As anyone who has read my novels could have guessed, I'm a bit of swearer. But I'm not one of those crude people who use swear words in a casual manner. I'm from the old school and swear particularly for emphasis. A writer never likes to waste words.
This past weekend, I had a moment of proper use for an expletive. I was slicing up a particularly difficult tomato for lunch when the extremely sharp knife slipped, stabbing me in the palm between my thumb and forefinger. It went deep, hitting a nerve that left my finger numb and tingly for nearly ten minutes. At the moment of impact, in my howl of pain, I let loose a drawn out, full volume, well articulated F*#K that sent the cats scrambling for cover.
Once everything was tended to and the feeling returned to my finger, I laughed at how my reaction in such situations is to swear. It's the same for many people. I started thinking how strange it is that a release of obscenity is the body's reaction to pain, and even stranger, how it helps to ease it. Another testament to the power of words...and the dangers of sharp knives.