It’s ironic that the topic of profanity came up in the city of Portland (which is where Pam lives). The first (and only) time I dropped the F-bomb in my parent’s presence was on a family trip to Portland. It caused lots of family drama. My dad was troubled by what he perceived as a decline in my values and I was frustrated that I couldn’t be authentic around my family without feeling judged. I was 25 at the time. I was taught growing up that certain words are inherently bad, but now wonder if there’s more to it than that. I like how Pam sees profanity as something that adds emotion (good or bad). That’s also where I landed following the incident with my family. I realized that I was trying to provoke my dad and including “fuck” in the sentence brought emotion to that provocation. I ended up apologizing to my family for my insensitivity and I’ve not cursed around them since. However, profanity continues to be a part of my vocabulary and I’m OK with that for reasons similar to Pam’s.
What do you think?
Do you use profanity? Why or why not?
Pam Hogeweide is a writer in Portland, OR who has a blog called How God Messed Up My Religion.