I Kind Of Like to be Profane

Profanity is supposed to be offensive, I get that, but there are times when the word shit just works so perfectly that a PG substitution won’t quite do.

You know when you stub your toe on something? Shit! Shit just works so beautifully to express the pain, surprise, and anger all balled into one, four letter word. Saying shoot just doesn’t have the same impact, not in real life and not in a poem. Shit conveys a very real emotion that cannot be replaced by one word alone.

Fuck is the same way. I love the word fuck. I use it all the time, though I do try to avoid it at work. Fuck just adds color to common annoyances. That’s not a car that cut me off, it’s a fucking car, because they are assholes. And, yes, fuck has a sexual connotation too, and for me it’s a very specific one. When sex is raw, angry, not beautiful nor loving, it’s fucking. If I want to be raw and angry towards sex in my writing, I will use the word fuck, because it illustrates the raunchiness so perfectly. There’s no other substitution for the word fuck.

I could go through a list of profane words to make my point, or I can just state it plainly: I like profanity and I feel it has a place in language that cannot be replaced by non-profane words. That’s my stance.

What’s your stance on profanity? You can leave it in the comments below or shoot us a message on our contact us tab.

Amanda Riggle

Amanda Riggle

Amanda is the Managing Editor at The Poetics Project and of The Socialist, the national magazine of The Socialist Party USA, as well as the Lead Editor of Pomona Valley Review's upcoming 11th issue. She graduated with a BA in English Education and a minor in Political Science. She is currently enrolled in an English MA program with an emphasis in Literature. During her free time, Amanda enjoys writing poetry, reading, traveling, crocheting, watching entire seasons of campy shows on Netflix, and, of course, writing blogs.
Amanda Riggle

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  1. Tracy Albers

    I agree. As long as the words add personality and meaning to the work, then there is definitely a place for profanity in writing.

  2. Jennifer writingsofamrs

    I think profanity has a time an a place, when you stub your toe really hard or when you are trying to make a strong point etc. But so many people use swear words in place of words that could better describe their emotion or feelings.
    That’s my fucking two cents. 😉

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