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©According to My Grandmother, It’s Still Cussin’


Have you ever watched an R-rated movie on commercial tv? I watched about 5 minutes of the movie, Casino and saw Sharon Stone screaming at Robert DeNero, “Freak you. Freak you. You feakin’ freak.” And DeNero shouts back, “No. Freak you.” I’ve got to tell you, I had to turn the tv off. It was freakin’ me out, man.

            But, according to my grandmother, that’s still cussin’. She said you can make up substitute words for bad words all day long, but it’s still cussin’.

            She would fuss at my grandfather if he said gosh or golly. She told him he was using God’s name in vain. And if you said gosh darn, you may as well have said GD, because in her mind that’s exactly what you said.

            A guy I worked with said geez in front of her. She told him not to use the Lord’s name in vain. He started to argue, but I shook my head and he backed off. He didn’t know how lucky he was.

            She said the word shoot was a substitute for the slang BM word, so nobody in the family ever talked about guns or hunting in front of her. We couldn’t even call a helicopter a hecktocopter. We had to call if a whirlybird.

            In most cases, euphemisms are good, but not to my grandmother. Substituting an inoffensive term for an offensive one, you may as well go ahead and cuss.

            I wonder how she would feel today about people using the new substitution terminology: F-word or S-word? Would she consider that still cussin’?

            Quite frankly, I don’t give a darn.



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