I was recently asked to remove a post of mine from Facebook. Facebook didn’t ask. A friend of mine asked. The post had the proverbial f-bomb in it. At first I was a little bit put off by the request. And then I got to thinking. People I don’t know are looking to me as an example. A role model. A leader.
An example of what? A role model? Are you f…I mean…are you kidding me?
Who am I? I’m just some random dude. Facebook is filled with shlubs like me who rant and rave and cuss in their posts all the time. Heck, at least I only do it when I’m either really pissed off or trying to be funny.
And then I really thought about it. Example/role model/leader aside for another discussion. I’m a writer. At my heart I’m a storyteller. I use music. I use pictures. I use words.
Words are my palette. The colors with which I color the canvas of my tale. And let’s face it, the f-bomb is the easiest color to use to get that nervous chuckle. It makes some people nervous. They laugh because it’s that naughty word. It’s a nervous laughter. It’s meant to quickly elicit an emotional response that may or may not have any kind of long term resonance. Those who like my work (I really hope that sentence doesn’t read as pretentiously as it sounded in my head…none the less…) Those who chose to read what I right and be moved by it know that I will sprinkle it in for effect.
And I have to say, it’s a gimmick. It’s a trick. There really is no place for it in my writing, if I’m being honest. I mean, hell, Shakespeare never used the words in a single one of his plays. And I’m certainly no Shakespeare (but it always helps to have aspirations).
Now I know you might be thinking that the Shakespeare thing was off-base on two fronts. Don’t worry…I know my work isn’t as lasting as his (hers?). So there’s one of your arguments nullified. And if you are thinking that our little friend the f-bomb came after good Sir William, you’d be incorrect. The etymology of the word actually pre-dates Shakespeare by a good 100 years.
The word is pretty frickin’ old. And has come to be a throwaway word in daily conversation of many people. Which is probably why I didn’t really think about it when I posted it. It used to be such a novelty to me. I used to use it sparingly. Only for emphasis. Now lately it seems as though it’s slipped in to my regular everyday vernacular. And that’s not so good.
I forget that it’s still offensive to some. Thus, out of respect for the people that I care about, I removed the posts.
I can’t help but think that of all the words in our language, there are other ways of conveying the same sentiments I was trying to convey with that slightly vulgar nugget.
I don’t know where I’m going with all of this. Maybe I’m trying to get a better grip on my vocabulary. Who knows? We’ll see how it all plays out.