I have a slight case of potty-mouth, and when I say slight, I mean rampant. This is a little disappointing given I have a reasonable command of the English language. I even know the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ - basic grammar so many people seem to have missed at school (don’t get me started…) I’d love to tell you all my retorts are clean and pithy, and my expressions are filled with smart similes, but mostly they’re just filthy. The first word I said this morning was... rude.
I’ve let myself down on so many occasions, immediately wanting to suck the words back in, but at times it’s like Tourettes – my mouth takes over with no input from my brain whatsoever. The best (worst) example is when my ever so romantic husband got down on one knee in a snowy square in Stockholm’s old town, with twinkly lights glowing and no-one around but us. I was blown away. And how did I express my surprise and delight in response to this most perfect proposal? ‘F*****g hell!’ Lovely.
|Lovely setting - shame about the expletives|
I don’t know where it comes from. My parents were very careful not to swear in front of us when we were little. I was 9 or 10 before I heard my dad curse – on the golf course, of course – and that only happened because he’d clearly forgotten I was there (my caddying skills were very subtle and involved wheeling his bag on the flat bits exclusively. I’m expecting a call from Rory McElroy any day now…) My mum generally manages to catch herself in time with a ‘ffffff…izz’ or a ‘sssshhhhhh…ugar’, although she will permit herself the odd ‘gobshite’ – because that’s in the dictionary. Pointing out that the F-word is in there too doesn’t seem to affect her theory.
So why do I have a mouth like a sailor? The only explanation I can come up with is that sometimes nothing else fits. When something is so overwhelming that you’re carried away with the emotion of it all (be that extreme outrage, surprise or joy), nothing satisfies and channels the feeling quite like profanity, or even better - a string of it.
I'm careful to avoid the C-bomb though - that’d be taking it too far altogether.