Contextually correct swearing.

I have a potty mouth. I’m sorry, I just do. I think it’s because my father has a potty mouth. He swore like a trooper as I grew up, so I guess I picked it up off him, but what does it matter, I am what I am, and I swear like a trooper. I could probably make an effort to change, but I can’t. I’ve tried.

Anyhow, I’ve said this before, but bears repeating it again here. I teach in China, and I spend a lot of time trying to get the students to speak English. It’s hard work. I’m in China. The students are Chinese. They’re going to want to speak Chinese. It’s a battle to get them to speak English, but I’ll keep “fighting the good fight.” till I leave.

I said all that to say this. I was asking the students some questions, when I got a surreal comment from one of the students. He said “Wait, wait, I f***ing know this.”, which made me laugh. Now I don’t usually laugh at swearing, but as far as I’m aware, that might be a correct time to swear. What surprised me was the comment I got off a colleague when I related the story in the staffroom. I was told it was “disrespectful” to me and all staff. Now don’t get me wrong, I told the kid if he said it in future, it wouldn’t necessarily be appropriate,, but swearing comes with a context, doesn’t it? He didn’t mean to be rude by it, so I didn’t offence. It’s not the words that are the offending item, it’s the intention behind them that’s important, and this kid wasn’t being rude, he was just getting excited.

I am right on that aren’t I?

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