Saturday, December 4, 2010


Growing up in Utah Valley was quite the experience. It most certainly has its own unique culture--which isn't a bad thing. It just is what it is. As a general rule of thumb, traditional swearing was frowned upon by the general public, but that didn't stop people from uttering different words instead.
What kind of "curse" words would you hear in Utah Valley when I was growing up? Well, there was "shoot", "darn", "fetch", "heck", and "jeeze" to name a few. One of the more common exclamations was "Oh my heck, no way!" However, it was so common, and often said very quickly, it was jokingly referred to as one word, hence, "ohmyhecknoway!"
There were those that told me that saying a substitute for a word was just as bad as saying the "real" swear word. For example, if I were to hit my thumb with a hammer and then proceeded to yell, "FETCH!" it was the same as dropping the F-bomb (that's a nice way we referred to that other "F" word).
On this point, I'm going to respectfully disagree. I don't believe that using a different word in place of a swear word is the same. Why? Simple. Words have power.
Now, I'm not talking about the "My name is a killing word" (Dune reference) type of power. I'm saying that certain words in and of themselves have power. For example: "I now pronounce you man and wife" has a totally different meaning than "I now pronounce you man and banana."
Need another example? How about instead of "You are under arrest" you say, "You are under a mattress". Still not convinced? All right, one more: instead of "You're fired!" you say "You're hired!"


  1. I rarely swore growing up, and a lot of kids in school accused me of being a goody-goody. One friend thought she was doing me a favor by calling me "wholesome." Yuck!

    Anyway, I used to say Jimminy Crickets! I thought it was funny, but no one agreed.

  2. Ah yes, swearing. I never sweared at all when my father was alive. It was funny, because he and my mother both sweared. (And let's not mention the dirty jokes my dad would tell.) And then one day, I tried it. Good grief! I swear (no pun intended) he was going to take my head off.

    After he passed away and I was in high school, I started swearing more. It felt good. And while I agree that using another word in place of the swear word is not just as bad (I had a co-worker who would say "beep!" when she was annoyed. I thought it was the funniest thing)sometimes the real word just carries more weight. There is a time and a place for all of it.

    Well, I'm off like a dirty shirt (Pretty in Pink reference). I'll check in again.

    Nice post. ;)