Why would a woman of deep faith, who holds to purity, creativity, and well living ever want to use “foul” language?
“O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?…
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet;”
Juliet is not asking where Romeo is. She is asking why his name must be Romeo Montague for that is the name of her family’s enemy. She is declaring her love for this man, no matter what his name is.
William Shakespeare is questioning the purpose of language. Yes, the master of the English language and the author of so many idioms and phrases that we use today, questioned words!
What is in a word? It is not the word that holds the meaning. It is the essence of the intent being communicated that holds the meaning.
That is why we all know that the phrase, “Well bless your heart” is not actually a prayer of blessings, but a pitying and mildly condescending statement about a persons intelligence. This is also why “curse words” are NOT evil, or bad, in and of themselves.
I propose that if we allow ourselves to be ruled by the formation of mere letters, then we miss the full, richness of our language. Yes, spelling, grammar, syntax, and mechanics are all vital to understanding the written word. Else how else will we know the intent of the writer when tone and emotion do not translate well in text.
However, the spoken word is a wonder of mystery and glory. It is a buffet of magic that when we feast upon the tripping language of our tongues, miracles occur.
I believe in the power of the written and the spoken word. That which we communicate is that which we call into our own lives. This is one of the main reasons why using foul language is frowned upon. But, again, I test this theory by saying, it is not the mere word that causes grief or healing, it is the intent behind the word that yields the power.
“Let your speech at all times be gracious (pleasant and winsome), seasoned [as it were] with salt, [so that you may never be at a loss] to know how you ought to answer anyone [who puts a question to you]” Colossians 4:6
I could use my puny language to point out that the above verse recommends using salty language… But, I won’t pull the verse out of context just to be funny. I will however point out that this verse talks about attitudes, not spelling. “Gracious, pleasant, and winsome” are attitudes, not grammatical formations. Seasoning our speech with salt is in reference to the essence of what salt does; it preserves and heals. Therefore our language, conversation, and speech should always be used with an attitude of graciousness that offers healing and preservation to the soul.
Laughter is the best medicine. So if by use of certain words, a giggle of delight is triggered, then that, my friend, is healing. I am not speaking of sniggering in mockery, or the like, in this instance. They obviously are not for the well being of the soul. So if your chuckling is only at the expense of another’s pain, then perhaps you should reconsider the salt preservation and healing of your own intent.
We all know how harmful, bitter, and cruel language can be no matter what words are used. We also know how healing a good loud shout of a socially unacceptable word can be when it punctuates hitting your toe on a chair leg, or in receiving bad news. Swearing is most appropriate when the tone of the intent is to curse the situation, or let fly an aggravation in the moment.
Let us, then, no longer get hung up on words that have or have not been deemed “foul” and unacceptable by the crowd of fellows with whom you happen to hang about. Let as rather look deeper. Look to the intent. Are you cursing a fellow human? BEWARE that course, for what you speak and what you put out into the world is exactly what you will receive back onto yourself. If you are simply exclaiming your extreme displeasure at an event or a moment in time, then do so freely, AND MOVE ON! Never dwell, nor allow yourself to settle in a moment of agony, or bitterness. Get it out and move on toward healing.
Personally, as a writer and speaker, I love to use “salty” language that many consider to be foul, simply because it can be funny and intriguing. Like any oxymoron where two words of opposite meaning are put together, or a paradox where that which seems impossibly opposite is seen as the same.
I love language. I love the crafting and art of it. Language and communication are my thing. It doesn’t need to be your thing. If numbers are how you see this world then my blessings and wonder go with you for you understand a language that I struggle to conceive.
But, I am asking that if you hear or see me let a few F-bombs fly, or observe me note that sh- happens… please do not be offended. It is just a word. If you know me, you will know that my intent is always toward gracious acceptance (except when I’m operating in selfishness, which happens sometime. I apologize for this beforehand).
I will however, have to walk away from you if you look at me with a smile and speak words intent upon veiling a hidden disgust. I don’t need that kind of foulness in my life.
Peace, Love, and Goodwill to you all.