The language of bias

By David Heinemeier Hansson on October 11, 2007

I'm allergic to people who willingly and without irony use the term "potty mouth" in adult conversation. The notion that a word like fuck can make your brain curl up and cry like a toddler is so pathetically disturbing that it makes my skin crawl. It has the plastic smell of a barbie playhouse and the repressed insecurities of casual friday khakis.

I can't fucking stand it.

But at least the potty mouth reaction is a useful leading indicator for personality fits. It's almost as good as the f-bomb reaction. Both are fake euphemisms that are actually much worse than the honest words they're trying to put a fig leaf to. And if you're serious about using them, I'm serious about thinking you're too fucking lame to bother further debate with.

Which of course is ironic. Since the whole potty mouth fuzz is about distancing yourself from that foul person on the basis of words. Heh.

But at least us sailors recognize that the sea flows both ways. That by using wonderfully flexible joker words like fuck, we're sending a signal of distance to the inevitable crowd who takes offense from that. The potty mouth crowd seems shocked — shocked — that their language could have a similar effect in the opposite direction.

Anyway, fuck it (how great is this word? I seriously considered naming this post "Fuck: The Mother Word" but in the end my despise of the potty mouth term won out just slightly over my affection for the word fuck).

If you want to dive deeper into the wonderful world of cursing, I highly recommend What The Fuck: Why We Curse by Steven Pinker

P.S.: See also Fuck, a marvelous tour of the utility of this word.