“Cursing USA”
pt. one

  I hate cursing. I fucking HATE it!

As an only child of educators, all through the house, not a curse word was heard, not even a “damn.” My family is Southern as sweet iced tea, but the prohibition did not stem from Bible-Belt fundamentalism, or religious piety. Chivalry, if anything, may have contributed. Women teetered on pedestals, (in reality, regarded as beloved pets,) so cursing in “mixed company” was uncouth. Yet jocks in locker rooms “cussed” like punch-drunk gladiators.

The era – circa Sixties and Seventies, played a part. I’m an aging Baby Boomer, with anybody 45 -70, which is technically incorrect, but who cares – as long as it’s derogatory? “Aging Baby Boomer” may be shortened to “Boomer,” but never loses “Aging.” Apparently, young Americans are cryogenically preserved, forever young. “Elderly” and “Seniors,” get more respect.

My parents’ cursing ban was a badge of, intelligence. My mother, an English teacher, reacted to strong language with: “if (insert curse word) is all you can say, then your vocabulary, (i.e. intelligence) is sorely limited.”

Delivered in a genteel, terrifying tone, that sunk in. I never (well, rarely) use profanity. Even now, it scares the bejesus out of me. I attempted to ban cursing with my son. “You fucking kidding me?” he guffawed.

In today’s daily discourse, cursing is cool, all the more so in highly public settings. It’s so fucking accepted to say fuck (and I don’t say fuck) that I’m compelled, nay, driven, to pen this plea. Like my children, readers, will disregard me as Dear Prudence, Aging Baby Boomer.

But I don’t care. For the sake of future generations, please think before we speak. Don’t allow our vocabularies to shrink to a raging, roaring rampage of unintelligent vulgarities!

Below, I’ve comprised a TOP TEN LIST, because everybody else does. FUCK, number one by a landslide, is so ubiquitous, it deserves special tribute. I’ve paraphrased Tom Wolfe, from his book “I Am Charlotte Simmons.” This brilliant take on “Fuck Patois” is so superior my humble attempts – it fucking makes me sick!

Tom Wolfe, author “I Am Charlotte Simmons” p. 35

In Fuck Patois, the word fuck is interjection (“What the fuck, or plain “Fuck,”) expressing unhappy surprise; as a participial adjective (“fucking guy,” etc.), expressing disparagement; as an adverb modifying/intensifying an adjective (“pretty fucking obvious) or a verb (“I’m gonna fucking kick his ass”); as noun (“That stupid fuck”) as a verb meaning Go Away (“Fuck off”), or beat, physically, financially, etc. (“really fucked him over”) or beaten (‘I’m fucked”), both (“really fucked that up”), drunk (you’re so fucked up”) as imperative expressing contempt (“Fuck you”) Rarely (somewhat archaic) referred to a sexual intercourse (“He fucked her on the carpet by the TV”)


Tom Wolfe, author “I Am Charlotte Simmons” – fr. FUCK PATOIS p.35

MY TOP TEN CURSE WORDS (For dissection in future posts. Feel free to add your own:


Thank you for not cursing – Georgia Lee 


About georgialeesays

Award-winning journalist, editor and writer of multiple genres. Former Bureau Chief, Womens Wear Daily and W magazine. Past director, Ivy Hall, The SCAD Atlanta writing center. Vice President, programming for Atlanta Writers Club. Freelance writer/editor of every subject in the known universe. Lover of clean, clear writing -"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book." - Nietzsche. I teach yoga, meditation, in retreat settings. Seeker of truth and transcendence. Reincarnation of Edgar Allen Poe. "Life is but a dream within a dream within a dream" Write. Create. Learn. Dance. Yoga. Sleep. Dream.
This entry was posted in Random Rant, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to CURSING U.S.A.

  1. A. Scott Walton says:

    I’m with ya on this. Had a hard time shielding the II from vulgarity all weekend; both at Piedmont Park and Grant Park. Here at the HQ I swallow the curse words that come natural when I’m alone. But it’s a tough task when we’re driving among numbskulls or when dad slams his hand in the door. I think he’s better off with me not blurting what I want to.


  2. Donna Lynch says:

    Reminded me of my parents as well.
    They tried to keep me from finding out about that big old ugly world out there.
    But in 3rd grade I saw the f-word carved in my desk.
    Did’nt know it’s meaning till 7th grade.
    I did say sheltered, Right!
    You bring back many memories.
    My Dad always held us girls up on a pedestal . Never ever heard a bad word out of either parent.
    Thanks Georgia for the moments of recollection !


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s