The Value of Swearing

Posted on April 20, 2009 by


I don’t swear. I don’t like to hear swearing. In fact, I was going to write a different post, about how swearing is the most convenient (and perhaps purest) verbal expression of negative energy. But that’s not this post.

Over the last few days at work, I’ve been trying to implement some new systems — a CVS repository and some LOB-management tools. It’s been a mostly frustrating experience. When I step back from it, I can see that it’s basically the same experience I have whenever I try to do something I’ve never done before. I take dead-end paths. I google through endless tutorials, wishing I had someone who could just show me how it’s done.

Then the image of the crusty auto mechanic came to mind, the guy swearing up a storm in his garage. And I thought, “Maybe that’s what swearing is for. It helps bridge the gap between frustration and competence.” And while I don’t plan to test this theory, it’ll give me something to think about next time I hear grumblings and cursings from the cubicle next door.

Posted in: Work