Personal story time!
I work in a rather enclosed office in a supermarket with five other women, although at most there is only three of us in at a time. Coversation varies greatly between us all depending on which mix of women are in there. Today, I was in work with two of them - one of them being the oldest in the office (for ease sake, let's call her Mary). I was happily going about my work, filling in some forms when I come across something in one of them that made me exclaim in surprise. Both women turned around in shock and berated me for swearing.
So what did I say?
It was my turn to turn to them in shock - it's barely swearing, I argued. Worse had been cried out before by people on the shop floor. Then Mary looked at me quite poigniantly. I was being told off because I was blaspheming. I don't know whether I hurt my situation with them at the time by laughing out loud. Neither of them had ever come across as hugely religious, though Mary had proven herself to be quite conservative in the past. It got me thinking though; my Dad had raised me to respect language but to also realise that sometimes words are just that. Words. At the time, he was trying to teach me that swearing wasn't all that a big deal if used right (humour, anger etc). As such, I treat a lot of my own speech like that - I try to think about what I say and how I say it (easier written than spoken, I'll admit) but in the end, I'm not going to spilt hairs over how I use words to whomever, relevant censorship and borders applied, of course (I'm not going to openly swear in front of children, for example).
But what really tickled me was when one of the managers came in for their usual checks - mid-conversation, he declared "JESUS CHRIST!" I immediately turned to Mary and cheekily responded "He used Jesus' name in vain, how come he can get away with blasphemy?" She was ready for me, with a less than witty comeback.
"It's unbecoming for a lady to swear."
Well Jesus Christ riding on a pogo stick from the bloodiest pits of Hell. I guess I'm no longer a lady then.