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When you look at this picture, do you think of that pet as shitting or pooping? (Also, is it a dog or a cat?) Seriously, I want to know (both) in the comments. And why do you think you associate that particular word with the picture? Does it have anything to do with context? Like that animal (and presumably the owner) are being disgraceful so therefore it’s shitting. Or, maybe you see this and your manners kick in. This is what we must NOT do: defecate on the sidewalk, sweet princess. (Seriously though, that pet’s name isn’t princess. [It’s probably Uncle Xenic]) Or maybe the word you think of has nothing to do with context. Is it just how you’ve been taught to describe the act? Or does your mood dictate what word comes to mind?

I don’t usually go to Twitter chats because I have a hard time keeping up and usually don’t know anyone there, which is maybe a strange reason not to participate, but whatever. Well, last night at the #kidlit chat, the topic was Grammar…and (usage?) I forget, and so did everyone else because it became this talk about swearing and derogatory terms.”Penis Wrinkle” kept showing up in posts–totally mature we YA writers are. Also a bunch of this sort of thing: #$@&!

Anyway, something that has always confused me is how writers cuss, or sort of don’t cuss, especially on blogs and in settings that are not published books, etc. I have no problem swearing  (in books or in my day-to-day language), which you probably have picked up on from my posts regarding treadmills and talent shows. Here’s why: I’m a little bit dramatic. Cursing suits my style. And I get it that some people just aren’t cussers. But those of you caught in the middle, what gives?  I just don’t get why “sh!t” is somehow less offensive than “shit.” Seriously, when you see “sh!t,” don’t you still read it “shit?” It’s like farting: the quiet ones are still offensive. And, “#$@&!” just makes me pause and run through every swear with four letters until I find the one I hope the author the intends. (Or make a weird sound effect in my head that’s more goofy than cuss-y) I guess I just find it strange that writers are at odds with expressing themselves in this way.

And I can’t resist, so here it is. Summation: Shit or get off the pot.