Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Cursing, Swearing, Blaspheming, and Obscenity

 

Not just a matter of knowing the words,
Nor stringing together in ways unheard
That makes a blast of vitriol seem new.

Any man can make fires rhyme and smell
Of brimstone, sulfur, and lye, all quite well,
But is it art? Is it glory they spew?

There is an art in juxtaposition,
Contrasting impossible positions
That is no mere string, pearly words of blue.

Arranged like stars, all color and sparkle,
But edges sharp and hard, remarkable,
That kiss the demons where angels once flew.

Where then are the men whose calumny stands
Out more than the songs of all marching bands
As highest invective of golden hue?

They are but few. They have always been few.

Published in Literature
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  1. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Coarse and vulgar language, including but not limited to swearing, impedes communication it does not enhance it. I used to ask some at the tire plant in OKC if they even knew any adjectives.

    • #1
    • January 26, 2020, at 3:36 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  2. Samuel Block Support

    [Redacted] [redacted]. It’s [redacted] crazy that [redacted] [redacted] [redacted] [redacted]. Ya know?

    [Redacted] that. Like, seriously! It’s so [redacted] and [redacted] [redacted]. 

    Well, [redacted] that!

    …..

    I blaspheme you all!

    • #2
    • January 26, 2020, at 4:03 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    OkieSailor (View Comment):

    Coarse and vulgar language, including but not limited to swearing, impedes communication it does not enhance it. I used to ask some at the tire plant in OKC if they even knew any adjectives.

    Oh, the common man cussing and swearing is not very impressive. But when there is great artistry, lesser mortals can but stand and gape in awe.

    • #3
    • January 26, 2020, at 4:05 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  4. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    For some, the road to erudition is undertaken for a yearning for deeper understanding.

    For some, it is from a desire for the power that knowledge brings.

    Me? I wanted to light up my brother and sister without getting my mouth washed out with soap.

    • #4
    • January 26, 2020, at 4:13 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  5. OldDanRhody's speakeasy Member

    There are times when strong language is needed. Why perverse or scatological or blasphemous terms are used to fill that need is kind of a mystery to me, but there it is. It may be cultural, because unless the recipient understands that they are being cursed it’s pretty pointless. One might just as well curse the stone one has just dropped on his toe.

    Arahant:

    Where then are the men whose calumny stands
    Out more than the songs of all marching bands
    As highest invective of golden hue?

    They are but few. They have always been few.

    This is good stuff. Well done.

    • #5
    • January 26, 2020, at 4:33 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  6. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    OldDanRhody, 7152 Maple Dr. (View Comment):
    This is good stuff. Well done.

    Thank you.

    OldDanRhody, 7152 Maple Dr. (View Comment):
    One might just as well curse the stone one has just dropped on his toe.

    I have seen it done.

    • #6
    • January 26, 2020, at 4:41 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  7. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Reagan
    GLDIII Temporarily Essential Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Drill Sargents, bring high form to the practice.

    • #7
    • January 26, 2020, at 4:54 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    GLDIII Temporarily Essential (View Comment):

    Drill Sargents, bring high form to the practice.

    Some do. Some don’t have to. As I understand it, my father’s DI when he was in the army was fond of only one phrase, “I’m going to peench your head off.” He was a very, very large and muscular Puerto Rican man, and the recruits believed he could have done it.

    • #8
    • January 26, 2020, at 4:57 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  9. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    George Washington famously maintained great dignity and rectitude. Usually.

    After the war, a friend of the gallant general [Gen. Charles Scott], anxious to reform his evil habits, asked him whether it was possible that the man much beloved, the admired Washington, ever swore? Scott reflected for a moment, then exclaimed, “Yes, once. It was at Monmouth, and on a day that would have made any man swear. Yes, sir, he swore on that day, till the leaves shook on the trees, charming, delightful. Never have I enjoyed such swearing before or since. Sir, on that ever-memorable day, he swore like an angel from heaven.”

    — George Washington Parke Custis 

    • #9
    • January 26, 2020, at 5:07 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  10. OldPhil Coolidge

    Percival (View Comment):

    George Washington famously maintained great dignity and rectitude. Usually.

    After the war, a friend of the gallant general [Gen. Charles Scott], anxious to reform his evil habits, asked him whether it was possible that the man much beloved, the admired Washington, ever swore? Scott reflected for a moment, then exclaimed, “Yes, once. It was at Monmouth, and on a day that would have made any man swear. Yes, sir, he swore on that day, till the leaves shook on the trees, charming, delightful. Never have I enjoyed such swearing before or since. Sir, on that ever-memorable day, he swore like an angel from heaven.”

    — George Washington Parke Custis

    I can get a bit feisty on the golf course, except when the Methodist minister is in our foursome. But the only two times in my work career that I swore out loud at someone, it had the desired impact, because no one had heard me do that before.

    • #10
    • January 26, 2020, at 7:49 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  11. RightAngles Member

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    George Washington famously maintained great dignity and rectitude. Usually.

    After the war, a friend of the gallant general [Gen. Charles Scott], anxious to reform his evil habits, asked him whether it was possible that the man much beloved, the admired Washington, ever swore? Scott reflected for a moment, then exclaimed, “Yes, once. It was at Monmouth, and on a day that would have made any man swear. Yes, sir, he swore on that day, till the leaves shook on the trees, charming, delightful. Never have I enjoyed such swearing before or since. Sir, on that ever-memorable day, he swore like an angel from heaven.”

    — George Washington Parke Custis

    I can get a bit feisty on the golf course, except when the Methodist minister is in our foursome. But the only two times in my work career that I swore out loud at someone, it had the desired impact, because no one had heard me do that before.

    It does lose its effect when, like many millennials, a person drops F-bombs every other word. They seem to think it’s a normal adjective, adverb, and noun. (“I f**ng knew you’d f**ing do that you f*** ing f***er”) But coming from one who never talks that way, it can have a dramatic effect.

    • #11
    • January 26, 2020, at 9:05 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  12. Stina Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    OkieSailor (View Comment):

    Coarse and vulgar language, including but not limited to swearing, impedes communication it does not enhance it. I used to ask some at the tire plant in OKC if they even knew any adjectives.

    Oh, the common man cussing and swearing is not very impressive. But when there is great artistry, lesser mortals can but stand and gape in awe.

    My experience is that rarely used cussing communicates the extremity of displeasure to people who don’t take polite people seriously.

    In which case, finely crafted invective communicating displeasure leaves the dimwitted ignoring you.

    • #12
    • January 26, 2020, at 12:49 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  13. Housebroken Thatcher

    Percival (View Comment):

    For some, the road to erudition is undertaken for a yearning for deeper understanding.

    For some, it is from a desire for the power that knowledge brings.

    Me? I wanted to light up my brother and sister without getting my mouth washed out with soap.

    Is that still done?

    • #13
    • January 26, 2020, at 1:12 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  14. Eugene Kriegsmann Member

    My father was born in Rumania, spoke several languages before coming to the United States and becoming an English speaker. I never heard him use profanity in the entire time I knew him. He had no trouble expressing his displeasure, however. He did so most effectively. I am not as eloquent has he was, and I do use profanity when I find it gets across the meaning I want to express. I never used it in my classroom or around my students. They, on the other hands, felt no such restrictions, as it was commonly used in their homes and in the streets they inhabited.

    • #14
    • January 26, 2020, at 1:16 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  15. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Slow on the uptake (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    For some, the road to erudition is undertaken for a yearning for deeper understanding.

    For some, it is from a desire for the power that knowledge brings.

    Me? I wanted to light up my brother and sister without getting my mouth washed out with soap.

    Is that still done?

    I’ve eased up on them some.

    • #15
    • January 26, 2020, at 1:23 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  16. Ontheleftcoast Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    It does lose its effect when, like many millennials, a person drops F-bombs every other word. They seem to think it’s a normal adjective, adverb, and noun. (“I f**ng knew you’d f**ing do that you f*** ing f***er”) But coming from one who never talks that way, it can have a dramatic effect.

    Patton’s speech(es) to the Third Army before D-Day. Patton used blue language as a rhetorical device:

    Among the critics of Patton’s frequent use of vulgarities was General Omar Bradley, Patton’s former subordinate. It was well known that the two men were polar opposites in personality, and there is considerable evidence that Bradley disliked Patton both personally and professionally. In response to criticisms of his coarse language, Patton wrote to a family member, “When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty. It may not sound nice to a bunch of little old ladies, at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember. You can’t run an army without profanity, and it has to be eloquent profanity. An army without profanity couldn’t fight its way out of a piss-soaked paper bag.

    • #16
    • January 26, 2020, at 1:50 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  17. Housebroken Thatcher

    Profanity is sometimes a crutch, sometimes an open wound dripping corruption.

    • #17
    • January 26, 2020, at 2:10 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  18. Doug Kimball Thatcher

    When I was in high school I worked for a mechanic and gas station owner who was also a full-blood Abnacki and a retired Marine sargeant. (Yes, he was also fond of alcohol.) He told stories of his time in the service and had elevated profanity to an art form. It was from him that I learned many new terms for all the various intimate body parts and their excretions, heard him use blasphemy that could surprise the devil himself, but he never used the “f” word. That was somehow off limits and replaced with the cleaned up “frig” for all “f” variations. It was in that compressor room bar behind the three bays that I learned that being introduced as “the g-d&@*!d son of a syphylitic whore” was actually a term of endearment.

    • #18
    • January 26, 2020, at 2:42 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  19. MichaelHenry Contributor

    Nicely done, Arahant. You are one brilliant $&#*#@$%& !!!!!

    • #19
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:21 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  20. MichaelHenry Contributor

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    It does lose its effect when, like many millennials, a person drops F-bombs every other word. They seem to think it’s a normal adjective, adverb, and noun. (“I f**ng knew you’d f**ing do that you f*** ing f***er”) But coming from one who never talks that way, it can have a dramatic effect.

    Patton’s speech(es) to the Third Army before D-Day. Patton used blue language as a rhetorical device:

    Among the critics of Patton’s frequent use of vulgarities was General Omar Bradley, Patton’s former subordinate. It was well known that the two men were polar opposites in personality, and there is considerable evidence that Bradley disliked Patton both personally and professionally. In response to criticisms of his coarse language, Patton wrote to a family member, “When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty. It may not sound nice to a bunch of little old ladies, at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember. You can’t run an army without profanity, and it has to be eloquent profanity. An army without profanity couldn’t fight its way out of a piss-soaked paper bag.

    In I AM CHARLOTTE SIMMONS, the late, great Tom Wolfe spent an entire page describing the “f**k patois” he observed while researching the book on a college campus (reportedly Duke). Wolfe identified over 100 separate and distinct uses of the word as a noun, adjective, adverb, exclamation, and other parts of speech not amenable to classification.

    • #20
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:27 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  21. MichaelHenry Contributor

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    It does lose its effect when, like many millennials, a person drops F-bombs every other word. They seem to think it’s a normal adjective, adverb, and noun. (“I f**ng knew you’d f**ing do that you f*** ing f***er”) But coming from one who never talks that way, it can have a dramatic effect.

    Patton’s speech(es) to the Third Army before D-Day. Patton used blue language as a rhetorical device:

    Among the critics of Patton’s frequent use of vulgarities was General Omar Bradley, Patton’s former subordinate. It was well known that the two men were polar opposites in personality, and there is considerable evidence that Bradley disliked Patton both personally and professionally. In response to criticisms of his coarse language, Patton wrote to a family member, “When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty. It may not sound nice to a bunch of little old ladies, at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember. You can’t run an army without profanity, and it has to be eloquent profanity. An army without profanity couldn’t fight its way out of a piss-soaked paper bag.

    In I AM CHARLOTTE SIMMONS, the late, great Tom Wolfe spent an entire page describing the “f**k patois” he observed while researching the book on a college campus (reportedly Duke). Wolfe identified over 100 separate and distinct uses of the word as a noun, adjective, adverb, exclamation, and other parts of speech not amenable to classification.

    • #21
    • January 27, 2020, at 7:11 AM PST
    • 1 like
  22. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    MichaelHenry (View Comment):

    Nicely done, Arahant. You are one brilliant $&#*#@$%& !!!!!

    Well, he’s a $&#*#@$%&. At least we have consensus on that.

    • #22
    • January 27, 2020, at 8:14 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  23. Boss Mongo Member

    I have a black belt in profanity.

    Some of my proudest moments were when I’d tee off on someone or about something and have a senior NCO hastily scribbling down what I said, with a, “Hey, sir, you mind if I steal that?” Of course not, all my colorful invective is free-ware.

    I have a knife (Cold Steel Recon bowie) presented to me by my class when I was an instructor in the SF Q course.

    The legend engraved on the flat of the blade reads:

    To the most articulate and well-spoken officer we know, from your “bunch of [redacted]in’ retards.

    • #23
    • January 27, 2020, at 10:58 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  24. Old Bathos Moderator

    Out[****]standing post.

    Masters of profanity are a dying breed. I have known three such masters: A former sailor I knew who made memes (before there was such a thing as a meme) out of the key elements of bawdy tales he had shared and used them with such fluency and grace it was like obscene poetry; My Army senior drill sergeant who sexually molested words by interjecting profanity between syllables in entirely unexpected violative ways; A truly horrible man in upstate New York who ran a supply house in the Finger Lakes whose racist rants and detailed yet strangely eloquent and witty condemnations of persons great and small caused working local men to gather on crates and boxes early each morning to hear the latest.

    • #24
    • January 29, 2020, at 11:07 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  25. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    I have known three such masters: A former sailor I knew who made memes (before there was such a thing as a meme) out of the key elements of bawdy tales he had shared and used them with such fluency and grace it was like obscene poetry; My Army senior drill sergeant who sexually molested words by interjecting profanity between syllables in entirely unexpected violative ways; A truly horrible man in upstate New York who ran a supply house in the Finger Lakes whose racist rants and detailed yet strangely eloquent and witty condemnations of persons great and small caused working local men to gather on crates and boxes early each morning to hear the latest.

    Your life has been truly blessed.

    • #25
    • January 29, 2020, at 11:13 AM PST
    • 4 likes