Swearing in a new generation

No, this isn’t another blog about the UMNO GA and Dr Mahathir’s inspirational speech, so if you’re looking for that, look elsewhere.

I was just perusing some blogs by young Malaysians and discovered that the faculties of eloquent debate have been replaced by delinquent swearing. Is this our legacy these days?

Now I’m all for freedom of expression and honesty but is shooting garbage off to anyone and everyone really the way we want our kids to converse in the future? While sudden combustions of fucks and dius are warranted when one’s brain is seized with incendiary anger but these days, cursing has become part of even the simplest verbal discourse – even when it’s to say something nice (“how the fuck are you?). And now, we’re even colouring, bolding and italisingexpletives. Once vehicles for verbal abuse, a colourful vocab has become vogue. You wear it about your mouth like a fashion accessory.

Maybe I’m getting old. Maybe verbal decadence has become an inherent part of Malaysian life and polite speech has become archaic. Maybe it’s just become less important amid issues of world hunger and poverty and making sure we have enough to enrol our kids in international school systems that will guarantee a better academic future vs. a morally sound one.

I remember the day after my SPM 13 years ago. After the last paper, my friends and I ran to the middle of our school field and fired a stream of expletives in an ultrasonic chorus. And then we fell down, laughing like fools about it. It was the ultimate method of putting an end to life as a teenager, an end to teachers breathing down our necks, of parents reprimanding us for bad report cards, of Add Maths and Chemistry and stupid PE lessons. It was like finding your dad’s porn tapes and watching them, giggling away at how this strange ‘grown-up’ carnal obsession. In an expellation of all things adult and vile, we cursed into the wind.

Oh well. I hope it’s just these blogs.


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