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Use The Right Words
1999-04-30 Chet
I often get asked, "You're a foul mouthed, bitter man, how come more people don't beat the crap out of you?" Normally I just flex a bicep or make a quick turn and tighten my semispinalis capitits. After the oohs and ahhs die down the question has been forgotten. But I get asked this enough to know some people just don't understand the proper use of swearing. So let me a take a minute here and explain.

Let's say you are being interviewed on TV, or talking to erik's grandmother. In both instances it 's okay to say a "bad" word. It may not be appreciated, but you can say one. The question is, which bad words are proper in each situation? There is a simple rule of thumb: does the curse word you use have another, more offensive expletive in its up line? If so, you're good to run that potty mouth. Let's look at an example.

You're on the board of a fairly big software house and want to be controversial. You run an advertisement with a naughty word in it. This word is for general consumption, so it must have an up line. What word do you use? Bitch. It's naughty, but everyone knows you could have said cunt. The very idea that cunt was out there and you didn't use it makes bitch seem not so offensive, but still pretty dangerous.

When you have to tell the general population something is excrement, do you say shit? Or the down line word crap? Do you say damn? Or Goddamn? Penis or cock?

I say this: always go as low as you can go and still be shocking and funny. Calling someone an ass is acceptable, calling someone an asshole can get you in trouble. For excrement I prefer poop. Its childlike quality is sure to get some giggles. Yet behind the laughter, in every reader's mind, is the subversive image of a naked woman shitting directly into a clown's mouth.

The next time you are in a tight spot and can see your mouth is in front of you and is about to use a naughty word, stop. Try and think, is there something down line from this word that I can use? If so, use it. Next time you're Paul Steed and you're bragging to mixed company about how you fisted her up to here, wrap your thumb and finger around your wrist, not your elbow. Everyone will appreciate your statement that much more.

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