In Defense of the Curse

August 11, 2011

Sorry, Readers.  I curse.  I do.

I’m sure y’all pretty much figured that out within five minutes of clicking on this site initially, but just in case you missed that little tidbit, I thought I’d let you know.


Well, actually, I’m not that sorry.  Thing is, I write the way I talk–that’s just who I am–and I happen to talk a blue streak. I have since high school.

When I first started letting the epithets fly, Mama was horrified. As in, “I’m speaking to your father about this,” horrified.

However, when she and Daddy talked it over, they decided that I was such an obedient, rule-following robot in all other areas of life that they’d let the cursing slide.  Personally, I think they were terrified that if they took that one little offense away from me, I’d decide to turn Seven Kinds of Rebel like my sister.

Cursing suited me just fine, but it took practice. I wasn’t a natural.

One time, in the 11th grade, I dropped the word “damn” at my friend Camille’s dinner table.

Camille’s dad was a strict man–a man of books and rules and methodology. He had the odd practice of only sleeping four hours a night, because he thought anything more than that was wasteful. After I dropped the “damn,”  he peered at me sternly across the table.

“If you’re going to curse, Miss, you had better learn to do it with verve,” he said, pointing a fork in my direction. “There’s nothing so abominable as a wishy-washy curser.”

I decided right then and there that Camille’s dad was A-okay-allrighty.

I took his advice to heart and dedicated my life to cursing with verve.  I must have done okay, because right before high school graduation, I was deemed the girl “Most Likely to Swear and Yet Still Remain Chaste” by my choir teacher.  I was proud for about a minute until the greater reality of that little zinger sunk in.

So yes, I’m a fervent believer in the curse.  It’s gotten me into trouble plenty, but I’m loath to give it up. Cursing is just too satisfying. I mean, I try really, really hard to be a decent human being 95% of the time. If I wasn’t allowed to fling the F-word once in awhile, I think my head would explode.

But I do know that my mouth has consequences. I’ve had readers call me crass, potty-mouthed, undignified, unoriginal, common…you name it.

That’s okay by me.  It’s just an opinion. An opinion I don’t happen to share. There are far worse vices (and yes, I have a few of those, too, but shut up) than dropping a “damn.”

I may be generous with my curses, but I’m generous in other ways, and the people in my life are generous with me because of that. It’s a darn good deal.

However. Age has made me wiser in one area: Now, when I meet people for the first time, I give them fair warning.  A few weekends ago at a concert, when I was introduced to someone new, I said, “Hi, I’m Dana. I’m foul. I will probably, at some point this evening, offend you. I apologize in advance.”

Maybe this getting old stuff isn’t all bad.

This was written in response to the prompt: “Cursing in your blog–do you do it? Defend your choice.”  Check out other responses over at:

MamaKat’s Writer’s Workshop

{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

Abby August 11, 2011 at 5:54 am

Everything you said up there? Hell yes.
It pretty much applies to me as well, as you might imagine. I am what I am and choose my words carefully, so if I say something, I mean it–you’ve been warned ;)


elizabeth August 11, 2011 at 6:06 am

I LOVE cursing. I actually do try to restrain myself a bit on the blog, because the number of f-bombs I drop normally in conversation (especially when the husband and I are talking) rivals Casino and Goodfellas. So I try to be a little more restrained on the blog, but that doesn’t mean I won’t restrain the occasional curse here and there.


Kat August 11, 2011 at 6:18 am

“I was deemed the girl “Most Likely to Swear and Yet Still Remain Chaste” by my choir teacher. I was proud for about a minute until the greater reality of that little zinger sunk in.”
Ha, ha, ha! Still laughing about that one! Hilarious! You defended yourself very well! Here, here!
visiting from Mama Kat’s!


The Mommy Mambo August 11, 2011 at 6:21 am

I don’t curse often, but when I do I do it with all my ooompfh! Like on my blog today….for the sake of Mama Kat’s question I may have lost a few loyal followers but if they are that easily swayed they should have left long ago!


koreen August 11, 2011 at 6:21 am

I understand. I curse a lot too, more than I should. It doesn’t help that my husband is also a damn curser. Thing is, I try not to; I don’t really want to swear–it just slips out… like 700,000 times a day. Maybe I should take the advice of your friend’s dad and embrace it.


Gibby August 11, 2011 at 6:45 am

I love your potty mouth. I’d be devastated if you ever cleaned it up. Stay dirty, girl!


TKW August 11, 2011 at 8:01 am


I promise. Dirty like a martini.


Kerri August 11, 2011 at 7:28 am

I’m not a cursing “regular”, but I had to chuckle when I read this post. And your picture on the sidebar…the baby…on the stove?? It’s one of those horrificly-can’t-look-away-is-it-okay-to-laugh-at things. I about keeled over laughing, so I hope it’s okay!! : ) Stopping in from Mama Kat’s!


TKW August 11, 2011 at 8:01 am


It’s definitely okay to laugh. That’s what the picture is for. It’s also pretty twisted, as is my sense of humor, obviously!


June Freaking Cleaver August 11, 2011 at 7:28 am

I think cursing is hereditary. My mom was a carrier who could make sailors blush. I think, for the most part, the really bad cursing passed me by. My oldest daughter is more like me. The other two kids have quite the impressive vocabulary (though the youngest has said stuff without knowing just what those dirty words mean).


Nobody August 11, 2011 at 7:29 am

i love to curse, always have. :) surprisingly, i stopped doing it in front of other people after i had kids, but definitely kept it up in my blog. it’s the one place i feel comfortable to say exactly what i mean. :D


Rocky Mountain Woman August 11, 2011 at 7:29 am

I don’t curse on my blog. I do, however, drop a few in real life (more than a few), usually if I’m stressed out over something…

I am not offended when other people curse and don’t know exactly why I don’t curse when I write…

hmmm..gotta think about that one!


Nikki August 11, 2011 at 7:41 am

LOL – once when Ben was about 3…we were in the car and something happened that warrented a curse and yet as I was about to do so I caught myself and corrected it to a “kid-friendly” version. At which point point Ben piped up from the back “No Mommy…*I* say “darn it”…*you* say “damn it”.


TKW August 11, 2011 at 7:58 am


That’s just too good!


Maria August 11, 2011 at 7:45 am

This is exactly why I think we were separated at birth. There is nothing more satisfying (expect maybe a liiiitle drink) when you’re pissed off than letting your mouth spout a blue streak…

And, for the record, with the summers you and I have had, I think we are more than deserving of the ability to do it, regardless of the judgement of others.

Like you, I do more than my fair share to help others in any way I can. But I also use the disclaimer. What you see is what you get…Or hear, for that matter.

Hoping your seven kinds of owl shit are resolving themselves as best they can…XO


TKW August 11, 2011 at 7:59 am


Still Seven Kinds of Owl Shit, but hey, at least I can say it, right? xo


Jennifer August 11, 2011 at 7:54 am

I love a good swear. I just do. I grew up with people that dropped a lot of cuss words and it just stuck with me. I don’t do it as much on my blog because I try to stay PG-13, but in real life? Look out.


Samantha @ Bikini Birthday August 11, 2011 at 8:11 am

I didn’t curse much when I was younger because it would have gotten me in some serious shit with my parents, but I definitely picked up on it in my late teens and it has stuck.
I swear like a sailor when I’m mad. My brain is too busy dealing with anger to be bothered to think of appropriate adjectives and adverbs to more eloquently express myself. So I end up saying ‘fuck’ a lot.

Mostly, though, I just swear for comic effect.


TKW August 11, 2011 at 8:43 am


Swearing can be funny, right? At least that’s what I tell myself. ;)


C @ Kid Things August 11, 2011 at 8:12 am

I wrote a post not too long ago about how I try to curb the cursing the for my blog, since it’s more geared towards my family things. In real life, however, it’s every other word. I’m sure you and I would get along great, like you two drunken sailors cursing into the night. Because oftentimes, a well-placed fuck word is just funny.


TKW August 11, 2011 at 8:44 am

Kid Things,

Come visit. We’ll curse out the whole town.


Kiyah August 11, 2011 at 8:12 am

Where would we, the greater collective WE, be without a few choice curse words thrown into our descriptions, conversations, and confrontations every now and again? No where fun, I’ll tell you that much! And I completely agree with Camille’s father- if you’re going to do it, do it gusto!


Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon August 11, 2011 at 8:15 am

Damn straight lady, and we adore you because of it.


Kim @ CoffeePotChronicles August 11, 2011 at 8:22 am

Hell to the yes.

Visiting via Mama Kat’s workshop. That line your choir teacher gave you is hilarious…a bit of an ouch, but hilarious nonethless.

Over the years I think I’ve fine tuned my swearing habits but even at 30 I admit I sometimes let a word fly when really I should have kept my yap shut. Cest la vie. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the subject!


Jenna August 11, 2011 at 8:26 am

I cursed for a few years and shocked the socks of all who thought I was also eternally chaste . . . but then I realized that for me, personally, cursing usually encouraged my own anger towards whatever I was cursing about, so I’ve weaned myself off again. I think it’s been good for me, but I have to say that the cursing does add a very lovable touch to your writing (does that sound weird?–but it really does).


TKW August 11, 2011 at 8:46 am


I like weird. I like “lovable touch” even more.


Suzi Q August 11, 2011 at 8:27 am

Well F*&$, sometimes you just can’t get your point across without a good cuss word! I curse on my blog and usually I feel guilty about it. I don’t even know why I feel guilty, Iguess I don’t want to be judged but at the same time it’s who I am and you’re gonna have to love me for who I am right?


TKW August 11, 2011 at 8:47 am




Lyndsey August 11, 2011 at 9:07 am

Personally we don’t curse much in our house…even before I had my daughter…not unless I drop something heavy on my toe!@* but I do have other quirks and issues! I like reading your blog because it is so you! And that’s a good thing, so drop the F bomb when you need to and stay true to you. I just explain to my daughter when we are around those that curse…like all the time every other word curse…that some are just like that and she’ll have to get used to it…she handles it pretty well. She is 16 and gives us no trouble except she won’t clean her room when we ask her to, so I can’t complain much. I don’t know what that has to do with anything…I guess I tend to go on and on sometimes. ;)

I like your introduction though, get it out in the open first thing, then they really can’t complain! :D


Kimmy August 11, 2011 at 9:30 am

I used to actually curse all the time. While, in fact, in still may have a blurt out at times, I’m trying to behave myself :o)

I’m not offended when I read a blog with cursing. Sometimes it can come across as hilarious. It’s ones blog and if that is them, then curse away. Otherwise, those people who are offended should just keep moving. There are other blogs to read. My opinion.

Visiting from Mama Kat’s :o)


Cathy August 11, 2011 at 10:30 am

I’ve got one foul mouth on me. Say the F word all the time (even in front of my 16yo – GASP!) Whatever. It feels good to swear.


Cathy August 11, 2011 at 10:32 am

Oh, and I am a huge fan of flipping the bird – you know, sign language for the F word.


Sherri August 11, 2011 at 10:39 am

TOTALLY with you on this… Right down to being the perfect, good grade-getting, obedient, good daughter that I was (though was also a punk rock-ish, modern dancer, hung out with bands type too – albeit still a “good girl”)…. Love the F word – can’t help it. Love to just swear it up, in general. I find that it does make my point a little more clearly – shocks the shit out of my mean sister in law – seems to put nosy types in their place. And, I say it all with a smile :).


Kate August 11, 2011 at 10:42 am

Oh my blog, I mostly keep curses out, kind of like talking with new friends. In real life, away from my kids… Well. I love the emphasis a good curse gives.
Practice. Hee hee… You reminded me of my little very careful self in seventh grade. My parents were shocked by damn, and I didn’t say it. A friend told me I had to say fuck. I whispered it. Louder, she demanded, again and again until I nearly shouted it. We were just outside school during a fire drill. I can still feel the fear and pride bubbling together.


Amy August 11, 2011 at 11:40 am

I curse way too much. If I had a swear jar for myself, I’d be taking a European vacation three times a year. I can’t help it. On the blog I try to dial it back a bit but I still drop the occasional f-bomb (and s-bomb and whatever other bombs) pretty regularly. Oh, and your friend’s dad sounds like a hoot.


bryan August 11, 2011 at 12:05 pm

I have mentioned pretty recently that I can let fly with a colorful expletive sometimes… well often. I was kind of starting to think that I was a bit of a Potty Mouth Poet until Mr. Man started repeating the words everywhere. My older kids always had the switch, they new not to use the good words outside of the house. Mr. Man lets them go without prejudice so I have been trying to cut back on them just a little, replacing the F-bomb with “flippity-flap” or others.

As for my Blog I kind of keep the colorful language back a bit. Nothing against using them, I just don’t very often


TKW August 11, 2011 at 2:28 pm


Oddly enough, neither of the Minxes curse. Maybe because they’ve heard “damn” so much and so often that they think it’s like saying “cereal.”


Heather @girlichef August 11, 2011 at 2:12 pm

I wouldn’t have you any other way! I grew up hiding my curses from a cursing father and a non-cursing mother…as a matter of fact, I always felt strange swearing in front of them. I rarely swear in front of my mom now. But when the need presents itself, I don’t hold back, either.


BigLittleWolf August 11, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Personally, I’m perfectly comfortable with your cursing, though I admit I’ve been trying to curtail my own… Call it an act of imposing discipline.

Fortunately, I can always resort to a nice little stash of F-words in French.



Katybeth August 11, 2011 at 3:38 pm

“If you’re going to curse, Miss, you had better learn to do it with verve,” he said, pointing a fork in my direction. “There’s nothing so abominable as a wishy-washy curser.” This is a smart man!

Nope. I mostly don’t curse but I am surrounded by cussers; so its my way of being of standing out. Plus people laugh when I curse. I do like that new very dainty F-k song…and yes I know I could spell the word out on your blog and it annoys you that I don’t but your dad and mom read this blog. Sigh. Do you love this by Lily Allen


TKW August 11, 2011 at 7:03 pm


I LOVE Lily. But you knew I would. ;)


Camille August 11, 2011 at 3:53 pm

You are ALWAYS artful, funny, practical, wise and the language is a natural part of that. Its brilliant on the page, but I prefer to see your gorgeous face, and your tiny frame, and your perky effing boobs, in person…. spouting a plethora of well suited curse words, in a gramatically correct and scathing sentence. I just LOVE that!!!

You are just SUPER. I will be sharing this with my dad now.


TKW August 11, 2011 at 7:05 pm


I always just loved your parents. Both of them. Papa Stu with his stern retorts and your Mama, who never owned a toaster and did it all in the oven. I loved being in your house with you all.


SuziCate August 11, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Love you and your blog just the way you are! Growing up, my parents cussed like crazy (except NEVER the F bomb!) yet were were not even allowed to say darn…seriously! Apparently, I grew into a confused curser as I curse alot ( f bomb included!) but ALMOST always under my breath. I guess I’m one of those wishy washy cursers, so I should just give it up!!!!


dj sparkly unicorn August 11, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Someone gave me a good excuse for my swearing when I was in grade school. It’s a tick. I’m ticked off. I’m not some cutesy lil chicky. I would rather be a swearing badass. With fucken glitter. Deal, yo. When the day comes when women aren’t expected to be submissive little servants who pretty up the place, I’ll stop swearing. That means: Not In My Lifetime.

Everytime I hear someone say “I swear” as a heavy sigh, I tell them that I’m waiting for the swearing part, and not fucken patiently I might add. *stomps foot*

I learned that I should never work for someone whose immediate response to a bad dealio (like, say a car accident) is “DRAT! OH DANG.” My reply to MrGollyGeeWilbur’s oh-so-precious release of frustration was: “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!!!” *crazy disbelief wtf sideway glare* Apparently his little ears hurt more than my whiplashed whacked body hurt. He was a horrible boss since day 1. He had a priest complex, his desk was his altar, and I don’t get down on my knees for anyone. But that day was a big fucking sign to RUN, DO NOT PASS GO. Choir boys should stay the hell away from me.


TKW August 12, 2011 at 12:43 pm


What a weirdo boss. At least you learned that you can’t take choir boys, right?


Contemporary Troubadour August 11, 2011 at 9:10 pm

All I have to say, after these responses, is this: have you seen The King’s Speech?

Cursing can serve a *very* good purpose :)


TKW August 12, 2011 at 12:44 pm


I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve heard it’s great. It’s on the Netflix list.


Heather August 12, 2011 at 6:11 am

If someone doesn’t like a potty mouth then they should move the hell on! You are true to yourself and those of us who love you do so because of that! There are too many parts of our lives that just require a good ‘ole fashioned curse word. I suspect that’s why they’ve been kept so sacred all these years! They need to be powerful to get the emotion across. You just keep right on being you!!!


Kelly August 12, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Considering I just blogged about creepy ass children, you had me at f-bomb.


Dawn August 13, 2011 at 5:06 pm

The advantage of getting older is that eventually people just chalk you up to being one of those crazy old people and you can get away with ANYTHING. But I don’t think you’re at that stage yet…so it’s good you can tell when to cut back, or at least give warning! :)


SUPAHMAMA August 13, 2011 at 5:24 pm

LOVE that you warn people ahead of time! You need a shirt that says, “If you’re not offended, I haven’t done my job.”


TKW August 14, 2011 at 5:20 am


Genius. I know what I’m asking Santa for this year.


Cheryl @ Mommypants August 13, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Fucking A, babe!

Spending most of my professional career in Major League Baseball clubhouses and around journalists? You bet a swear. A lot.

But not in front of the kids.

Well, not all the time, anyway. ;)


Tracy August 14, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Chaste, with a foul mouth. I can so identify with that. I always say I have a mouth like a sewer, a line I think I got from “Laverne and Shirley.” The mouth came from having a brother who was nine years older. If I don’t curse, my head will explode.


faemom August 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm

I love you. Personally, I don’t like that I cuss. I was much more imaginative with my curse words when I didn’t use the generic cuss words. I need to get back to that.
And I’m stealing your line with an alteration:
“Hi, I’m Jeanette. I’m a bitch. I will probably, at some point this evening, offend you. I apologize in advance for that one point.”


From Belgium August 15, 2011 at 4:14 am

I can curse in French, German, Dutch and English and I am damn proud of it!


Tiffany August 15, 2011 at 10:15 am

That Dad’s advice was awesome. Curse with flair. Love it. I swear. A lot. Oh well. I try not to in front of the kids but I’m pretty sure one of Matty’s first words was “Damn it!” and Olivia loves to say “Bullshit”. Hmmm…maybe I’m not so good at keeping it quiet after all.


Jana@AnAttitudeAdjustment August 15, 2011 at 5:24 pm

I’m a curser, too. I think I do it more now because I was too afraid to do it until I got to college. And then with teaching, you have to be so careful. I do think I surprise people sometimes, but I don’t care. And cursing with verve? How awesome was that guy? You must have had a crush on him long after that dinner conversation.


TKW August 15, 2011 at 6:01 pm


I know what you mean about the teaching/cursing thing–man, that was a challenge. I got in big trouble one time for telling a kid (who was harassing a substitute teacher in the hallway) to “Shut your mouth and stop being a dick.”

Ooops. :)


Nancy C August 16, 2011 at 6:28 pm

I love a good swear. Any version of fuck is tops in my book.

But I will not say the C word. Just gross.

And I try not to in front of the kids. It’s hard because they fucking piss me off some days.


Kathryn at Good Life Road August 19, 2011 at 7:47 am

I’m with you. I don’t curse a whole lot but I am a firm believer that curse words are just that…words! And sometimes a word that is extra strong is just what’s called for. If that’s the case….it’s anything but unoriginal and crass, it’s descriptive. Being too easily offended is generally lame and I think it may stunt your growth.


Justine August 26, 2011 at 9:15 am

Man, I wouldn’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t curse.

I think if we met in person, you and I will have plenty to talk about, with many an expletive thrown in between verbs, guffaws and mimosas. You’re pretty damned terrific in my book, kid :)


Annie August 27, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Dana, this is just one reason why I love you and your blog. I don’t curse on my blog because it’s a bit too public of a forum these days, but believe me, in real life I have quite the mouth. People are often a little shocked by it but I find that if they are the kind of people I care to hang around for extended periods, they don’t mind (and most find it fun :) Then again, many people are similarly baffled by the fact that I speak my mind and tell it like it is. Again, not something I’m about to give up any time soon.


TKW August 28, 2011 at 5:23 pm


I love it that you curse. You are such a beauty–delicate and no bigger than a minute–I bet that the second you let a good one fly, people are astounded. This is good. I like astounding people.

But as you point out, the people who love you will love you, damns and all. 7 champagne toasts to women who speak their mind. xo


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