Cursing /kûrsin/ verb. The use of swear words, usually in an exclamation (www.about.com). Also known as ‘Cussing’.
For centuries the art of Cursing has evolved and has become a staple part of day-to-day communication in a world where things tend to go wrong…a lot. A sensitive topic for some, Cursing is supposedly a taboo (especially for the self-righteous). But I know what my first utterance would be if I were Jesus and I walked into a holy temple and suddenly discovered it had been turned into a marketplace – ‘WTF?’
Many times I’ve resisted the urge to belch out the filthiest swear words known to man…and many times I’ve failed. If it wasn’t the time I sped into an obscure pothole on Third Mainland bridge in the dead of the night, then it was probably just yesterday when for the first 3 hours of the day my laptop was rendered useless due to a ‘fatal error’ in its configuration. As a matter of fact my outdoor lunches in the past two days have been very cuss-worthy; I scoffed a sumptuous Spaghetti Bolognese with house fly, and the following day I gulped a mouth-watering bowl of green leaf soup with maggot (compliments to the chefs for testing my sanity and gag-reflexes).
Road rage probably accounts for most of my uncensored profanity in the confines of my soon-to-be corrupt black Chery. For every jerk who unexpectedly swerves into my lane I unexpectedly scream ‘FFS!’ - and if you don’t have a clue what that means then you probably will after you’ve driven on Lagos motorways for a few years. Personally, I think anyone who can keep cool after a couple of grazes on the bodywork, a dented bumper or fender, and a broken headlight is full of BS.
My Ghanaian friend is an advocate of free speech. He would literally go into a tantrum of exclaiming ‘FH!’ for two main reasons: Either he had to pay a ridiculously huge phone bill that month, or he had misplaced his phone somewhere for the umpteenth time. I can’t recall saying to anyone, ‘FY‘ (at least not recently) and I nearly omitted the ‘I’ in an email correspondence at work when sharing FYI-type of stuff. But rest assured, if I wake up for work late, break a dish plate, forget my wallet at home, lose another follicle on my dome, or burn my 2-minute Indomie noodles, I will be serenading unsuspecting eardrums with the F word.
Cussing arguably does not have a place in the world, especially in the workplace – it’s highly unprofessional and uncouth. But I bet that swear words are statistically more popular in everyday vocabulary than humble (and boring) words like ‘Sorry’ and ‘Please’. So am I suggesting that swear words are cool? HY!
Just try recounting a really funny or extraordinary story to a close friend and you’ll soon see how quickly you’d be reaching for a decent helping of cuss words to spice things up. If it was a scary experience for instance you’d probably have been ‘sh**ing yourself silly’ or ‘scared sh**less’ or just wondering how everything got all FU.
I’m kinda on the fence about the word ‘Screw’ though. I mean, every other day in Lagos I potentially get screwed over by my mechanic and I think one of my neighbours has a screw loose but it would be going absolutely too far if I told someone SY. It may be the way I’m feeling but FFS I have to live with ‘em so I better watch my manners (This year though before I renew my rent I pray that neighbour would just FO!).
If you used to cuss or swear and you don’t anymore then good for you! If you still do (and you want to stop) then you’d probably need to watch the company you keep, cut down on music with explicit lyrics, stop watching anything with Samuel L. Jackson in it, and maybe just live in a bubble. And if you think this advice is a just a load of BS then you can KMA
See also ‘B’ is for Blunder