Ovid (publius_ovidius) wrote,

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Why I'm Not Using Profanity

Since I've started trying to avoid profanity, I keep getting asked "why" or "what do you consider profane"? I've not really been answering this because I've been struggling to understand it myself. I'm getting deeper into this understanding, so I'll try to answer your questions better.

First, I am using profanity. I don't mean to, but it's hard. The longest I've lasted is getting to "day 3", but that was only because I was off work sick for two days. It's been very disheartening realizing I have so little self-control that I can't stop using profanity. I've thought about giving up, but I haven't yet.

Second, what do I consider profane? Profanity, strictly speaking, is an irreverence or contempt for God or sacred principles or things. However, since I don't believe in a God or Gods, how can I consider anything profane? I revere life. I revere communication. I am constantly in awe of how people can interact and do great things -- along with terrible things. Thus, what many consider "obscenity", I consider "profanity" if used inappropriately. As such, while you might consider "goddamn" profane, I also consider using the word "fuck" in anger profane.

But wait! Didn't I just violate my "no profanity" pledge? When I first started, I would have said "yes". Now I don't. Carefully chosen words, deliberately picked to make a point, are part of what I honor. As such, saying "fuck" in the appropriate time or place (I can hear the jokes already) is not a violation of what I'm trying to achieve.

What's a violation of what I'm trying to achieve is the thoughtless use of profanity when communicating with other people. That's all. Do I care if other people use profanity around me? No, not if it's not directed at me in anger. I'm not trying to tell other people what to do or trying to set an example of how they should behave. This is just a personal thing to get myself back to a place I value.

I'm really not sure how this viewpoint will evolve -- or whether it will wither and die -- but so far, I like what I'm trying to achieve, even if I haven't achieved it.

That's enough of being a sanctimonious ass (deliberately chosen word!) for one day.
Tags: personal, profanity
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