August 10, 2011

Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop -08/11/11 Cussing in Blog Land...And Beyond

Time for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop!

Again, I am honored and humbled to be part of Mama Kat's short list of favorites for the past week (my second week in a row!). Thanks, Mama Kat!

The prompt I chose this week: Opinion post:Write about how you feel about cussing in blog land? Acceptable? Unacceptable? Do you keep reading?

I confess: Sometimes I cuss in blogs. Hell (see? I told you), even my blog nom de plume is hinting at the F-word. A while back, I had a fellow writer group member tell me that my name would be offensive to other Christian writers.

Well, excuse me, Ms. High and Mighty Judgie One! 

Now it's MY turn to be all judgie...

I think that using explicit language is sometimes acceptable. I have no trouble reading posts that have a sprinkling of curse words. I understand the emotion and power that can be conveyed from their use.

But, on the other hand, I'm not sure that they're appropriate in a public forum. Yes, I realize I'm contradicting myself. My fear that the ever-so-common use of these words that were once not fit to be used in public discourse is somehow linked to the overall lack in civility and decorum that is rampant among our communications.

It's an issue that stretches far beyond blog land.

We have a Congressman calling the President a liar; another tweets his "package". Political commentators looking for attention and gossip column bloggers regularly use salty language, describe sexual indiscretions of the rich and famous in an effort to ruin the reputation of their subjects.

Common sense and common courtesy seem to be uncommon. We rant and we rave and disparage family members, neighbors and random strangers, all without regard to the consequences.

Popular song lyrics have to be censored to be played on radio stations, photographs of celebrities with wardrobe malfunctions (or sans panties) have to be "blurred". Little girls talk of shaking their booties - and then gyrate and thrust like they're in training to be exotic dancers. Scantily clad performers simulating sex acts can be seen on network TV, and can be replayed from Youtube.

I had a conniption when my then 11-year-old grandson posted the "2+2=Vagina" video on his Facebook page. What bothered me more than the song (which is vulgar and inappropriate for children, IMO) is the fact that some little girl clicked 'Like' - what the hell does that mean? Is she in favor of being treated in a degrading way by men?

He deleted the post after my mini-rant/comment was posted. I think parents should pay careful attention to what their children are posting online. A boy telling my 14-year-old granddaughter "that he would like to borrow one of her holes" as a comment to her profile pic is NOT acceptable.

Desiree didn't know what he meant by his comment - and then he told her. After I chatted with her about how bad it sounded, she deleted the pic.

Desiree once called one of her friends "dirty Sanchez" - without knowing what it means.

I monitor what The Boy puts on Facebook all the time. We've had several heated discussions about the appropriateness of his comments. I usually win, and the post is deleted.

I feel compelled to be the Facebook police for them, though I wish I didn't need to.

I don't think I'm a prude, but I will stop reading posts that describe activities that consenting adults used to consider private. Yes, I'm talking about S-E-X. Unless your blog has an 'adult' designation on it, you should probably refrain from explicit description of your love life. 

I totally get the irony to that statement - I'm the one who used the word 'vagina' in a poem. But I used it only to describe a body part that is lacking in the non-floor cleaning population within my home.

I think you should also be aware that your cute toddlers will one day learn to read - and that your blog archives might be on their reading list. 

I realize that all of this makes me sound old and out of touch. 

I AM a lot older than most bloggers, and maybe I am out of touch. 

But I think back (not that long ago, actually) to when children had actual childhoods, and the grownup activities (and language) were, well, for the grownups. Let the kids be kids, dammit.


  1. I too am with you with censoring and teaching kids the appropriate use of language. Visiting from Mama Kat's

  2. I've been thinking about this ever since I read the prompts for this week. Since I don't swear on my blog I figured I wouldn't have much to say about it. I see swearing on blogs as the blogger's voice and I'm fine with it, because I chose to click on the blog to read it.

    But, ask me about swearing on Facebook, and I could write a post on my blog about that. I've cancelled seeing any posts by friends of mine who only post updates with swear words. Or even words that aren't swear words, just vulgar words/images. I guess you're probably thinking: who am I if I have friends like these? :) I don't think my friends are like this, but these are people I knew in high school and such.

    I completely agree with what you are saying in your post. It is alarming to see what is said in online communities that can be monitored by adults/parents. I can't imagine what is being said in online communities that are harder to find and monitor.

  3. Wait did you catch my post last week about today's kids vs. our childhood?? How they grow up too fast?? All of my children are in their teens and I still cringe when they cuss, mainly the bipolar one, but his gf has gotten on to him about it as well.

  4. oooh yeah, absoloutely, and keep preaching chickie! Well said.

  5. I'm sorry, but you had me at the name of your blog. That's hilarious!

    Someone actually said "I want to borrow one of your holes?" I just might throw up. FUCK. (sorry)

  6. I think you're correct that cursing has its place. Blogging, to me, is an extension of personal voice, ergo cursing is fine for me. If I were writing an article? Not so much. I never cursed while I was teaching.

    I'm a lot less concerned with my kids cursing than with the hypersexualized tripe the media foists on us. When my stepson was a wee bitty, he announced it was effing cold (which it was). We did talk about using that word in an appropriate time and place (Target was not), but that was it. There are things far worse than the eff word out there.

  7. Common sense and common courtesy seem to be uncommon....can we print a tshirt?? Loved what you had to say and how you said it!

  8. Feel we have something more in common! My piece for Mamma Kat was on the same topic!

  9. Aren't you Mama Kat's favorite!!! ; )

    And I shy away from actually typing the cuss words … I tend to use f*#@ing instead. But the things you are talking about in the post are more than just bad words used by adults for emphasis or comedic purposes. This is young kids dabbling in a world they aren't ready for. Oy vey … I dread the Little One's first ventures into the big bad online world.

  10. Common sense and common courtesy seem to be uncommon.

    I haven't read truer words in ages. Yet another great post!

  11. As a fellow Christian writer, I just wanted to let you know that I am not (nor have I ever been) offended by your blog name...

  12. You tell 'em, Junie! I stand and agree and applaud you! And I'm sure you AREN'T older than most bloggers! There's quite a large number of 'em out there that are even older than ME!
    (P.S. Sorry I haven't stopped by in a while. It's hard trying to get around to so many blogs, and I definitely didn't mean to ignore you!)


Thanks for stopping by. I love your comments...I get all warm inside just reading them!