Swear Like A Cartoon Character

Posted on 03/08/2011 by


Since yesterday it’s been pointed out to me that I tend to swear like a cartoon character. Now I’ll grant you Criminently, Nutsy! is straight out of a Disney movie* but I don’t think oh my fruity lord belongs in any cartoon nor does the previously mentioned holy crap**, and tarnation coffee fields has nothing to do with anything. I don’t even think most of those count as swear words so much as exclamation of surprise or words-I-use-when-I-am-too-distracted-to-use-real-words.Trigger and Nutsy

On a related note, at least insofar as it’s about swearing, this. Which basically says that swearing can be physiologically beneficial in the right circumstances.*** Apparently if you swear when you hurt yourself it can increase your pain threshold. As mind over matter painkillers go it’s an interesting one.

I’ve always thought that blood-on-the-floor was a perfectly valid reason to swear, and now there’s scientific backing! Personally whenever I try to cut my thumb off I swear and then say, ‘ow’ a lot. Apparently I think chanting ‘ow’ repeatedly clearly functions like a voodoo charm to ward off bad spirits that bring headaches. Also banging your head against the wall helps. Or at least, distracts by relocating the pain.

Rick says a better method would be ‘stop trying to cut your thumb off’ and I’m forced to admit he has a point. But that just opens up the field for other kinds of random injuries to enter my life. And besides, how often does one have the opportunity to personally test the validity of a scientific study?


* Robin Hood (1973)

** Incidentally, do you think it’s more or less offensive if you capitalise the ‘holy’ in that phrase?

*** Although, unfortunately for those who use swearing as punctuation or as a verbal tick (like to replace the word ‘um’) this method would be unlikely to have any effect. Like any addict, the drug is less effective with excessive use.