Wednesday, September 15, 2010

the cooler - and some profanity

When a firefighter is sent out for the day, they are often sitting somewhere remote, waiting for a fire call. Sometimes that call doesn't come for days.

The lunch cooler then becomes the focal point for the entire workday. It causes arguments, dissent, and anger, usually directed at the rookies who packed it. Senior members of the crew will complain bitterly should anything, even the most seemingly insignificant condiment be forgotten. Not enough bacon and/or cheese is considered a very serious oversight.

I should warn the viewers (slightly too late, I suppose) that there is a heavy amount of profanity in this video, and because I'm not offended by such language when used properly, so I didn't bother to censor any of it. Beeps lack impact.

Swearing has been in the news lately, mostly presented as a sign of unprofessionalism. Clearly, context is everything. I argue that depending on the situation, it may be professional to swear. If you think of a police officer making it abundantly clear for someone not to move... at all; at that point, an expletive can add that needed emphasis. Or, perhaps, when your lunch menu has been tragically usurped by the poor planning of a fellow crew member. The F-word does tend attract attention under nearly any situation. The C-word can stop an entire house party.

The flip side is that one should probably not swear in church, or in an elementary school, or at the front end of a restaurant. Potentially difficult words to explain to those under ten should probably be avoided, most of the time.

But then the question of what is a swear word or not comes up. To some, fart, darn, damn, tabernacle and so forth are swear words. I don't like my vocabulary being tailored to fit someone else's idea of politeness. Rules with no logic tend towards encouraging me to break them.

I'm more offended by the following words and non-words and I hear them every single day, over and over and over again.

like : used instead of um, ah or silence. If you can't use it properly, you shouldn't say it. Choose silence.

literally : you probably never need to use this word. I hear it all the time and generally following a hyperbole thus making it an even more stupid word to use.

moving forward : these two words are just business and new age jargon. Generally, it is meaningless noise that should be replaced with "we should do this now" or "NEXT".

irregardless : not actually a word, regardless of what you might think.

orientated : again, not a word. You are more lost than you know.

i.e. : quit using latin to seem more clever.

I could care less : notice how every time someone says this, they, in fact, care a great deal.

Instead of using those words and phrases, I think we would all be better served to instead use some sort of profanity. At least we would choose our words more carefully.


  1. Fuck I love you Tom Weston

  2. And I love you too, Karna.

    Remember, if you and your little monster are ever out on the west coast, you must stop by for coffee/scotch and whatnot.

  3. Oh, you hit on some really annoying speech habits that bug me, like like and irregardless and I could care less.

    I rarely swear, maybe once every few years. The neat thing is you get a lot more mileage from one little swear word when the friends or coworkers you're with have NEVER heard you swear.

  4. I've noticed that too.

    It's also that much more satisfying.

    If you think of any more annoying speech habits, feel free to share them.



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