s simply an unnecessary flourish added to a simple sentence. But it isn’t. It is adding punch and emphasis to a sentence that would otherwise be dull and boring. There is a major difference between “I love you” and “I fucking love your bitch ass.” Same sentiment, more intense wording. It adds an extra layer to the conversation and helps to keep whoever you’re talking to engaged with your boring-ass story. And I don’t know anyone who doesn’t use it to spice up a conversation, probably because I’m too out of it to really hear what the fuck they just said. 

Swearing is beautiful. Swearing is exciting. Swearing adds punch and creativity to a conversation that could be mind-numbingly boring. If you can find a creative way to add a swear into a sentence, that’s much more exciting than that time your aunt lost the dog bowl that was clipped to her waist. Please, make these stories more fucking interesting, and swear.