HEARD A 10 YEAR-OLD GIRL TELL THIS JOKE to a few others her age: “What word starts with an F and ends with a K?”

Lots of raised eyebrows, hands over mouths and giggles, then she dropped the punchline and the mic — FIRETRUCK!


Drove by a church the other day. On their marquee, “Lent starts Wednesday. Get your Ash in church.”

Maybe you’ve noticed that we have a U.S. President that uses language that, had I used those words, I would have had my mouth washed out with soap. Locker room talk has become Oval Office talk.

Desensitized? Sometimes it feels like we’ve cussed our way into a language wasteland. Where will we find a good bad word when we really need it? Like when you hit your thumb with a hammer or some S-Oh-Bee cuts you off in traffic.

For the most part the F-Bomb has become so ubiquitous it’s no longer a bomb. It’s not even a firecracker—more like just a fuse. It lights, sizzles, then fizzles to a mere puff of smoke.

I noticed that one of my favoritie podcasts is now offering a “beeped” and an “unbeeped” version.

I’ve never been much of a cusser. Oh, I do occasionally use faux cuss words like: dang, crap, etc. If I’m really mad I might say silently in my head, “GOT DANDRUFF, SOME OF IT ITCHES!!”

It’s not that I feel morally superior, it just seems like I’m trying to be something I’m not. It’s probably the same reason I don’t have a tattoo. I’m just not that cool. While I am certified in big waters sailing and coastal navigation, I’ve never taken to talking like a sailor. I could say I’m more lover than fighter. But then it sounds like I’m painting a stereotype here with all the tattoos and fighting and cussing. The fact is I love a good fight, albeit the rhetoric kind.

And in those rhetorical battles, I like the challenge of persuading with more creative language than that of the Trump thesaurus.

Speaking of over-exaggeration, at the risk of being redundant, it seems like our culturally accepted lexicon now includes literally billions of cases of hyperbole every single minute.

Maybe you’re are thinking to yourself right now, “This guy is full of ____________. You would be at least half right.

While my personal catalog of words may not be colored by profanities, I do love slang. I used to think it helped me maintain a certain cultural relativeness. Now, when I try to lay  down some hip lines I come off as comical or corny. I take my cues from oldest Grand-Girl.

I used to feel boss, but now I’m lame, was groovy but now, not so much.

Slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands and goes to work.
— Carl Sandburg

Don’t get me wrong I’m not trying to reform anyone, refine the modern discourse. There are people I love whose vocabulary is peppered with profanities. I can’t imagine them any other way. But to those who are just trying too hard, who think that somehow their cultural relevance depends on the number of curse words they can pack in to a sentence—please stop. 

Let your yes be yes, your no be no and your F-words truly bombs and not just filler for your inane ramblings.

And if you don’t like, you can go drive a firetruck.