Swearing, music, cars, and small children

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Swearing, music, cars, and small children

While we were driving home from an outing on the weekend, Minnie was reading the news on her phone. Thankfully, I was driving.

‘Woah! Did you hear some guy held up a Subway in Albion with an axe yesterday?’

‘Oh, yeah, I did. Ice. Ice is bad.’

‘No! Ice is good!’ Interjects our nearly-3-year-old from the back seat.

‘I like ice!’

Our little boy absorbs language at an amazing rate. I accidentally lamented my difficulty locating a torch the other day, then had to try and stop him repeating ‘Where’s the bloody torch?’

For hours.

‘Daddy couldn’t find the bloody torch.’

‘Oh, you shouldn’t say that word, baby. It’s not a nice word.’

‘Oh, you shouldn’t say “torch”?’

‘No, “torch” is ok. You shouldn’t say “bloody”.’

‘You shouldn’t say “bloody”.’ (Shaking head very seriously.)

‘Yes, baby, don’t say that word.’

‘You shouldn’t say “bloody”. Daddy says you shouldn’t say “bloody”.’

‘Yes—oh look, there’s a dog!’

‘You shouldn’t say “bloody”. Daddy says you shouldn’t say “bloody”.’

This means the music we play in the car needs a certain amount of curation.

Without thinking too much, I cued up Butterfingers the other day and immediately regretted it. Yes, that’s right, approximately half of the words they sing are at least a little rude… The fact that they have a song called ‘Yo’ mamma’s on the top of my things to do list’ should have given me a hint. They lasted less than a minute before I changed to Guns and Roses.

Not a great idea, Rory, because Axl Rose is Guns and Roses, and Axl is a bit of a potty mouth—with his suggestions around what his doubters can do with various body parts, and that they should ‘take that to heart’.

What can I play next?

Rage Against the Machine, for example, is out, due to the frequency of F-bombs, and in particular the end of ‘Killing in the Name of’, where Zack de la Rocha emphatically disclaims his willingness to do what he’s told.

[MD: Definitely none of that. It’s hard enough to get The Squeak to go to bed already.]

Something folky like Mumford and Sons? Nope. (Folky swears are still swears.)

Oh, Christ. Snoop—?

No. Don’t be ridiculous.

Musixmatch did a bit of an analysis on the sweariest artists in music, with some guy called Diplo coming in at Number 1. (Apparently, according to Minnie, he‘s married was married to MIA—an English rapper who writes songs I don’t like; though, after listening to Dipshit Diplo, for research purposes, I greatly prefer MIA, who I greatly dislike: her songs sound like nasal, dissonant nursery rhymes, bleated out over a vuvuzela brass section, while someone beats a 44-gallon drum full of nails and bits of wire with a petrified turd.) Diplo is an electronic artist, and only gets the 1-swear-word-every-14-words record by dint of having only 222 words in entirety across an 11-song album. I don’t know if this is factually verifiable because in the 3 half-songs I listened to, the only swearing I heard was my own.

I apologise. That punctuation-nightmare-of-a-thing above started out as 2 well-behaved sentences, before my ‘research’.

It would seem everyone’s a bit sweary. But should we mind?

I tend to swear a bit… (‘But Rory, you’re so calm, and never get vexed about anything’, you say, ‘what could you have to swear about?’)

I do, however, try to make the distinction between general lalochezia (usually at inanimate objects) and robust adjectives (Oh, Microsoft Word, you are not just any piece of shit, let me qualify the exact type of shit you are…), and hurling actual abuse at real people—I try to avoid that.

I also can’t stand meaningless swearing: where every second word is ‘fuck’. Like bolding or italics, if you use it too much, it loses all contrast. What do these people say when they really do feel strongly about something? Do they suddenly start to not swear?

What’s your swearing policy? Let us know in the comments.

By | 2016-08-15T06:15:28+00:00 August 15th, 2016|Personal|2 Comments

About the Author:

Writer, editor, musician, plain English evangelist, content ninja for hire, and general web guy, Rory does lots of things, when he has time...

2 Comments

  1. David August 16, 2016 at 9.56pm - Reply

    Great read Rory.

  2. Kevin Kim (@bighominid) September 8, 2016 at 11.05pm - Reply

    Fuck swearing! It’s fucking only for fucking fuckhole motherfuckers!
    .
    (Am trying to imagine Liam Neeson saying the above, but in my mind, Neeson keeps morphing into Jason Statham.)

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