Thursday, May 1, 2008


I enjoy a well-placed curse word. In conversation and in literature.

Sure, I shouldn’t. I should shudder at sh*t. I ought be bashful about b*tch. I shouldn’t think that h*ll can be highbrow. But I do—I smile in satisfaction when swear words are sparse and well placed, like a nice semi-colon.

The art of cursing is a skill one takes years to cultivate. The key is to swear in a way that defies the accusation that swearing is indicative of a small vocabulary.

Go ahead, toss out a polysyllabic monster—not too obscure, mind you—and follow it up with a single syllable expletive. Practically poetry. Don’t do it too often, and most likely not in front of clients (who knows if they too are connoisseurs of the artful curse?), but in the comfortable company of those of refined intellect, go for it; practice crafty cussing—not so much like a sailor, more like an urbane yachter.

Many a mother would tremble at the vernacular I read in my college major courses from the works of writers revered and studied extensively. Ah, you thought those famed authors were squeaky? Nope. Want to learn how to swear in style? Read the classics.


Andrea said...

I agree! :)

rabidrunner said...

Do you have any literary classics in mind to illustrate the art of cursing? I love a good cursing.