[CW: rude words and concepts ahead.]
I believe I have arrived at the simplest possible litmus test for things you can or can’t say. Of course you can say anything to anyone at any time. You may say whatever you like as well. The only problem that prompts the question “Can I say that?” is uncertainty of the potential consequences.
Who wants to accidentally offend other people when they can bide their time and do it on purpose?
When I was younger and dumber, I sometimes got into arguments with strangers, but only when I had a very large boyfriend nearby. I am reminded of this whenever I see someone talking shit with body guards. Bullies can come in any size, as can consequences.
Now the question most recently was posed to me by one of my English major friends who said they had a niggling suspicion–they abruptly interrupted themselves to ask, “Can I say that?”
I sighed. “Probably not,” I replied. It’s a good word, but it’s likely to cause some triggling (not a word, but rather a thing that will upset editors).
Later, I realized I have the answer for any of these situations. Like all my best discoveries, I can’t patent it or claim exclusive insight. It probably already has a fancy name that was invented by Ben Franklin. Whatever.
Anyhoo, because I spend a greater and greater amount of my time shouting jokes at deafening old people, I can attest that there is an ever greater number of phrases I do not want to shout, no matter how good the joke.
“His penis turned fifty-one, also!!” is one example.
So if you are truly wondering if you should say something, imagine shouting it at your elderly neighbor in front of an unanticipated group of children. Try that sensation on for size. Maybe picture bursting onto a school bus to rant your sentence.
More real examples to conjure in your imaginary school bus:
- Stop being disgusting. And have a great weekend!!
- I shoot first and ask questions later!!
- Actually the Nazis weren’t all bad!!
- I should have had five abortions!!
The last one is something I heard someone actually shout around here. I’m worried it was heard by any number of one to five children at the time.
You are allowed to be an asshole, you may even be a loud asshole, but I don’t recommend being an accidental asshole. It feels terrible.
If you must be obnoxious, do it on purpose for the right reasons and the right busload of people. If you want to know if you’re on the verge of being obnoxious, consider waiting until you’re sure.
You don’t have to restrict yourself to saying things like “I love transit!!” You’re smart. You’ll figure it out.
I seem to have some kind of mail deficiency preventing me from shipping the last few giveaway books. It’s a really strange phenomenon. It’s like procrastination but different. Precraftibulation, perhaps.
Blunt Rhymes with all Kinds of Words, Inc.
Like Harry Truman, I don’t give ’em hell, I just tell it like it is and they think it’s hell. This Daisy Jones show is a disappointment. Nobody wants to see talented actors forced to narrate themselves five minutes later like it’s an episode of “The Rehearsal.” Furthermore, 1975 was not that orange! I was there. When will they understand it’s the film that made everything look orange to modern eyes? Jeez. Tip the cranky hostess, or don’–it changes nothing!!