Steven Pinker in The Atlantic swears about cursing. I find this interesting. I myself am a long-time strident vulgarian; I think that people speak using such language because it is useful, and there are few words I consider taboo. However. I do try, usually unsuccessfully, to weed out the curses that refer to an imaginary deity in the sky. It’s kind of disingenuous, isn’t it, for a Bright to say “God damn it?”

I have found a suitable substitute, one I do hope will catch on. It is useful because it is actually more to the point: This curse refers to the force that is more times than not actually the cause of the problem. The curse is “gravity!”

Think about it. You drop your keys on the ground, why do you say “God damn it?” God didn’t force your keys to the ground. Gravity did. Something falls on your toe, you fall on your ass, you spill your beer. More often than not, the thing you’re cursing about is actually caused by gravity. If you are not inclined to perceive the world in supernatural terms, why not employ a curse that is actually in line with that world view, one that carries the added bonus of actually striking out at the very force that has caused your predicament?

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