So, I was in Borders browsing for a new book, when I walked past the “graphic novels” section.  You can roughly translate that as “thick manga books” if you want, since that’s what 99 percent of graphic novels are.  There was one guy there, thumbing through some manga, mouthbreathing and generally looking unwashed.  As I walked past, he took that very moment to adjust himself.

What’s so unusual about this that it deserves a blog post (when I post maybe once a month lately)?  Nothing.  The guy I just described is probably the average manga reader, which is why if you read graphic novels, you probably should keep it to yourself.

What is it with people being afraid, or ashamed, of putting certain words into text form?  Is this really the behavior of mature adults?  Now, I’m not saying that it’s necessarily appropriate to fill an article with obscenities, but if you’re going to curse, then do it right.  Don’t go bowdlerizing yourself.  It makes you look silly and childish.

It’s bad enough that people type “sh!tty” in their blogs when what they really want to say is “shitty”, but newspapers do this stuff, too.  From the associated press:

Derogatory terms for homosexuality have long been used as insults. But the landscape has become confusing in recent years as minority groups have tried to reclaim terms like “queer,” “ghetto” and the n-word.

Seriously, “the n-word”?  Who decided that “queer” is okay, but “nigger” isn’t?  Is suppressing certain words really supposed to help society?  How, exactly?

Grow up.  If you want to use a “dirty” word, just use the word.  Don’t censor yourself.  It makes you look like an idiot.  If you aren’t comfortable using the word “fuck” in writing, then just don’t use it.  Don’t turn it into “f*ck” as if that somehow changes it.

If you want to quote someone who cursed, then leave the curse in there, spelled out.  If you’re uncomfortable leaving the word in, then don’t use the quote.  You’ve got no business changing someone else’s words.  Jimmy called Sue a “bitch”, not a “b–ch”.

Just don’t use the words if you aren’t willing to use them correctly.  No one’s going to think less of you for saying that some movie was “excellent” instead of “fucking great”, or “horrible” instead of “shitty”.  But if you say the movie was “f—ing great” or “sh*tty”, it’s not exactly giving off a great impression.