Thursday, 26 June 2008
by mr. pine
Which word you insert after those two words? I usually say "freak" when I'm around people who've never heard me curse, but lately I've been using the word "crap" for some unknown reason. What's bad is when I get caught in between the two and wind up saying, "What the frap!!" - like I got the wrong order at Starbucks or something. I have a friend who used to combine "What the Hell!" with "Holy Cow!" to make the less offensive combination of "What the Cow!" But there was a time in my life where I would have used the full-blown, high-octane words there without even a second thought.
I've been thinking about this lately because this past Friday at work, the 'sh** hit the fan' with one of the projects and there was a possibility we might lose a very lucrative contract. When people were calling me asking for an explanation, the simplest thing I could think of to say was... "the sh** hit the fan"... but I wanted to not be rude, so I'd say... "the crap hit the fan." But I felt that these words fell short of describing the situation to the fullest extent. So as the day progressed and ran deep into the night, my words migrated over to the the more profane words. It just seemed more appropriate.
What's funny is that the day started with my father asking me to call a man with whom he had been arguing over not delivering something he bought from him on eBay. My father had tried to talk with him the previous day but didn't get far because of the language barrier. As the debate got heated he described the guy as being verbally abusive to him. I believe my dad's words were, "He kept saying to me f***, f***, f***, f***!!!" At first, the sound of my father trying to curse in his Korean accent was just too funny, but then I started getting a little angry that someone could be so disrespectful to him.
So why do some of us curse? Some people say that it just feels good. I remember seeing something on TV where they actually took brain scans of people who were subjected to hearing a series of words with curses peppered among them. They said that the curse words triggered a different part of their brain that was more associated with emotions and primal instincts. I believe it. I know that there is a bit of a mental jerk when I hear someone curse... especially someone I don't expect to hear that from.
So what's so bad about cursing? Aren't curses just words? I'm not sure. I think that people curse to elicit an emotional response. So in a way, it's a little manipulative. I know that when I do it, it's to add a little emphasis to it without having to use too many extra words. But is it beneficial in the long run? Is God glorified by it? Obviously not. In fact, Colossians 4:5,6 it says, Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Now, note here that it doesn't say "act fake or holier-than-thou with your words" or to "clean up your words so that people will know you have a pure heart." It's not prohibitive. It's proactive. What it's saying is that you should be so busy blessing people with your words (and the Good News) that there's no room for the other stuff. But if in your heart you wish harm on others or disdain them, the words you do or don't say are the least of your worries.
Do your curse when you speak? Does it bother you when other people curse?