(Frank) Underwood

The Beauty of Words

Words are awesome. Every letter you are currently reading on your screen right now is the manifestation of mankind creating a written form of communication to express a sound our mouth makes, or an idea we have to describe something.

Without words we would still be grunting and drawing on walls. Which would be a real bummer.

I love words.

I love weird words, normal words, foul words and every word in between. Every word has a purpose and, when used correctly, a powerful function.

To keep your sensitive eyes from reading something you don’t want, I’ll warn you up front: I’m going to cuss a lot in this post. I’m going to pull from the depths some of the foulest things a person can say.
However, it won’t be without meaning. So please, don’t disregard the message I’m trying to convey because you viewed a combination of letters you don’t like.

The list of words I love is too long to write out in a simple blog post. It would require you to read the dictionary and then cross reference it with every other language other than english.

There are some words that I absolutely love, and enjoy using them in conversation. I don’t use them to make myself sound smarter (mostly), I use them because they are beautiful and intricate in their own right.

While my hubris can be the reason for my inclusion of particular words into my everyday vocabulary, I try to use them wisely. Oversaturating my sentences with uncommon words doesn't make me sound well educated, it makes me sound like an ass. Something I don’t need any further help with.

Here’s a quick list of some of my favorites:

Befuddled: Unable to think clearly.

Ineffable: Too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words.

Caustic: Sarcastic in a scathing and bitter way.

Boondoggle: Work or activity that is wasteful or pointless but gives the appearance of having value.

Pugnacious: Eager or quick to argue, quarrel, or fight.

Cocksure: Presumptuously or arrogantly confident.

Fastidious: very attentive to and concerned about accuracy and detail.

Fatuous: Silly and pointless.

Fuckery: This is just fun to say.

Jackassery: This is also fun to say.

Sanctimonious: Making a show of being morally superior to other people.

Acrimonious: Angry and bitter.

Paroxysm: A sudden attack or violent expression of a particular emotion or activity.

…of course there’s always more.

My point with all of this is simple: We have a vast ocean of words we can use to describe something or converse with, yet most of us choose to be colloquial so we don’t come off as arrogant or superior. We also, above all, just want to be understood.

In our attempts to market ourselves (lets face it, we're all products), we've slowly killed off the use of certain words in the name of speaking plainly so everyone can understand. Ostensibly, this is ok with everyone. In reality, it’s sad.

Instead of preserving the sanctity of the english language by continuing to use thought provoking words, we've decided to put all of our laziness into creating slang. Not to say that slang doesn't have it’s own merits, but let's be honest: Calling things “Bae” is just vacuous.

Words are important, whether they sound simple-minded or erudite. We can't dismiss the importance of any word based on what it sounds like. Even bae.

While I believe a word is just a word, and doesn't make someone good or bad, I do believe that words that are misused or are not used within the proper environment or context can have negative results.

A slur such as cracker, nigger, faggot, dyke, chink, homo or beaner are all examples of words that have been so misused, that the only power they hold is to degrade another human being. The only proper context for the use of these words is in an example like I just wrote. They should just be words, but like all things, humanity has found a way to twist something and make it vile.

Swear words, cussess, foul language, harsh words, vile, vulgar or just what our parents called bad words are actually quite amazing. They can help show an emotion, provide power or add shock value to a conversation.

Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker and Tits.

These words are amazing. They provide an emotional outlet, whether that be through anger or joy. They shake the structure of a sentence and cause those who are listening to perk up, and well, they're just fun to say.

Now, if I were to overuse any particular word, no matter if it was ‘fuck’ or just ‘dude’, it would no longer hold the same power that it did when used sparsely.

If I told (or wrote) a story like the following, my audience would lose interest fast:

“Dude… like dude. So I was just hanging with some other dudes, dude, and this car whizzed by with some crazy dude in it and I was like ‘DUDE!’ and he was like ‘DUDE!’ right back to me! Dude, it was crazy dude.”
“So there I fucking am, just fucking eating my fucking burger and I am fucking texting my mom, and I was like ‘fuck’ I fucking forgot to get her a fucking birthday present. Fucking happens to me all the fucking time.”

Neither of those examples are enjoyable to read. However, in the second one, using the word ‘fuck’ only once, would give the story some shock value:

“So there I am, just eating my burger and I am texting my fucking mom, and I was like “oh no.” I forgot to get her a birthday present. This kind of stuff happens to me all the time.”

In that example, the word ‘fuck’ was used for shock. It became a joke. And I’m sorry if you have a different perspective than me, but it’s funny.

Keep in mind: Using any sort of word (whether it’s officially confirmed as foul by the religious majority or a group of mommy bloggers) to put down another human being, is just a poor excuse for not being able to talk to that person like an adult. Not that you can't do both, but we often lose that ability when we overuse certain words.

The following word is the coup de grâce, the death blow for all other swear words. The big C.


The description that Dictionary.com presents is as follows:

All senses of this word are vulgar slang and are very strongly tabooed and censored. The meanings that refer to a woman and a contemptible person are used with disparaging intent and are perceived as highly insulting and demeaning. There are many words used to refer to people in sexual terms. However, to call a person a cunt, especially a woman, is one of the most hateful and powerful examples of verbal abuse in the English language.

While I completely agree with the above statement, I have to admit, it’s also one of the most satisfying words to say*. It’s sharp, brash, and monosyllabic. I could whisper it under my breath or shout it at the top of my lungs and it would still have the same effect.

That effect would be determined by my company. If I was to use it in what I believed was a humorous way, it would be shocking and perhaps garner some laughs. If I used it to describe someone in a most unflattering way, it would capture the attention of whom I was conversing with, perhaps inciting anger in them or even more shock.

*If you ever refer to any woman as a cunt, I'll just beat the shit out of you. Don't be a fucking misogynist douchecanoe.

While most swear words are used freely by the masses, the liberty at which they are used is often too much. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. I'm not advocating swearing like a sailor, but I'm also not saying you should bite thy tongue lest you offend someone. Like everything, there is a time and a place.

Just like listening to Nickelback, it’s your choice. Just don’t subject everyone else around you to your own poor taste.

Language is an ever evolving entity. Words are alive. They exist to help us better communicate with each other and we should take that as a great responsibility. After all, communication is key to our humanity. If we can create a way to communicate with just our hands or blinks of our eyes, then we certainly should respect the words that we are able to speak and write.

As always, you can contact me on Twitter @tehshawn. Send me a reply or DM and we can chat. I’d love to talk to you.

*Did you catch all my grammatical errors? The irony should be obvious…

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