Friday, May 22, 2015

Virgin ears and a sinner’s retention

Why is it that you can hear a foreign phrase of some curse word or forbidden something and it sticks with you for life?  All you have to do is hear it one time.  One time and you never forget it.  It’s what one of my old buddies would call a tapestry of justice.  Knowing to do good doesn’t negate this and I’ll be danged if I still absorb this stuff like grape bubble gum on the sole of my shoe.
I wish it worked the other way; like hearing an admonishment and BLAM – you got it!  Unfortunately we have to be bombarded with the good stuff or study to remember or memorize it to keep it and then we have to use it or lose it.

I think I was about 10 years old when my Uncle Virgil taught my brothers and I a couple of “dirty” jingles involving body odors of sorts and I can still remember it verbatim.  Truth be told, they were fairly harmless, but to my 3 brothers and I, they were flat decadent.

I was a couple of years older when a Sioux buddy of mine who was very worldly, taught me how to say a multi-syllable Spanish phrase that is still very offensive to most church people.  I guess my point here is I have a lot of words in my vocabulary that I do not use.  I won’t; not even in anger.  Nope, never.  What comes out of my mouth is what I decide and frankly I never think these bad words are perfect to express myself.
I knew a process operator who spewed what I like to call “septic mouth” to the point that if you bleeped out the cuss word, he wouldn’t make a sentence most 2 year olds couldn’t beat.  I asked him why he talked like he did and he didn’t back down one step.  “That’s the &^%$*(& way I %^&*(% I talk” is all he said.

Another man, who I respected for being very fair and intelligent also cussed a lot and when I asked him why (at one time he had been a preacher) he looked me in the eye and without defiance exclaimed that he did indeed know what was coming from his mouth.  He went on to say he had slipped away from God and needed to do better.

God or not, some words are for particular company and not for general audiences.  If you want to lace your conversation with vulgarisms, make sure you know your audience.  I was out at the Mall taking my Bride’s stuff in for alteration (she is shrinking in size due to working out at the gym) and there were a couple of people outside on the benches talking.  They obviously were not together, as they were sitting about 20 feet apart.

As I walked by I heard the older man say the forbidden word twice and the woman replied as if she didn’t notice the vulgarity and she was wearing the garb of a medical worker.  On my way out, he used it again and then she did.  Both of these people were in their 50’s.  Under no circumstances would I consider this kind of speech at this volume, acceptable to friends, let alone strangers. 

I won’t watch the Daily Show because Jon Stewart still thinks saying curse words is funny.  It isn’t and he’s a very bright guy, so I do not understand why he thinks it is.  The talentless idiot Kanye “Yeezus” West got censured most all of his act on Billboard magazine’s award show because they couldn’t take the chance he would violate FCC rules.

Call me a fuddy duddy, but I like my virgin ears.  I like the concept that I control what comes out of my mouth. I don’t want to hear crude language in public and for the most part, in private.  I like words like scuppers, abrogate, gerrymander, polymer, churlish, and mitosis and the ability to articulate my thoughts when I speak.  I like to learn new words so I can expound on the world I live in.

8 years ago I wrote on this subject and you can find it here:  My opinion hasn’t changed one bit.  Dandy Don Cunningham is my daily read to get a dose of Godly logic.  Don doesn’t use profanity or curse and he gets his point across quite well.  Each day he posts a parable and each day he feeds a whole lot of people with good socially acceptable speech.

However, if I was a betting man, I would wager that Don knows a lot of words he wishes he didn’t.  He just chooses not to speak them.


Anonymous said...

Brian Compton: Wow...great writeup...and after doing some digging, it's amazing how much the bible goes over on how we should guard our speech

Anonymous said...

Johnny Connaly Good article! I worked with a man that it seemed that in every sentence he used GD and MF. Even in my worst of times I couldn't compete. For me, I gave up cussing several years ago for lent. Even prior to that, I always knew my audience. I realize this is a double standard, but there's nothing worse than a foul mouthed woman. It drives me totally crazy to hear teenaged girls talking like a sailor. In one of my Process Technology classes a young lady that I've known since she was a little girl said a word in class out of frustration. I looked at her and told her that the only time I wanted to hear that word from a female is if that's what we're doing. Several people laughed. That was not my intent, but I then posed a question to the other females that were laughing. Do you ever wonder why the man in your life doesn't respect you? What's even worse is to hear a small child say MF. You really can't fault them because that is the norm in their home. We've created as a society a generation of people that don't respect neither themselves or others.

Anonymous said...

Kimberly Polo: I love this! I have to deal with this at work all the time. Before I had my Jesus meeting though. I cussed every sentence as well. Now I have learned and grab another way to talk. People will even say it's construction I say so it doesn't make it okay to talk that way.

Anonymous said...

Don Cunningham: Bert, you were right! Your column in The Baytown Sun was just great. You are also right in saying that I know a lot of profanity and have used some of it in my life. I'm not proud of that. I try, with the help of Jesus Christ, not to use those words anymore. They do nothing to help or encourage the ones who hear them. Thank you very much for your great columns. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Connie Byrd: That was a great article. I totally agree.

Except........I learned one special word from our mother at an early age (before birth, I think) and it's just a great word and necessary at times. Especially if you have just stepped in a surprise left by a puppy or chicken. Or you just kicked a grand-child's toy in the dark and shattered a toe. Or you have seriously burned dinner when company is coming or the very expensive lawn mower is blowing puffs of white smoke again. Or, when you wake up and see Jim Cantore is in Galveston or Freeport (that means a hurricane is about to blow through my yard and that happened the morning of Ike.......yikes! We were out of town!) I also feel it needs to be preceded by "Horse" or "Bull" occasionally. $%*"!, I think I use this word quite regularly.

Anonymous said...

Jenny Mills: Thank you for choosing such wise words to express yourself. I definitely let lose when I'm angry, usually at home (dogs are my audience), I sadly admit. But i hate when I'm in public and ppl of various ages are blatantly cussing all around me with zero regard for who can hear. And let me go one step farther to say sometimes cussing isnt the worst thing rolling off your tongue... we can be extremely condescending, sarcastic, hurtful ppl, even with a clean vocab. Guard your tongue, people.

Anonymous said...

Molly Nolen: For a lot of school kids these days this is just part of their regular vocabulary both boys and girls. And I don't believe they "all learned it at home". Most lack respect for all people, especially their teachers. I never heard that kind of language ever from any of my classmates. We did have respect for our elders and parents. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see why our society is in such a mess. And personally I don't see it as a whole getting any better.

Anonymous said...

Susan Bulgier McGuyer: It's not that I'm shocked. I'm 71 years old and, believe me, I've heard all those words. It's just vulgar and shows disregard for others and lack of vocabulary. I have five granddaughters and don't really want to expose them to it.

Anonymous said...

Larry Houston: I won't say that certain words have never come out of my mouth, but I like to think I watch my language pretty well in mixed company and in public. I've also worked with a few of those septic mouth folks over the years. My contention is, how do people know when you're really upset if the expletives stream out of your mouth nonstop in the base case?

Anonymous said...

Sandi White: Thank you, Bert, for writing this excellent piece. I am not above blurting out the occasional expletive when the occasion calls for it, it is usually involuntary and comes of not minding my mouth closely enough. A 16oz. hammer on my thumb can shoot a word like a bullet punching the leaves off the shrubbery.The shock value has gone though, the filth has become everyday common, just another layer of dinginess to discolor our language. We hear words on the television and radio we never even heard at home as children. I would like to know, is it just Americans who have become so vulgar and brutish in their speech? Or is this a down-turning in verbal habits worldwide? In either case it is distressing to contemplate, our basic form of communication has become a sewer.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree Bert. It makes me cringe when people talk the way is common in movies today. You gotta watch Potty-Mouthed Princesses Drop F-Bombs for Feminism On YOUTUBE . Saw this on The Doctors today...Debi

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