By Loraine Debnam
I heard a promotion for an interview on one of the radio stations and since the topic was of interest to me, I marked the date and time on my calendar. When the appointed time arrived, I tuned in to listen to the speaker. I cannot tell you how disappointed I was after only ten minutes.
It seemed to me every fourth or fifth word was bleeped out and not only did it destroy the continuity of the interview, it made me question the credibility as well. Needless to say, it wasn’t long before I changed to another radio station. There it was a minor hockey referee discussing the poor behaviour and language of some of the parents he had encountered, which only reinforced what I was already thinking.
I’m sure I can be labelled as old-fashioned, but I can clearly remember my mom threatening my brother with washing his mouth out with a bar of Ivory soap for using what my dad called “barn” language.
In my opinion, crude language is not edgy, sassy or rebellious. It seems like some people swear when they really haven’t anything to say that’s of value, but they want to talk any way. Some of us are repelled when we hear vulgar and offensive words erupting in a conversation. It’s degrading and harmful both to the listener and to the speaker.
It reflects on how well (or poorly) others treat you. When the message comes clothed in four letter words, one cannot be blamed for assuming the speaker’s vocabulary is limited and perhaps their world as well.
Researchers have determined swear words are linked to emotion and are not even stored in the part of the brain that houses our command of a language.
Perhaps, it’s the idea that having no filter has great shock value and no one will think the speaker is boring. I think it’s just the opposite, recognizing the power of what you say and doing it in a positive way demonstrates self-control and a command over your thoughts and your tongue.
Businesses are beginning to discover coarse and abusive employees have fewer contacts and opportunities and probably fewer friends. I had some work done on the exterior of my house last year and was just delighted to learn the supervisors insisted on a policy of no uncouth language while their workers were completing the job. I certainly don’t hesitate to recommend them when someone asks me about the service I received.
Unfortunately, with the growing popularity of the Internet and social media, the wide-spread use of profanity has expanded to include racial epithets, immoral jokes and comments based on disabilities, sexual orientation, ethnicity and religious beliefs.
If the writers only knew, it’s not viewed as an opinion with any believability or integrity. It’s only a rant, not worth recognizing as intelligent or even interesting and it makes the authors look small not the recipients of the insults.
I remember years ago reading the words of noted teacher and speaker Maya Angelou whose comment on this subject was there is no acceptable excuse or rationale for losing control and spewing forth an avalanche of indecency.
It is like having a tongue full of poison, even if you place it in a beautiful Baccarat crystal decanter, it is still poison.