You’re at the grocery store picking up food for the week, or maybe taking a nice walk through the park. Then all of sudden, out of left field, you hear some rather, well, um, colorful language. How do you react, or do you even react at all? What do you think of people who use profanity in public? Are they bad people? Chances are if you ever happened to be shopping at the same store as me, when I find out my favorite cereal is sold out, you’d already know that I’m one of those people.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not like Samuel L. Jackson telling everyone how fed up I am with all those damned snakes on a plane, but I’ve been known to let some choice words slide a time or two. I try my best to keep it toned down to “suitable for all ages” if there are kids around, or more importantly, my mother. However, as I’m quick to point out, I’m not perfect.
When you think about, people who curse certainly aren’t any less intelligent than someone who doesn’t. Not to mention, they’re arguably healthier and happier, or at least a lot better at blowing off steam.
So, then why is it that people are so concerned about profanity? I understand that there should be some societal consideration when out and about amongst people (ugh… people). If I heard a couple of F-bombs being dropped while a lot of others are in earshot, I would certainly wonder what the hell heck was going on.
Is it only because of how “it looks/sounds” or is there something more there? It just seems like we have our values mixed up sometimes. We worry too much about the wrong things if you ask me. Everyone was so up in arms about the J-Lo and Shakira half time show during the Super Bowl, but these same people are fine with the seductive hamburger commercials that air during the game and the cheerleaders who were arguably wearing less than J-Lo or Shakira. Apparently, the FCC got complaints… people claimed their “eyes were molested” by the show and they had to shield their children’s eyes.
Even crazier than that is the fact that an Ohio pastor wants to sue the NFL for claiming that its ‘near pornographic’ tendencies put his soul in jeopardy of burning in eternal hellfire. Yeah, cause that’s the reason he’s going to hell. To some, this might seem a bit crazy, but if it doesn’t, try this out for size… the evangelist thinks a settlement of $867 trillion would be fair compensation for the NSFW halftime performance. Always follow the money, folks.
For those complaining to the FCC, do these same people cover their kids’ eyes during the commercials? Or when the cheerleaders are onscreen? Do they complain about the Victoria’s Secret banners in the mall? Or prime-time television shows? What about video games? Do these strict parents even know that their kids are probably playing Grand Theft Auto 5 on XBOX or PlayStation, and believe me, some of the stuff you see and hear on that game, whew!
Okay, sorry about that slight detour, let’s get back to people who dislike bad language in public. Do they get equally as frustrated or angry about the current rhetoric filling our daily news? Or do public personages get a pass?
For a lot of people, I guess it could come down to context. For example, two teenage friends walking down the street talking to each other, “hey man did you watch that ‘@#$%’ game last night?” “Yeah, my team was a ‘@#$%’ show, we really ‘@#$%’ sucked.” I could see how one might find that a bit offensive, especially if there were young kids around. Though really, I doubt there’s anyone of any age who wants to hear that conversation, even me (hey, I’m nothing if not contradictory).
On the other hand, maybe someone fell down the steps coming out of the post office and let a few choice words fly in pain. Could that be overlooked due to the context? I know if I hit my shin by accident, or you know, if my cereal was out of stock, parents might want to cover their kid’s ears, because It’s gonna get pretty PG-13 pretty quick.
I never swear, not even when I stub my toe or hit my thumb with a hammer. It’s not that I’m against swearing – I’ve got a few choice phrases saved up for the appropriate moment. It’s just that at the moment some colourful language might be appropriate, I’m always lost for words. Nothing escapes my lips apart from the sound of rapidly exhaled air.
I never heard either of my parents swear, unless you consider my mother’s vary rare utterance of “Oh my giddy aunt” swearing. I assume it was her sanitised substitute for “Oh my God”.
As far as I’m aware none of my siblings nor my children swear either. On the other hand I have a cousin who could say what he wants to in less than half the time it takes if only he stopped stringing several swear words together before almost every noun and verb.
My opinion is that if swearing is appropriate or useful, then use it, otherwise it just seems like wasted effort.
The day after the Superbowl I just happened to watch “Some like it Hot” with Marilyn Monroe, for the first time. I adored the film, but as I was sitting there I was thinking to myself. It amazed me how many people adore Marilyn Monroe, but STILL heavily criticised modern women. Like J.Lo and Shakira. I was watching the film thinking “How is what Marilyn wearing in basically the whole film, not more inappropriate than what J.Lo and Shakira were wearing?”.
As for swearing I only do it when necessary. Very similar to what Barry said above, if there’s no point too it, then there’s no point too it. Most of my swear words are made up,lol. Like Schntzizzle, or frak (which I got from a science show) or…Schzkebab. I must admit that I like Biotch a lot, and that comes from the Kardashians, who I don’t actually like,lol.
People are just crazy and religious people, like the idiot you just wrote about, are crazier than most. If people swear enough, the words will lose their meaning and just become part of the language. Then we’ll have to make up new words to show our displeasure. Priests rapping kids should be more important than saying fuck. Don’t you think?
Why is all the violence of the game on the field not as offensive as a bit of skin and twerking on the stage? Permanent brain damage is ignored while healthy bodies moving flexibly is deplored. Talk about #$%&’ed up values!
I’m with you. There’s a time and a place for letting a good swear word fly, but it’s become much too common, which causes these words to lose their punch. I prefer to save them for occasions when they’ll land with more punch. But generally speaking — the less, the better. There’s nearly always a better way to express ourselves.