Damn and Hell were two words that were taboo when I was growing up. Sometimes, Hell was okay to use if it was in reference to the opposite of Heaven. I say sometimes because saying “Go to Hell” was, indeed, not acceptable. Damn, on the other hand, had a softer alternative, “darn” which was in daily use by me as a child with an “Oh” in front it or an “it” after.
Even saying "crap" was taboo back then. Sigh.
Times change. Damn is widely used nowadays (not by me) and “Oh Hell!” is a commonly used phrase. Even sh*t is becoming less of a curse word especially after the popularity of the Twitter account @shitmydadsays which now boasts over 3 million followers and is a verified account. By the way, verification is not cheap. $15,000 or MORE spent in advertising over a three month period, according to an article in Ad Age early this year. This means Justin, the account owner, is probably raking in some bucks if he can pony up that kind of cash.
Where did I learn THAT word? As a young girl I’d silently sneak down to the landing for the cellar steps and crouching there quietly, listened in to my brothers and their friends. Heard lots of “foul language” in those sessions. One time, my curiosity aroused, I tried to slip farther down the stairs. One of my brothers spotted me and said “Watch out; she repeats.”
And didn’t we think it was cool to curse in high school? It was an act of rebellion.
Just finished reading a book by Anthony Bourdain. He uses f*ck as a verb a lot. That’s HIM speaking. And movies? No biggie hearing main characters throwing in a curse or two. I thought some of it took away from the story in “Sideways”.
Now, what about all this cussin’ and cursin’ in social media?
I’ve had a friend or two use f*ck on my personal wall. After gently reminding them that I have a nephew under the age of ten who is friends with me on Facebook, they deleted the comment and have kept it clean since. Granted, the kid already knows the word, but why throw it in his face?
Yesterday, on my Groovy Reflections Facebook page, someone commented using sh*t. Facebook marked it as spam. What to do? My decision was to unmark it as spam but not like it. Yeah, it’s really not that “bad” of a word anymore either, however, was it necessary? I chose not to click like on it in respect for those that may have cringed at the sight of the word.
When it comes to the F word, I’m still amazed at the comfortable use of it by so many. I draw the line with it. If Facebook thinks it spam, I’ll leave it as spam and alert my admins to the usage, informally “flagging” that person.
On Twitter, if I see the usage of that term, I unfollow since it’s usually not merely an “Oh f*ck” but used in a more actionable fashion. And misspellings without the “c” are plentiful.
In my past corporate life I met a lot of co-workers from around the world. One would use f*ck and sh*t almost as often as “Good Morning”. He also said Jesus Christ as an exclamation a lot. Perhaps this is acceptable in his native European country, but I found it uncomfortable. Yet, we conducted businesses together.
So if you’re a page owner, where do you draw the line? And what about posting using these words? What IS acceptable and what isn’t? There are no “official” rules here. I even looked around on the internet and no one has brought this subject up. So here’s my recommendation: If using sh*t and f*ck fits into the imagery of your brand then use it. The potential fan or follower has the choice of whether or not it fits into their lifestyle.
Enjoy this trailer from Sideways. Do you remember what happens to the Saab? Oh, and ...say hello! There's the website, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ ...I'll say Hi back.