Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bike Blogs and The Bad Word

I've noticed a trend lately that I find disturbing: the use of the "F-word" in bicycle blogs. Call me prudish, old-school, or whatever you like, but I can't shake the feeling that this ugly language is better left unsaid.*

You might say, "Hey lady, don't read it then!" I agree. I could stop following those blogs altogether. But—and this is the crux of my rationale—there are a few authors that I highly respect for their content, who reside in interesting locales and I would like to know more about biking in those communities. It's those particular blogs that occasionally use bad language, and I don't quite understand their reasoning. Because of one vile word, they've slipped one rung on my blog ladder.

In conversation, it's natural (for some) to let fly a raunchy word or two, but in writing there's no excuse. The authors are obviously well educated. Why stoop so low when English is filled with such colorfulpsychedelic, brilliant, lustrous synonyms?

These same writers have also become role models as a result of their popularity. That alone should be enough to clean up their "mouth", or—at the very least—eradicate that singular (and I'm only identifying one here) dirty, sullied, vulgar word.

It doesn't take much to broaden your vocabulary - think Thesaurus.com or the paper edition of The Synonym Finder, which I've found is an invaluable asset. I'm not perfect either, but at least I aim to show my slice of bike life with honesty, clarity, and hopefully, integrity.

Pedal on.

*Pardon my rant. I pondered this topic for two months before deciding that it needed to be said..

Graphic used from Ramona Creel.com. She has an interesting take on what's appropriate (in conversation) and what's not, an entirely different viewpoint from my own.


  1. I'm a big fan of using &^%$ing ^%$#^ stuff like this %$@%^ing comment is full of... does that count?

    I hear you though... I general I try to write stuff that I would be OK with kids finding. I stray occasionally, I must admit.

    1. No problem with your site. As you say, your swearing is confined to symbols, which is a whole lot more palatable than the four letter word.

      Searching for the specific word on your site reveals nothing. You're clean!

      I wonder how many people I'll provoke with this post...and it's not usually my style either.

  2. Thank-you so much for this post. I too, find this word inappropriate and not necessary. I made a reference (charitably) on one particular site about the f-word, but a reply from a reader made me feel and look foolish.

  3. You're welcome, Chris. I thought long and hard about this post before writing. I was afraid of being lambasted, but I finally just did it. I think some things are definitely worth taking a stand on. That one ugly word seems to be a cop out for when people get mad rather than more intelligent, descriptive phrasing.

  4. I'm glad that someone is raising this issue. Even in my Twitter Home feed I do not like to see foul language - people/accounts that use it get unfollowed! If you have only 140 characters to type a message and you use profanity I have to question your judgement and whether I want to spend my time weeding through this garbage.

  5. I don't use it on my blog, and generally don't like to see it employed without reason or purpose, as a substitute for finding a clearer way of expressing the thoughts behind it. I'm against censorship, but just favor a more civil level of discourse. OTOH when I was younger I did say it a lot.

  6. I am with you Annie, I don't like it on blogs either! And I've noticed it on a few lately too ...


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