A Profanity Lesson with Grandma and Frank Zappa
Steve Wiley is Jackalope Ranch's Parent Hood. He's a slightly unorthodox father of five who will weigh in weekly with his mildly-rebellious views and observations. If you'd like to see how he came to write this column, watch the intro video. This week he debates the ins-and-outs of profanity and parenthood.
About a month ago, I wrote a column about an annoying ad campaign for the new Samsung phone, in which I explained that "... anyone who gets in line to get a fuckin' phone is already either a regular hipster or a hipster-wannabe..."
The next day, I received an email from my mother that looked just like this:
I LOVE IT that you are doing this!! Can't wait to see what you will write next !!
Of course, as a former English teacher -- I am obliged to add an edit or two.......along with commentary.....
Grandma's email cont...
Should "there frequency" be their frequency? Aren't you showing ownership?* And "here I am, I'm writing about it" can be better shortened to "here I am ...... writing about it."*
And for crying out loud - LOSE THE F..........IN !! that is NOT appropriate in any column!! (friggin might be acceptable.)
*Maternal Editing Note: Before I get to the meat of the subject, let me address the other "edits": a) No, my use of 'there' was right, it wasn't an ownership thing; b) I like it my way. Mom is the all-time champion of overusing the ellipses as a literary tool (as you can see).
Back to my point (digression is one of my specialties): Grandma Susan doesn't approve of profanity.
But Mom, I Love Salty Language
My mom and I don't necessarily see this one the same. I tend to use profanity here and again ... and again (note the proper use of ellipses, just three dots, not eight). I don't use it all the time (we'll get to that in a bit), but whenever possible I tend to pepper my language with a cuss word or two. Here's my case for profanity: