A Brooklyn writer took to the New York Times today to bitch about people who “curse” too much. The worst offenders, he says, are “20-somethings whose informal language consists of a liberal use of profanity blended into their OMG-juvenile act.”
“Is there a cure for this rampant vulgarity?” he asks.
We say… “No.” But to investigate this sociolinguistic WTF, we culled a list of our own favorite vulgarities (from a staff of, well, 20-somethings) to celebrate the great art of swearing. Our defense of F-bombs and other profanities, after the jump.
If Mr. Cotto had his way, New York would probably take a page out of California’s handbook and start banning four-letter words. In 2009, South Pasadena, Calif. instituted a “no cussing week,” which Los Angeles County and then the state legislature tried to adopt as well.
But this isn’t South Pasadena, goddammit, it’s New York. And New Yorkers (or “New Yawkers,” at least) have a long, proud history of hurling F-bombs and other expletives at each other.
And we’re not alone. Joe Biden’s on our side. And so are TV networks. Besides, “bad words” are part of our historical and cultural narrative. To censor them would be an affront to our American heritage! And also a total downer, because damn — bad words are fun. (And therapeutic — in September, science even proved that swearing is cathartic! It’s healthy, for fuck’s sake!)
So today, we’d like to take a moment today to celebrate swearing. To do so, we’ve culled a list of our own favorite vulgarities:
How many, indeed?
We may not have James Lipton’s gravitas, but we’re curious: which are your favorite swear words? (Or least favorite? Are some bad words, indeed, overplayed?) Do people really swear too much these days? Or is “decorum” (Ha!) overrated?
But before you decide, here’s a video of Dexter‘s Jennifer Carpenter swearing a lot. If this doesn’t cement your love for expletives, nothing (except a Quentin Tarantino marathon) will:
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 28, 2011