Following Bookworm's lead I subjected my blog to the analysis of the "Cuss-O-Meter" which resides at One Plus You. This meter rates your blog or website on the percentage of pages that contain cusses - foul language. As they say:
First we count the number of pages on your blog or website that contain cuss words and compare it to the total number of pages. The result tells us approximately what percentage of pages on your website contains cuss words. We then compare that percentage to all the other websites who have used the Cuss-O-Meter, giving you an idea of how foul-mouthed you are when compared to the rest of the web.
When the meter had analyzed my blog, atop the page was this:
Around 4.5% of the pages on your website contain cussing.
This is 50% LESS than other websites who took this test.
Created by OnePlusYou
As you can see on the meter my blog barely rises above the "Darnit" level of naughty language. Now that's not bad for someone who can slip into "F-Bomb" mode easily when in the company of other "F-Bombers". I don't take any particular pride in being able to sink to the level of a drunken sailor in using vulgar language. But I do know that I can indeed speak at the same level as others when called to do so.
But I remember being told once - actually I heard it said to someone who routinely used vulgarities in her everyday speech - "People tend to use foul language because they have a poor vocabulary. Try to expand yours and stop sounding like trash." I took that to heart.
After all, how does it sound to your parents to intersperse your speech with foul language when there's no need? Does your mother really want to hear her beloved child using the "F" word, "S" word, and other curses when you speak with her? How 'bout your Father? Would your grandparents chuckle at your precocious ways? No. They would be embarrassed with you, for you, and wonder when you're going to grow up.
Yes, there are times when a good solid vulgarity is perfect as punctuation. But all too often we use foul language all the time. I can't tell you the number of times I hear parents simply blathering on, every other word an ugly curse, while they are with their children. Children hear more than we think they do. And they emulate their parents. It's ugly to hear, ugly to see.
English has so many words, as do most languages, that there is little reason to slip into cursing and vulgarity in every conversation. Frankly, if you cannot find a better word to use then you do need to work on your vocabulary. Heck, we all do.
And in that vein - nice use of vocabulary, eh? - here's a site that promotes vocabulary in a fun way. It's called Free Rice. The premise is to donate some of your online time to feed the hungry. And it doesn't cost you a single cent. What you do is play a simple word game. For every correct answer the site donates 20 grains of rice to feed the hungry ( through the UN World Food Program). The rules are very simple:
Click on the answer that best defines the word.
If you get it right, you get a harder word. If wrong, you get an easier word.
For each word you get right, we donate 20 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program.
WARNING: This game may make you smarter. It may improve your speaking, writing, thinking, grades, job performance... (more)
clerihew = humorous verse (I got this one wrong. And now I know!)
I've played this three times and donated a few thousand grains of rice. Clicking on the "Options" tab allows you to save your game totals. This way you can pick up where you left off. There a lot of levels to this. The best I managed to reach was a vocabulary level of 53. Didn't last long, and now I'm at level 45. Yeah it gets tougher as you play. But you will learn a lot of new words. Some you'll never see or use again. But some you might find slipping into your conversations.
Since this is affiliated with the UN one can legitimately wonder whether it is on the up-and-up. I choose to believe it is and act accordingly. As they say on their FAQ page:
Who pays for the donated rice?
The rice is paid for by the advertisers whose names you see on the bottom of your vocabulary screen. This is regular advertising for these companies, but it is also something more. Through their advertising at FreeRice, these companies support both learning (free vocabulary for everyone) and reducing hunger (free rice for the hungry). We commend these companies for their participation at FreeRice.
So click on the advertising banners while you're at it. Can't go wrong just visiting an advertiser. Also:
If FreeRice has the rice to give, why not give it all away right now?
FreeRice is not sitting on a pile of rice―you are earning it 20 grains at a time. Here is how it works. When you play the game, advertisements appear on the bottom of your screen. The money generated by these advertisements is then used to buy the rice. So by playing, you generate the money that pays for the rice donated to hungry people.
Does FreeRice make any money from this?
No, it does not. FreeRice runs the site at no profit.
vair = squirrel fur ( I had no idea, but I guessed and was correct! LOL)
There are images you can use on your blog or website to use as links, a running total of rice donation totals, and so on.
firth = estuary (I knew this one. Easy.)
So why not learn to stretch your vocabulary and leave most of the foul language behind? You can speak better, you can improve your vocabulary, you can rise above the level of trash when you speak. And you can do all this and donate food as well!
redact = edit (I guessed right. *whew!*)
Give it a try!
Note: One of Bookworm's commenters - suek - reminded me that there is a Blog Readability test, too. You can find it here. And here's my graph showing the Writing Pad's 'readability'.
peruke = wig (dunno why but I did know this one!)