Sunday, March 15, 2009

Maxing out the Bleep-o-meter

There's an epidemic on my campus.  Okay, there's several.  The one I'm talking about right now is casual cursing.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard foul language coming from students.  This happens over the smallest incidents, or over no incident at all.  I'll be walking on the Quad, and the happy, chatty people walking next to me will be dropping verbal bombs all over the place.  If these bombs created a crator whenever they hit the sod, the Quad would look like the moon and no floors would exist in any of the buildings on campus. 

The worst words you've heard take on new forms in students' mouths: any word can become a noun, verb, adjective, adjective, or the run-of-the-mill exclamation.  Call me a self-righteous prude, but I can tell you this isn't advisable from a purely pragmatic angle.

For example, now that you use a curse word to modify every word in your sentence, my verbal filter has filtered out any meaning you might have been trying to attach to that curse word.  Oh, sorry!  You weren't cursing?  You were just describing?  Sorry!  My bad!  I -- I thought you were upset!  Glad that's outta the way!

Or, if you really are upset, and you're trying to express that, now that you've used the worst word you know to describe the volleyball you missed, what word do you have left to describe the homework that's due on Thursday?  Now that you've called the ex-boyfriend that dumped you that, what are you going to call the telemarketer that calls you during the afternoon and uses up your minutes?

By passing grenades every time talk, you've lost the ability to express yourself. 

Seeing that your current vocabulary no longer expresses your true emotions, you have a couple options.

1) Take some meds to manage your anger.  That way, you won't get angry (or happy) ever again.
2) Start anger management classes.
3) Go into hysterics or blustering thunder whenever something moderately bad happens to you.  This way, your emotional fervor can go entirely into histrionics, and none of it will be wasted on mere words.
4) Continue using your five "expressive" word vocabulary, and just string your expletives along like sausages for someone else to swallow.
5) Start using the words "blankety-blank" to give your onlookers a verbal "create-your-own-adventure."
6) Invent new bad words.  Problem is, who but you is going to know they're bad?
7) INSTEAD OF PUTTING EVERYTHING YOU FEEL IS IMPORTANT IN CAPS, drop down to the smallest font you know.  If everything has three exclamation points, then nothing has three exclamation points.  Understate your emotion, and/or develop your sarcastic side.  Express your thoughts through meaningful words and multilayered expressions.  Read some Shakespeare, and by all means go to the dictionary.
8) Pray before speaking.

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