They’re Just %#@$& Words

Ruth, the love of Bob’s life, leaves him for Chuck.

Next time he meets someone named Ruth or Chuck, will they just be names to him?

A father calls his teenage son ‘stupid’ when he can’t find the right tool.

A suitor says to his intended, “I love you.”

They’re just words, right?

Every time I hear someone excuse their use of profanity that way, these are the things I think about. Is it reasonable to place all the burden of effective communication on the listener, to make them decipher what the speaker means (or does not) by their language choices?

I think not.

If your goal is to convey the coarseness many people still associate with certain language, that’s your choice.

Claiming that others have no reason for offense is not.

2 thoughts on “They’re Just %#@$& Words

  1. I agree essentially with your premise But…
    I’m having a problem putting together your last statement to make sense in my mind. Most likely a simple cognition failure.
    “Claiming that others have no reason for offense is not.” You mean that you don’t have a choice about this ? the person who speaks profanity doesn’t have the choice of being upset because someone complains? ( don’t send the grammar checkers. struggling here in this moment. 🙂

  2. Like this:

    To say “you have no reason to be offended by profanity” is not their choice. (Tied to the previous sentence.)

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