All the Words of Profanity

The words are common. Coarse. They’re whatever we want them to be, meaningless modifiers without clarify. They add nothing but shock, something to say when we have nothing else. Are our heads so empty that we cannot find le mot juste anymore?

The words are large, swallowing up our sentences and demeaning the hearers. What happened to creativity—and us—that we substitute these words for a good vocabulary? We used to wash our mouths out with soap, but maybe our minds need the cleaning.

The words are a sign of sophistication, a loss of innocence, grabbing the world and telling it to listen. But if we gain their notice, what do we have for them to hear? Words they’ve heard before, so much that we barely notice; we applaud when the youngest among us speak that way.

The words are emotion, wrapped in language. Darkness coined. Poison in a package of letters, and we dilute them with asterisks, fooling no one but the censors.

The words are strong. Why have they lost our respect?

The words are powerful. Why we do waste them so, emptying our sackful before ever we need them?

And why do we hear them so much more than “please” and “thank you”?

Copyright 2014 Andrea Lundgren

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