Each and every day we make the decision on what comes out of our mouth. Not only what words we will use, but what information we pass to another person. Some of us are very guarded while others “let er (bleeping) rip” and recklessly babble on like a used car salesman eager to make a sale and saying whatever unfiltered nonsense that comes to mind.
We know wonderful people who open their mouth and enlighten others with their opinions and personal experiences abounding with interesting topics, while other friends, work mates, and acquaintances are as an open septic tank, spewing verbal waste like a sewer pipe. We tolerate them because they are our friends and coworkers, but are they someone we want our kids to listen to and imitate their speech habits? Most likely not.
The television will supply all the negative speech they can soak up and if that’s not enough, the music industry will lend a hand. As parents, the only tools we have to teach our children a higher form of speech are what we teach them and our personal example. If you are a member of a religious assembly, there is a strong third source.
What I hear in just a few minutes after arriving are friends who have long ago lost their ability to insert colorful and descriptive adverbs and adjectives in their speech. The more expletives they use, the easier it is to substitute a (bleep) for an actual adjective. Before long one of their sentences, minus the curse words, wouldn’t even make sense and there is no apparent desire by them to cease speaking in this manner. I’ve often thought I should record one of these conversations and then play it back to them, bleeping out all the trash words.
I do believe they would say, "(Bleeeeeep!) I had no idea; I (bleeeeping) talked like that". What would be more amazing is if they said, “Holey Macarena!” I’m not going to hold my breath on that though. Now let me back up and say that a colorful curse word does have a certain place at just the right time, although to be honest, I do not indulge, but sometimes it is downright funny when certain people blurt one out by accident.
A certain lady saw a mouse and before she could stop herself, out came, “Bleep!” That was certainly fitting and indeed hilarious – and most unexpected. One time I heard a preacher get so fired up about a witch that he accidently dropped the W and substituted a B. It was stunned silence in the congregation until he said, “Well, she was!” I can’t recall laughing any harder than I did that day.
If I remember correctly, the comedian Jerry Seinfeld said that any comedian, who uses a lot of profanity in their skit, simply doesn’t have enough good material, or something along those lines. This isn’t always true mind you, but I agree with it. Cursing has lost its shock value, which incidentally used to make people feel uncomfortable and hence, they laughed. They laughed because they were embarrassed or uncomfortable in mixed company. It’s no longer true and some “ladies” now curse way more than the historically vulgar-talking men around them.
The Daily Show’s host Jon Stewart regularly uses the F word in his show and his audience thinks it’s just fine. His show is cutting edge with top notch writers and exposes a plethora of political wrongs, but I don’t watch it period. It’s too much cursing for my palate. Drop the GD and F-laden humor all you want John, but give me the humor and satire without it please or I will not watch.
I remember when the Watergate/White House tapes were made public, way back in the Stoned Age of peace, love, and dope. No one could believe that the President of the United States had such a filthy mouth. Richard Nixon cursed like a sailor – as the old expression goes. Normal conversation would include “Wow!” and “Far out, man!” These days, many feel the need to bump it up a couple of expletive notches to get the same effect.
What does all of this mean and why am I writing it? Each and every day we make the decision on what comes out of our mouth and what we listen to. Every sentence and utterance we offer is our choice alone. Dwell on that and ruminate. Chew the cud a bit. Is it bitter or sweet? Rediscover adjectives and adverbs and you will discover a great wide open world of words you now have available.