Some of the best and brightest, some of the most educated people I know, have decided that it’s cool to use the word “shit” to replace the old-fashioned words “things,” “stuff,” “work,” and so on. That’s too bad.
Of course I remember “get your shit straight,” a phrase that’s as old as the golden age of hippies in the late 1960s. That was as common as “groovy” back in the day. So, millennials: you hate “groovy,” right? Yeah, that feels old to me too. And I’m old. But did you have to adopt shit?
But, damn! Google “do epic shit” and you’ll find a meme that could have been — (but way less cool) — do good things or do good stuff. Except, of course, that then it would never have been a meme.
I guess it’s my age — baby boomer, I admit — but I can’t make the leap.
Back in the late 1990s I saw one of my favorite editors ever, Teri Epperly of Palo Alto Software, cringe when our website appeared one morning with the promise of “good stuff.” That, back then, was awkwardly informal, colloquial. And Teri was (is still) a really good editor. I helped her through that, then, as just a sign of the times. But she and I would agree completely on the use of “good shit.”
Shit, to me, sounds like shit. And it isn’t good, let alone epic. I don’t want to get shit done, I don’t want to do good shit, and I don’t want to make shit happen.
The only client I don’t mind hearing this from one is Annie Haven @greensoil; she’s earned the right. She hand-harvests dried cow manure from her farm, dries it and turns it into manure tea bags (family style to soak in water) to provide nutrients for your plants. She rarely used the “S” word in social media or her posts, but when we’re chatting on skype the s-word does occasionally hit the fan. She’s heard all of the jokes. The product’s nickname is #MooPoo Tea!
LOL… now you made ME laugh. I follow you on this point. There are times when I find myself caught between formal and informal. My compromise has been to segregate my personal and professional profiles. Admittedly, within my inner circle of friends and family, I can be a foul mouthed fool. Years of construction jobs, truck driving (as a kid) and car sales will foster colorful language (dare I call it that.)
I must admit; Sometimes “stuff” just doesn’t express the point completely. However, I rarely speak that way online. Is that disingenuous? I don’t think so. For me, not speaking that way online is a matter of respect (self or otherwise.)