Why I don’t swear

A couple of friends recently remarked about how they never hear me swear (you know… the F-bomb, S-bomb, A-hole… words that so many use to punctuate their moments of extreme anger, frustration or joy.) I don’t judge anyone else for saying whatever they want to say, but I’m feeling the need to explain why I don’t.

When I was a teenager, I joined right in with all the forbidden word diatribes it took to survive the playground and front yard football games. I generally toned it down in front of authority figures like parents, teachers and coaches. Though I must say I was pretty creative back in the day, with compound cuss words that combined George Carlin’s 7 words with random euphemisms for male and female body parts.

It all changed in my late 20’s when we had our first child. I decided I didn’t want my baby hearing that kind of language in the house and I just stopped. It was that simple.  And then over time I realized I didn’t really need “shock value” words to make my point. In fact, I found it more of a challenge to debate someone without calling them names that referred to various sex acts and bodily functions.

To this day, my habit of “keeping it clean” has had an interesting effect on those around me. I hear lots of “I’m sorry” after someone else goes off on a rant, as if they have offended me in some way. It’s quite the opposite. I still laugh at cussing, especially in a comedic context, and I appreciate people who make their point passionately.

So even though I will occasionally let out a frustrated “Damn it” if I stub my toe or my team loses on a last second shot, I generally keep my language G-rated most of the time. It just feels right for me.

How do you feel about it?

Explore posts in the same categories: Communication, General

11 Comments on “Why I don’t swear”

  1. Tina Kuhlmann Says:

    I honestly want to be more like you when it comes to swearing and I find myself stuggling with it. While at work I don’t swear so why is it such a struggle after. Honestly shouldn’t be, I should be able to make a choice to keep it clean however find it easier said then done, though I do admit I swear a lot less then I did a year ago!

    • davidgoad Says:

      Tina, I think it depends a lot on the environment and peer pressure of the moment. If everyone is doing it, you tend to match the level of language around you. And again, I don’t think it’s inherently wrong to cuss if it helps you make your point or defend yourself. But if you are the only one doing it…

    • Tina Kuhlmann Says:

      Definately not the only one but it’s not lady like or classy, I try to be a great example, not just a good one 🙂

  2. Chris Beezely Says:

    I think that it is very classy of you to avoid those types of negative words. I to as a teenager used the unhealthy combinations of George Carlin terminology to
    spew my points. Although now, it is very undesirable to even think of cussing, but it seems that you have to use the forbidden words to
    get accross the point that you’re serious to one who is testing you.

    • davidgoad Says:

      Chris, see my point above about peer pressure. I don’t think you should always back down in a verbal confrontation, especially when you need to defend yourself in public. But when you have a choice, why be the one to start it?

  3. clint Says:

    I had a similar realization when I was in grade school. Swearing made adults upset, especially around church. Simple to not even start. Became a source of personal amusement at times later in life. Playing softball, as the catcher I made a bad throw. “Doggone the Mother!!!” That’s what came out of my mouth. The on deck batter said, “That’s it? You can do better than that!”
    Thanks, Dave

    • davidgoad Says:

      LOL I’m with you Clint! Great Googley Moogely!!
      I also had a church upbringing and to this day refuse to combine “God” with any other word. Why tempt him?

  4. Allison Says:

    I was raised in a household where I never heard my parents swear. My father always said that swearing was the sign of a poor vocabulary. He said there’s always a better and more creative word choice, if you develop your vocabulary. That stuck with me.

  5. Joe Franklin Says:

    Allison, that is such a great philosophy and parental skill! Kudos to your Dad. Sadly I have been imperfect following such a good lead but not to an extreme. My kids know we don’t allow swearing at our home. I remember hearing a story about a famous baseball announcer who made the same point David did here stating he didn’t curse. His said he did so to not make the mistake of cursing while behind the microphone!

  6. cskishore Says:

    >>. I decided I didn’t want my baby hearing that kind of language in the house and I just stopped. It was that simple.

    Great. You did it for the right reason. Thanks for sharing.

  7. josh Says:

    I used to swear every other word when I was drinking, which was everyday…than I got sober by the grace of God, and started practicing spiritual principles and Buddhism. Cussing is a no no in Buddhism. Two days ago I had a slip at work and dropped the F bomb. It was a very strange moment since I hadnt cussed in about a year.

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