The variety of swearing

Lets make this clear: everybody swears, yes some more than others – construction workers, the homies hangin on the corner, someone with tourettes syndrome, etc. and there are those who swear only occasionally. Anyone who maintains that not once has a bit of “bad” language passed their lips is full of shit; a lot of it. My mother doesn’t swear a lot for example, but she does. She hates the word “fuck” and I’ve been reprimanded for using it in conversation. However – when she really desperately needs to make a point…. you get the concept.
There is a scene in the movie “A Christmas Story” (Jean Shepard’s writing – some of the funniest stuff around) where the kids father is down in the basement wrestling with the coal furnace and you hear the equivalent of writing #?!!*$@+!##”~! ; just a bunch of double-talk nonsense for the PG rating. The narrator says something like: when it comes to swearing, my father worked with words the way a great artist uses oils or a sculptor works with clay; his medium was profanity.
Recently I have returned to working on a car – the mechanical side of me. It had lain dormant since high-school. While replacing a front brake wheel cylinder and having a bit of trouble, I was helping myself with encouraging strings of really, really bad words. It hit me right then that I was using a unique combination of expletives. I came to realize that I have “working on the MG” profanity. What a concept! and as I pondered it more, came to recognize that I have special situational language unique to a lot of activities. Think about it; it’s fun! Some examples: driving – choice phrases are used then and only then. Asshole is a prominent word; usually preceded by “you ought to be put to sleep”. Asshole is almost a pronoun. Usually it is used for men and often combined with “fucking” Women get bitch with fucking or goddamn, actually, more often with both words. Upon hearing something really annoying; something that is going to upset my plans, perhaps: Then I get spiritual. First comes a prolonged aawwww… followed by: jesus (I’m not too put out yet -or a simple shit, when I’m not religious) then it expands depending on the degree of annoyance – jesus christ; jesus fucking christ; goddamn fucking jesus christ – if it is worse than that then things get very creative, but somehow that jesus guy stays with me. I saw a painting of “The circumcision of the lord” and underneath the caption read “Really? He yelled out his own name?”
When I drop something or miss a note or some other small, isolated mistake, what comes out is very close to spitting. Just one word is enough; said very quickly and with heavy emphasis one the first letter: “shit” “fuck” etc. Akin to the sound of a race car passing by at very high speed. If the little mistake repeats itself then the ante is upped and from there on it gets progressively more creative.
Then there is the issue of volume. Those little one word bits are almost whispers at times, because the moment is fairly intimate and personal. To my great surprise and probably what led me to this epiphany, is that my “mechanics” profanity is extremely loud and violent and doesn’t go through the usual development section. Loud and unique. So loud that on occasion I have quickly looked to make sure that one of the cute neighborhood kids wasn’t lingering about. The string of words is completely baffling because I am dealing with both myself and a bunch of inanimate objects. It is really, really entertaining – almost as if someone has taken control of my voice.
So play the game: what language is used with each event and how do the circumstances alter the creative process? And to all of you who say that people who swear do so because they haven’t the capacity to express themselves any other way: “I’m extremely annoyed and quite beside myself, almost to the point of apoplexy because I can’t get this 3/4 inch spanner to even begin to budge this recalcitrant nut” – just doesn’t cut it. It is way too pleonastic. “goddamn fucking shit” is elegant and to the point of the matter. So eat shit and die mother fucker.