I said my first curse word when I was riding home from gymnastics with my mother, somewhere around the age of six or so. We passed a strange-looking car on our street just over the big hill and I observed that it looked “goofy-ass” or “silly-ass” or something like that. I don’t remember exactly, but I know that it was “ass.”
A few years later, maybe when I was eight or nine, I had an “argument” in school with a boy over if the word “fuck” was a cuss word or not. I was on the side of “no” because I thought it was just another variant of “freak” as in “stupid freaking boys.” I asked my mom on the way home if “fuck” was a bad word and I remember her swerving out of shock — not into danger or anything, but just enough to where I started immediately apologizing, afraid I was in trouble.
In third grade, my teacher told me “dang” was too much like “damn” and that I should go with “darn.”
And ever since all this happened, and I grew older and started cussing more around my mother (because she can cuss like a sailor, which is where I get it from), but knew not to in front of my dad and grandmother (although I began to around my dad when I was about sixteen, and he didn’t seem to care, I guess because I was old enough/had seen enough movies with cussing in them, whatever), I began wondering why cussing is such a big deal in society.
To me, cussing is just a way of emphasizing something. For example, if I say, “it really fucking bothered me that that customer acted the way she did,” it’s a way of saying “it really bothered me, so much to the point that I felt the need to use this word to emphasize just how much it bothered me.” But I don’t get the whole stigma behind them — used certain ways, of course I do, but I don’t see why it should deeply offend someone if I say something “really fucking bothered me.”
As South Park proved in episode 501, “It Hits the Fan,” using a cuss word, say, 200 times, as in the episode, the word begins to lose its meaning. I don’t think cuss words should lose their meanings, because then you couldn’t emphasize things or whatever, but I think some of the stigma shouldn’t exist. It’s language, it’s powerful, and why take away someone’s comfort in using such powerful language?
That having been said, if me cussing makes you uncomfortable, tell me and I won’t do it around you. Seriously, I do just fine around customers and people I know don’t like it, so it’s not a problem.
And I certainly don’t think young children should be allowed to cuss (my parents really discouraged it until I was really old enough to understand) because I think they need to understand the implications and ramifications of such words in society.
But please don’t lecture me on using such “dirty language.” Words are words, and they all have their own value.