Thursday, September 23, 2010

Am I the only one in America who gets upset about profanity?

Today I read a post on another guy's blog about a politician's profanity. Actually, the first post I read wasn't about the profanity, but about other people's reaction to it. The post contained links to other blogs that expressed some remorse about the profanity, but expressed rage at the hypocrisy of those who felt rage at the profanity. (Is that confusing or what).

I did a quick search of my blogposts here using the word "profanity" as a guideline. I didn't find a single place where I raged against it, but I found several where I said it was bad.

I'm not prude, I've heard the words before and I know what they mean. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I've used the words before. But I try to live by the rule that you shouldn't say something you don't want your mom or your kids to hear. If it can pass those two tests, it's probably ok.

I have confronted others about their profanity. In one recent case, a blogger was commenting on protecting his daughter from certain vices of the world (which is good), but also uses profanity in other posts. I confronted him with the dual-nature. My comments were accepted without anger, but he excused his behavior (I hope he is changed somewhat by what I said).

I guess the bottom line is, am I the only one in America who gets upset about profanity?


The Elliotts said...

When I was a kid my daddy would turn off movies that had excessive language in it. I had the mindset that I could tune out the profanity and that "every" movie has some in it. I thought my daddy was crazy for not wanting to watch the movies.
Now, virtually every show on television (with the exception of a few children's programming--but even that's not exempt these days) allows some words to be said. Though I'd gotten used to hearing them in the past (and even used some words I'm not proud to admit) and excused it as just being media and the culture, I now cringe every time I hear a word coming out of my television or the person sitting at the table next to me at a restaurant.
I don't know if it's because I now have Kayden to protect or because I'm striving to live more Christ-like or a combination of the two. I cannot speak for the rest of the world, but I can say that you are not the only 1, but we may be the only 2.

Anonymous said...

I think it has gotten worse. I've heard of people not being able to take kids to sporting events because other fans (probably drunk) are so profane and obnoxious.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Whenever I hear profanity, my first thought is that the individual lacks a good command of the language and has to resort to profanity.

It irritates me that profanity has become the thing for any movie. It really reduces my enjoyment.

You are not alone!

Randy said...

Glad to know I'm not the only one. Kayte, there are some tools to help you discern the level of profanity. The website is one that I used. I find that it works best if you look at a few shows (or movies) that are familiar and get a view of them. Then you can get a feel for what it says. What I like the best is that it doesn't say this is bad or good, it just tells you what's in the movie/show and let's you decide.

Neil, I agree it seems to be getting worse. A new TV show makes light of the fact that dad curses and has to have #*& in the title. Today, I saw a book that had to have a * in the title.

I have been known at sporting events to ask fellow viewers to clean up their language, especially when children were present. Oddly enough, it worked.

Glenn, unfortunately, our politicians seem to be the worst (both D and R). I'd like to think that they could set an example, especially on language.

"The Edge" said...

Count me in on those that HATE it. Period. End of statement. 99% of the time, it is totally gratuitous. And whatever was being said could have been substituted with a non-profane word. But some people have no filter. Personally, I don't think I've ever knowingly said a profane phrase in public - not that I haven't thought them sometimes because it's impossible to stop those thoughts Satan tempts you with. but then, that's part of taking every thought captive to the mind of Christ and submitting to the willpower of His Spirit to censure yourself. Now, I'm not holding myself up here. I'm far from perfect. But any curse word I utter not only reflects poorly on me, but my wife, my parents, and my church, not to mention my Lord. And excuse it any way you want, I can't. In fact, I'll go on record right now that if ANYONE EVER catches me saying a profanity - I want you to call me on it immediately and I will apologize. Because no matter what I said, I'm the one who is wrong.

The flip side of this is that I can't control others. There is a fine line between telling someone to hold their tongue, and knowing when to just ignore it because if you ask, you'll basically get told to go you-know-where. So most of the time, I am forced to ignore such things when I hear them. It's just part of the work environment. But I also think that the more others get to know you and know you don't swear, curse, and utter profanities, the more they just might think twice about doing it in front of you. You can't stop them mind you, but you can let it be known you do not approve.

I think what I hate the most is parents yelling at each other or yelling at other adults when kids are present in the room - like the kids don't hear you because they were not in the conversation or something.....and we all know kids repeat what they hear. I only have to look about 10 minutes up the road for proof of that.

I challenge any and everybody to try NOT uttering profanities for an entire month and see if that doesn't start to break the cycle. And then 1 more month. And then 1 more. You can do it, and you should. If not for others, do it for yourself! Have some self respect! You only make yourself look bad and other want to tune you out when you do utter a profane thing....

OKAY - off my soapbox now.....

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Before I was a Christian, I spent some of my teen years living in federal housing projects in Denver, CO where my brother and I were the only white kids. I learned tons of profanity there - much had to be explained by the kids. Then I went into the Army and every other word was something profane. It becomes like a second language without any thought to it. A few months before my 22nd birthday I became a Christian. Loosing the foul mouth was one of the hardest things to do. While I was able to rid myself of most of it over a period of about a year, there were times when I'd lose my temper about something and a nasty word would come out without even thinking about it. I can remember almost five years after coming to the Lord before I really felt free.

Once you've soaked in bad language, it is really difficult to leave it behind, especially it, like me, you continue to work around those who use it daily.

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Anonymous said...

I have to say I have used words too, and it's not really an excuse, but I always tried to be respectful of the others that would hear or read what I was saying. I have often found myself lecturing teenagers (that are not much younger than me), about what they were saying in front of my kids. Maturity and Respect are two things that most Americans have lost, so I can see why you feel you are the only one.

Ashley Beth said...

I've been meaning to comment on this post, but I kept forgetting.

I can't stand curse words. I cringe every time I hear them. Not just curse words, but also other harsh words. I also feel offended when people use a lot of profanity around me. I find myself thinking, "Do they not realize I'm a lady?" I know that is old fashioned. I think I get that from my mother. She didn't tolerate harsh words like "dang" or "nasty" or "Oh my gosh". These three examples I tolerate and even say sometimes, but if it gets much harsher than these I cringe.

I also feel that some language is too heavy for children. I agree with my mother that children should say the word "pregnant" or "oh shoot" or "darn". Those words are too heavy for a child. And the best way to make sure they don't say them is not to say them ourselves. I am having to clean up my language for my daughter and I don't even curse!

Cameron said...

I'm with you on this one as well.

What's interesting is that I've found that many people tone down their language when they're around me out of respect (I assume) for my non-swearing ways.

Randy said...

Cameron, glad you have that affect on people. I think I get that sometimes, but unfortunately, there are also people who feel like they can intimidate me if they swear. They must think that since I'm offended by it, it will intimidate me.