“Clean your language. Be a role model. You should use better words than f***. You may have a good message but the words you use are no good!”
“Someone sent me your post on ‘Finding your passion.’ It was good, but it was presented in a rather disrespectful way. Please cut out the bathroom language, and maybe you’ll get more ‘likes.’”
“Do you have to use such horrible language? Expand your vocabulary! You could be a good writer if you cleaned up your act.”
W hen I started blogging in 2007, I simply tried to write the same way I spoke. Honest. Clear. And with a lot of profanity.
I was a potty mouth. I could be vulgar and crude at times. I probably wrote a lot of things that would embarrass me if I read them today. But I was young and my only readers were a few of my guy friends. So it didn’t matter.
Once I was read by more people, the complaints began to come in. First, it was in a trickle. But as my popularity grew, that trickle became a steady stream of “Don’t you have anything better to say?” and “Only stupid people use those words because they can’t think of anything else to use!”
Eventually, there came a point a few years ago where I really had to sit down and ask myself if it was worth it. Was there any purpose to my profanity, or was it just a bad juvenile habit that one should grow out of, like biting one’s nails or wearing the same underwear two days in a row?
I asked myself two serious questions:
- Is this kind of language benefitting me, and if so, how?
- And is it worth alienating a large number of people because of some of the words I choose to use?
As you can probably fucking tell by now, I answered the above with 1) yes, it is and 2) yes, fuck ‘em.
I’ll explain my reasons in a minute.
But first, I want to back up for a second and address the most bullshitty of bullshit complaints about profanity: that swear words have no purpose in language, and that people only use them when they are too lazy to think of anything better to say.
Why Profanity Matters
Let’s be real for a second: swear words are just words. And what makes them…