Although I do enjoy a relaxing bike ride home at 0530, as you can enjoy the scenery and think about grand things in life…sometimes you think about things like the phrase: “I f@&#%ing love this sh#t!” Someone said this as they were climbing a magnificent wall, and I just thought to myself, what was the benefit or purpose of using those cuss words.
First, and I’m no grammarian by any means, but in that phrase, an adjective is turned into an adverb. or at least where you would normally place an adverb…. Without the cusses, the phrase is “I love this!” why is that not sufficient? or you could use a normal adverb “I truly love this” or be casual “This is awesome!”
Second, clearly, the climber did not truly love sh#t. They put great personnel risk, finances, and creature comfort into going on the climb. Granted, saying they loved climbing would be redundant as “this” implies the activity they are currently doing. In theory, “this” is ambiguous and could refer to the placement of pitons, a specific hold, tying a knot, belaying their partner…..but the use of sh#t does not further clarify “this” unless there was a magnificent pile of goat crud that the climber saw and was enamoured with. Given the peak, I would say 100% unlikely.
The other question that came to mind as I thought, clearly far too long about this phrase, was does the increased use of vulgarities in our society render them less meaningful? To an extent yes, but the tone and pairing in which the vulgarity is used is more the determining factor to its meaning and impact. Such as, “Holy motherf@#$&ing sh#t balls” followed by “this is the best soup I have ever tasted” would be an odd, but enormous complement. Yet followed by a concerned tone of “What did you do?!” could exemplify the shock of seeing someone eat goat crud, or something far worse.
All this to say, I should bike faster so I do not contemplate whether f$&#%ing is an adverb or adjective and the impact of cuss words in society.
Oh yeah, it would also be great for increasing my mileage, loosing post-heart-crumbling-ice-cream-eating summer weight, better fitness, and beating more people on the trail 😉
Until then, stay safe and happy trails!