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Ask the Patriarch 16
How do I swear?

From: Kurt

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Are there any moral dilemmas concerning curses invoking deities? Or alternatively, how do I swear as an apathetic agnostic? Goddamnit loses some of its flair.


The Patriarch replies:

I really don't have a good answer right now. In my view, swearing has lost much of its shock value due to overuse. Use of old fashioned euphemisms such as "Fiddlesticks!" does have a certain impact, but perhaps does not project the desired personal image. Another alternative is to learn some words and phrases in an obscure language[1] (it does not matter what the words mean, as long as your listeners don't understand) and spit them out vehemently when the need arises. This will impress bystanders with both your intelligence and your delicacy, and will leave the targets of your wrath offended without being able to explain why.

I will open up your question on the discussion board to obtain other opinions from our members. I hope you can join in.[2]


  1. For example, translating the innocuous "goodness, gracious!" into Norwegian[3] results in "Godhet nådig!." Said with sufficient force, it comes across as a reasonably strong oath.
  2. The result of that discussion, to date, is that Agnosticism has no significant impact upon the willingness and ability of our members to use colorful and blasphemous language.
  3. Apologies to our small Norwegian membership for any implication that their glorious mother tongue is considered obscure.