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.....

See Also:
- - Parent Hood: Guilty TV Pleasures: Steve Wiley defends Ancient Aliens.
- - Parent Hood: Three Things to do with Your Kids Over Holiday Break in Metro Phoenix.

Vulgarity vs Wit.jpg

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.)

Love, Mom

*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:

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