I have got better over the years. I really have. Of course my parents would probably think it was worse. But I can’t swear naturally. I always sound like I’ve just dusted off the word from the back of a library. It certainly doesn’t come naturally. When I slam my finger in a door I’m likely to go, “aaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh”.
The thing that always surprises me about this kind of thing when it happens is that people, often before even the swelling has subsided in my thumb, say “you didn’t even swear then!”. This often leads me to wonder if they are actually deliberately injuring me just to see the true situation about my swearing. You might doubt they would go to such lengths, but then you might not know all of my friends.
No I don’t swear, even then. The lack of normal conversational swearing thing is conditioning of course, but I really don’t understand how I can be judged as weird in the personal injury area. Surely the strangled cry is more primal. Surely it’s more realistic? I wonder if people often used to swear in those situations to show that it was a serious injury. A kind of, “I wouldn’t normally swear but this really hurts”. I’m waiting for this to flip over so that people say, “I would have sworn here but it hurt so much that I couldn’t remember English”.
I understand why people think it’s weird. It is especially odd because I don’t mind others swearing around me. I understand the conversational percussive tone that it provides. I know from writing that it’s a great shortcut. You can quickly tell a reader a lot more information. And obviously I can’t write characters who are as weird as me – nobody would ever believe it.
Billy Connolly (I can’t believe how quickly he became uncool – I still love him though) said, “Nobody ever writes, ‘Fuck Off, he hinted'”. There are some things that you can only achieve with certain well placed words. I just find myself very rarely needing to deploy them in that way. And of course people who I know, know I must be really upset if I feel the need. Anyway here’s Billy with the opposite opinion: