A Word I’d Like To Drop

You can't un-drop a bomb.
You can’t un-drop a bomb.

Daily Prompt: No, Thank You

If you could permanently ban a word from general usage, which one would it be? Why?

We live in an interesting time. It is a time when people must pretend some words don’t exist. If a person should use a word that is supposed to not exist there are dire consequences ahead for that person.

Paula Deen found out.

First, before ya’ll get up in arms, I don’t enjoy her cooking program. The program is personality driven and not about cooking. Second, I deplore the use of the n-word as a label to a person or race. Third, I feel childish for saying n-word. It makes me think I’m saying “poopy” instead of, well, you know. For the reason it is offensive it should not be used.

The word devalues a person immediately. Yet, it is used by blacks with impunity. It can be used as either a term of revulsion or affection. It was used by Mark Twain in his works. He used it in an innocent way, a way that it was used for it’s time. It is there. Leave it alone. It is a grim and sad reminder of a time when we were not so pure and maybe not so innocent or sensitive to others.

To pretend the word does not exist is to pretend you haven’t drug dog poopy into the house on the bottom of your shoe. “What is that smell?” “What smell? I don’t smell anything.”

The same people or mentality who want to rid the world of the n-word has no problem with the f-bomb. And it is a bomb. Entertainers use it in live performances, such as Streisand of all people. Vice President Joe Biden used in front of a live microphone. The Nixon tapes sounded like a redneck bar conversation.

That does not justify its use.

I’m really old fashion. I don’t like to hear it from anyone, but when a woman uses it I really cringe. I don’t think that makes me sexist. When a child uses it I nearly go into cardiac arrest.

I sour on the writer that uses it.

Reality shows use it as a throw-in word to balance the cadence of a sentence.

If one has to use the word to balance a sentence, to make a joke funny, to express a dramatic emotion, or to sound tough, they are likely none of those things.

I can’t think of a circumstance where the word is appropriate. Okay, induction into the Marine Corps – not really.

Any form of the word has no value.

So when I say drop the f-bomb I don’t mean use it. I mean drop it from the vocabulary. There are thousands of more descriptive words.

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57 comments

  1. I’m speechless, I love this post is it ok if I reblog this on my page? Very well said I couldn’t have said it any better. Wow, I don’t know what word I’m going to use now, that was it, umm, the n-word. But the f-bomb is extremely offensive too. WELL SAID!!!! Shazza

  2. N***** (edited) is a horrible word. Some black people use it – it depowers it. But there are plenty of black people who don’t like other black people using it often from previous generations where the use of the word had derogatory connotations, so it’s a reminder to them and not something they want to hear. If a white person uses it it’s unacceptable. It is racist in roots, therefore has attached hatred.

    As for swearing it’s only words or a word, it’s power is only as strong as someone’s reaction. Sometimes its appropriate sometimes it isn’t. But it’s just a word. Swear words don’t hurt people. But plenty other words can.

    In this age people are far too sensitive about words. There’s plenty else to worry about.

    • We can intellectualize any word and it’s usage. We can rationalize any word and its usage, but not here or at least on this forum. Therefore as soon as I get to it I’ll edit your rationalization and intellectualizing. I’m not offended, just not comfortable with it in my comments.
      I don’t think one should be ostracized or become a pariah for it’s usage, but it should be limited and certainly not come up in polite, civil, or casual conversations (My opine.)

      • I really like your post and I very much like your reply to the person who “intellectualized and rationalized ( whew- I hope I spelled those correctly) the use of those two terribly offensive words. I don’t like hearing those words in publc and I surely do not like to see them in print. I have subscribed to blogs that I initially believed to be funny and then later discovered those words being used freely by the blogger. I then unscribed to that particular blog.

        I am not a prude nor prim in my old age. I just like to think that I have a bit of class and good taste. In addition, being a racist and or degrading and devaluing any human is morally unacceptable and shows a grevious disrespect for our fellow man.

        ~yvonne~

      • Thanks so much. I didn’t want to speak rudely to the commenter, but didn’t want the comments to go unchallenged. It’s not that I’m the arbiter of right and wrong, but at least on my blog I am.
        I also have visited blogs at first enjoying them only later to be offended by bad language and vulgarity.
        Neither am I a prude, but there are things that I find objectionable.

    • You say swear words don’t hurt people. How do you know? It definitely hurts me to hear my lovely daughter using the f word casually (or not casually for that matter). Maybe it is old-fashioned, but it does hurt me, it makes me feel as though a little bit of me has died inside. Yes, maybe that is my problem, but nevertheless, it’s not true to say that swear words don’t hurt people. They do. They cheapen things and spoil them, and tarnish the beauty of language and communication. Which sounds pretentious, but that’s what you get with two glasses of wine. Words do matter, and they do make a difference.

      I loved the blog.

      • Please keep in mind the Hedwigia is responding not to The Jittery Goat, but to another commenter.
        I agree, there is speech that is vulgar, crude, and shocking. “Words do matter, and they make a difference.” Amen to that.

      • What you say about a swear word hurting isn’t hurt, thats dissapointment, or for some parents hearing their child swear possibly embarassment if in public.

        But i’ve never in my life been hurt by a swear word. The intention, intonation and the meaning behind words are what can hurt, the subtext.

        I’m not saying I like people swearing all the time. It’s not particularly pleasant but there are worse things. I respect your opinion.

    • I happen to be one of those black people who doesn’t use it and don’t like hearing other black people use it. I abhor when I hear non-black people brushing it off by saying well black people use it so what’s the problem. We’re not a monolith: we don’t walk (or talk) in lockstep. And unless you’ve felt the sting of someone calling you a name based on something you cannot change (your skin color) and with an original meaning of being a dummy, as if you are less than they are I think it’s easy to write off as people being overly sensitive.

      I think every non-black person needs to live for several years in a place where they are a minority. I think only then can one empathize how something like this feels. Anytime someone using that word to describe others they are saying that person is less than. And that contributes to an attitude that pervades into many other things. Yes, there are many things to worry about. But for some of us, this is one of them.

  3. I appreciated your blog post and the statement it made. I have been reading Flannery O’Connor’s short stories. Her characters often use the word you spoke of, and every time I read it I cringe. Now I worry that because I’ve expressed my appreciation for her writing (and I do like her writing), some might think I condone the use of the word. And I don’t. However, it was used in the past, during the time period Ms. O’Connor is writing about, and to avoid using the word in her writing of the period or by the people she’s writing of would be … dishonest. Not only that, but she points out in a literary way, how foolish the ones are who use it.

    • I’m not saying the word should not be used. It must be selective and not to offend, perhaps in a way that it exposes ignorance. I choose not to use it. It’s just not me. If seen in literature I consider when it was written and the context. I like Mark Twain, that doesn’t make me a racist. I know nothing about Twain being a racist. Using the word does not make him one.
      Thanks for your comments and insight.

  4. Excellent perspective. We should all respect the feelings of others. We heard the n-word growing up and sad to say, I still hear it occasionally. Yes, blacks can say it, but to me they have that right because they know how to transmit and receive it. No one has called me an old over-the-hill cracker, but I suppose parts of that could be true. I have heard parents scolding their children by using the f-bomb in public. The use of the word has lost its shock value but not when used on children. A bar of lye soap would be handy right then. I instantly lose respect for those who choose to use either word.

  5. The number 1 word I’d like to have dropped from ALL mouths is the N word..Its what I call it; and will forever call it IF the need arises to correct someone who says the word in full. I don’t feel its a word to be used as a word of affection; for ANYone. I won’t elaborate further nor try to justify why anyone feels differently and uses it. Its a free country and folks can and do as they please. Nevertheless I feel it should be banned from all speaking people on Earth. Enough said on that. As for the F word. Lol, lol! There are certain circumstances when no other word will nor does suffice except for the F word. It isn’t a word I think that should be used often..And certainly not in mixed company. Translation= not to be said around parents nor elders..But amongst peers who know one very well? Again, from time to time no other word can properly substitute the F word. Just saying the F word instead just doesn’t and won’t do. Enjoyed reading your write. 2 thumbs UP!

    • Thanks for your reply, but there was a time in society, movies, comedy routines, etc. the F-bomb was not used and nothing suffered. People were just as funny, just as direct, just as expressive and most importantly not as vulgar or insensitive.
      There is not a situation that the f-bomb can’t be replaced with another word and if that is the only word one feels is needed, maybe their mouth should be kept shut until the urge passes.
      That’s personal and certainly don’t want any sort of legislation.

      • I respectfully disagree…and just because there wasn’t main stream media noting what people say or don’t from day to day..and sometimes even on reality shows as they’re doing IT..doesn’t mean folks weren’t using the F word backintheday. Again, as with anything its a matter of personal choice and freedom..I personally, feel, there are some situations that there is NO substitute for the F word. And obviously I’m not alone in that line of thought…there are a slew of words(especially curse words used to describe women..) I can think of far more offensive than the F word. But again, its a matter of opinion. And ours differ…Peace

      • Never? That’s a pretty big word..And that’s assuming you knew everyone in the entire world. There are a lot of words I don’t hear regularly in my inner and outer circles of my world; but theres no telling of all the words used by others outside of my scope. Like lets say folks that live in Alaska or how about Aruba? Enjoy your day & have a fabulous week

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