Over at Pandagon, Jesse and Amanda both have fine posts about cussing*/cursing/using nasty words.
These posts have brought the trolls out in force, as they tend to.
This topic is one that annoys me, too. Our friends on the Right, see, believe that it is all right to hold the most reactionary, hateful, vicious beliefs -- that oppressing the Other is just fine, that the poor deserve to be poor because they are ignorant and lazy, that Jesus wants us to bomb people who don't follow his religion, that it is okay to beat your children into submission with belts and sticks, that giving women the vote ruined this country, that the only proper reaction to your enemy is to shoot him in the head, twice, and once in the chest -- all of that, believe those on the Right, is perfectly fine speech. Nothng wrong with any of that speech.
But say fuck?
That, my love, is stepping way over the line.
This is where my jaw drops.
Hate speech is evil, in my universe. Not saying fuck. Saying hateful things. Not saying shit, saying hate your neighbor. Not saying goddamn it, saying poor folk are too lazy to work, that's evil. But no. Over on the right, they can call someone a traitor, they can say, with a straight face, that the Jews had it coming (as Vox Day did in one sweet little post) because they are so annoying, but so long as they don't mention hell anywhere, why, they're on the side of the angels, they are.
As I said to my brother, when the kid was nine months old and he said fuck in front of her, and then apologized to me: "Sorry," he said. "I guess I shouldn't say the F word in front of your kid."
"No," I said. "Say the F word all you want. Just don't say the N word in front of her."
*BTW: Difference between cursing and cussing is a regional one, having to do with whether you come from an area that has a rhotic or a non-rhotic dialect. A rhotic dialect is one that pronounces that post-vocalic R (the R that follows the U in cursing): if you come from a place that is rhotic you tend to call it cursing. If not, you call it cussing. Many Deep South Regions are Non-Rhotic. (They say Fah for Far and Yahd for Yard and Cuss for Curse.)
Another BTW: Bad words in our house are called Mama Words and the kid is not allowed to say them. This is not because I think they are actually Bad Words, as I have explained to her. It is because I know the folk out in the world will think she is ignorant and bad if she uses them. I have told her when she is fifteen or sixteen she can start using them -- when she is old enough to accurately judge situations appropriately, and know when it's all right to use them and when it isn't. I've explained to her about ignorant folk who think words are bad and how they're wrong. So? Right now? When she's angry and wants to use a nasty word? She says, "Oh -- MAMA WORD!"