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Mister Profanity Pants

Tuesday June 2, 2020

Are you profane? I mean, do you use a lot of crude language and “bad words”?

Probably not, I’d guess. Some of you are outliers and I have worked with you too. But most of you, nope.

There’s really something interesting about INTJs and profanity. It’s awkward and generally not cool. No matter the background. Religious or not. Quiet or not. We tend to prefer this more refined approach to language and communication.

Some thoughts:

  • Information, especially high-level information like big-picture theory or concept, flows more easily in the absence of profanity.
  • Profanity is kind of the enemy of nuance, and our perceptions, the information that’s very important to us—yeah that stuff is really nuanced.
  • INTJs see composure as a helpful asset. The “no, you didn’t actually surprise or impress me” look is part of our repertoire, part of the way we attempt to shape the psychological playing field. On such a playing field, profanity is too risky a play.

Anyway, lately I’ve been experimenting with profanity. You’ve probably seen me alternately using asterisks and leaving them out.

Because duck that asterisk split.

Some profanity is just normal and even sensible, I think. It’s a mood. A message. A backstop. Maybe a way out. It can lock you up in some ways, but it can also unlock you.

When I use profanity naturally, I often start to feel like I’m unlocking on the emotional end. It’s powerful, the fact that a string of words can do that.

Then there’s this stage after that, where I think there’s an opportunity to get deeper into the emotional complex, so to speak. If you go here, the profanity probably stops. But also, you have unlocked this amazing set of tools. It’s the “look, I’m sorry for cursing up a storm, but I just can’t do this anymore…” It’s the opportunity, the door opened to a reconciliation which absolutely cuts through the nonsense. It digs through the soil, through the cow poop, through the shit, and gets down to the burning heart of the matter.

And if you don’t do that, there’s this stage where you maybe are, and are seen as, a profane person. Base. Shit. Soil. Merde. You’re in between. In the common place. Stuck.

So while I wouldn’t encourage anybody to become profane, I think I’d offer that profanity can be an opportunity. It offers a lens. Maybe a mask. You can put it on and dance around, and frighten people, but then maybe you find that as a result, you made this hyper-natural connection to another world.

Anyway. What the truck do I know. But that’s been my experience.

When I lived in Japan, there were no real bad words, as we call them in English. That was kinda funny. But when I accidentally pissed off a yakuza-type guy and he chased me down the street, I started to learn how to recognize Japanese profanity. It’s pretty crude. Definitely a thing.

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