Confession: I cuss. I’m not exactly proud of it, but I’m not ashamed, either. In fact, it comes in pretty #%@*-#% handy right now.
Swearing was taboo in my strict Catholic upbringing, and I’m not just talking about the “Big-7.” I remember getting a whack from Aunt Mamie, right on the front porch, because she heard me say “toilet water.” I was only 5, but even then, I thought to myself, “What the #%@* is wrong with saying toilet water?”
I picked up the basics in elementary school, and took in some very helpful lectures when visiting other strict Catholic homes. There was a time I could say #%@* in Italian, German, Gaelic, and Portuguese. Learning compound cusses and proper adjective use was a bit more difficult, but I have my childhood football coaches to thank for squiring me through this difficult course. “What the #%@*ity #%@*-#%@*???” remains a classic to this day.
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My undergraduate degree came courtesy of the U.S. Navy. They say the game moves faster in the pros, and I can attest to that. Stepping off the bus at boot camp was like lacing up against the ’92 Dream Team. I never dared to imagine that an entire sentence, heck, an entire paragraph could be constructed of only cuss words paired with the word “recruit.” I was both terrified and inspired.
It was then that my highly successful, but unfortunately short-lived “dirty-drilling-ditty” period began. Everybody’s a critic, including the base commander, as it turned out. With a last name like “Stucky,” he should have seen it coming.
I chose the construction industry to pursue my Ph.D., and my thesis was entitled “What the #%@*? The Unanswerable Question.”
Upon completing my doctorate, I entered the field of residential remodeling. In my previous studies I learned that not only is this the second most popular field for the world’s top cussers, (celebrity assistant is No. 1, but the pay sucks) but there is a never-ending need for top-tier expletive executives. And you get to be outdoors.
Many people consider swearing to be the tools of the ignorant. But I, and science, disagree.
A 2017 Marist College study found that potty-mouths consistently scored higher on verbal fluency tests than their “okily-dokily” counterparts. Swearing has also been found to reduce anxiety, something we’ve all got plenty of these days. Now what the #%@* do you think of that?