Friday, July 22, 2005

Potty Mouth.

I had dinner with my advisor and one of my former advisors last night. It was fun, we hung out, talked, what have you. Then came the big question:

"So, Professor Superstar, now that you have Vavoom working for you what would you say is his biggest weakness?"

Professor Superstar sat back, thought for a while and said, "It's his potty mouth. He's a bright guy, but man, I can't stand his overwhelming use of profanity. I mean, we had a very important visitor come by the lab, a real mover and shaker from D.C. As we walked by Vavoom's bench I started hearing, 'Yeah, yeah, that's right, I felt ass raped by the whole situation. What the fuck, right?'"

Sadly, my only response was, "You've got to be fucking kidding me. I don't swear that much."

They both started laughing. I'm really starting to realize how often I use the term "ass raped" and the F word. In fact, when I was teaching at Berkeley, I received rave reviews from my students, "Vavoom is the best teaching assistant I've ever had, he really seems to care, etc..." The only criticism I received was "Vavoom swears during lecture and discussion sections. It is sometimes distracting."

Profanity is a large part of my vernacular. I'm not sure how to change that. Any helpful suggestions?

17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many of us have become so used to profanity that we do not notice it like you. I was recently talking to my wife and she reminded me that when I switch jobs from my current one in a few weeks to watch what I say since I will not now the people and they might be offended to be called a turd burglar or such.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that and no more calling anyone a team killing fuck-tard either, or stories about how I shit all over the toilet.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Yeah, one day I just realized that I had started cussing like a sailor and it was ruining my vocabulary. So I made a conscious effort to stop. Now the swear words are for effect: to let someone know I am really angry or sometimes for comic effect.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Edge said...

I had that problem in high school. I learned in college two things. People who did that really appeared trashy and uneducated -something you are not, and second, chicks don't really like it. And I really wanted the chicks to dig me. I began to see myself as a reflection of my parents.

It's a condition of your heart. Good things in - good things out.

I quit by just using different more acceptable words. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. It took some effort, but after a couple of months, it seemed to subside. The words are still there, but it's a constant choice and gets easier the further in you go.

Your vocabulary will improve as well. And chicks started to dig me!

~Jef

2:39 PM  
Blogger RT said...

I think I would have been more pissed off that someone was trying to stifle my fucking right to free speech! I think you handled this one extremely appropriately.

I've never felt, said, or even insinuated that someone was less intelligent or more trashy, simply because of the words they use. It's what you say that causes people to think you're an idiot, not how you say it.

That aside, I do try not to curse at work (which isn't that hard to do, there are plenty of colorful adjectives in our language :o) ) but only because they're paying me not to. I knew that going in, and I agreed to the terms, so I abide by it.

3:50 PM  
Anonymous The Notorious S.J.C. said...

From reading your posts, one could get a serious impression that you have quite a butt fetish. "ass raping" "butt pats" "fancypants university" "I was experimenting and put something into my pooper". Quite the list of examples. But this is an issue which is best left for you to discover on your own.
In regards to your "potty mouth" (yet another example, allbeit a gross one), you should try replacing the "offensive" phrases with common words. Examples.
"ass rape" = boompa
"bitch" = fish
"retarded" = tough
"fuck off" = "Hi, I'm Vavoom, we should get together sometime."
The message that you're trying to convey will be understood through your tone and inflection. The "fishes" that you're directing your tirade towards will understand your displeasure with them. While those who pass will only hear gibberish instead of profanity. A win-win solution for all.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Moose said...

I use mother love bone and God bless it a lot.

5:17 PM  
Blogger An80sNut said...

You could start "the jar." Put anywhere from a quarter to a dollar in for every time you catch yourself or someone points out your cursing. No one wants to part with money and as a reflex, you will catch yourself mid-phrase often.

7:22 PM  
Blogger dreadcow said...

Every time I come home on leave there are three things I have to ixnay prior to getting on that plane:

1. Cussing
2. Spitting
3. Army vernacular, such as "roger," "hooah."

Takes me about two weeks to totally get it out of my system. I just pay real close attention to what I do, and I'm good to go.

In the Army cussing is second nature, so I don't think too much of it. The only word I restrain myself from is the C word. I'm sure you can figure that one out.

I don't have a problem with cussing and I can't stand it when people say "cussing shows that you're not intelligent." That's like saying playing golf shows you have no athletic skill. Idiots.

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Raine said...

Hey, V. Since cussing is a large part of your vernacular, I would start by getting rid of casual swearing. You know, the kind of swearing you might do when driving or at home away from the public eye. Use alternative words like "shoes" or "fudge". Get used to a new vernacular. Also, could part of the problem be that you spend too much time complaining? I ask only because that's typically when people use profanity. Lastly, using profanity is the lazy way of dealing with frustration. Speaking your mind with polite words shows discipline and character.

Anyway, good luck.

10:05 PM  
Blogger LoraLoo said...

I have such a sailor's mouth... I'm able to turn it off when necessary, but amongst my peers at work, I'm in a comfortable zone and it's all just a matter of expression. I've had some close calls where someone outside of that comfort zone was in earshot, so I'm working on it.

I'm using Martin's jar idea for home, however - not wanting a grocery store trip with Madison to hear "Oh shit" come flying out of her mouth while waiting in line.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Mr. Snitch said...

Stop hanging around with the kind of dipshits you find online. No good will ever come of that. Start hanging out some place where the denizens have relative breeding and elocution. Like a municipal garage or something.

Or just give 'em the ol' VAVOOM!

3:02 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

Use hand signals. A well placed middle finger here or there should do the trick.

8:40 AM  
Blogger RT said...

I'm just wondering what will happen when the curse words we use now are abolished and words like "fish" "boompa" "shoot" "dang" and "fudge" become the new curse words. Will they still try to control our speech? Or will they see the light and realize that people WILL find a way to express their emotions, and decide that maybe it's better for them to try and control our emotions, instead?

9:44 AM  
Blogger A Fashionista said...

So what the fuck! I don't fucking think that it really fucking matters now in 2005 do you? LOL

10:11 AM  
Blogger GSR said...

Have kids. Profanities used to fly off my tounge effortlessly until my first child started to talk - he repeated everything he heard. Now I have 3 little ones and my potty mouth is gone completely. Of course, I reserve the right to return to my vulgar speech ways when they become teenagers.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

All: These are some of the best and most hilarious comments I've seen in a while. Thanks, fishes!

Notorious: Glad to see you've finally joined the discussion.

11:29 AM  

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