Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cleaning Up For the Sake of Civility

Since hitting my forties, I have noticed that my way of life has drastically changed since my thirties.  I think differently.  While I now have a higher tolerance for some things,  I have a much lower tolerance for others.  Not that either one is necessarily good or bad.  Just different.

I used to have the worst potty-mouth.  I cussed everywhere, every day.  I even cussed in front of my kids.  Cursing like a sailor when I was a teenager, it was really hard to just up and stop.  I did finally manage to put a lid on it in front of my kids, at least as far as saying "the F word" goes.  My eldest cusses way more than my youngest, although, like me, he cusses too.  I don't tolerate the F-Bombs from them, although I know they use them.  This is the one thing I wish I had done differently - not thrown "F-Bombs" in front of them because now, the damage is done.

I still cuss, I just do it when I know I won't be heard.  I do put a "damn" or a "damnit" to emphasize a word;  good or bad:

"Those were some damn-good burgers!" or a loud "Damnit" if I drop a glass of relish onto the floor and it shatters.   I love the word  "sh*t" and it's my cuss-word of choice if I must throw out an expletive.  Again, usually in my home and away from my kids, although my eldest is nearly twenty-one, and my youngest is almost seventeen.  The old "Do as I say, not as I do" can be quite confusing in this instance.

I hate F-bombs.  I absolutely hate them.  I can't believe the amount of people I hear at my neighborhood pool throwing them out in front of their kids.  I know, I'm a total hypocrite;  I did it myself.  Still, I had the common decency to not use them in public, especially around other people's children, and certainly never in front of strangers.  Never in front of my elders, either. 

I hate hearing kids - little kids - cussing.  It's not cute.  Ever (Okay, except when my eldest would scream with joy at seeing a speeding "firef*ck" go down the street when he was two).

I think it's equally bad seeing people use F-bombs and other absolutely disgusting words ( the worst one begins with "C") on Facebook.  I mean, come on.  Sometimes I want to comment, "You couldn't come up with a descriptive  verb to convey your point?   There are zillions of neat verbs out there to pick from!" I am amazed that people actually take the time to type them up so much; using them in every other sentence.  Do you speak like this in your home?  In front of children?  Your relatives?   It's really none of my business, but I just think it's sad that cussing so freely these days - in casual conversation -  is accepted as normal.  Cussing isn't going to win your argument for you.  It won't make the traffic go away any faster, it won't help you find the remote any quicker. You're not motivating a person, and you're certainly not intimidating one either by doing so. It's not making you cool, like we thought it did back in grade school. It's making you look like an idiot that has no concern for who you could seriously be offending. I don't care what your reasoning is.  I know folks will probably tell me to ... well, use your imagination.   Whatever.  I'm betting a lot of people are getting interesting impressions of those that choose to cuss so much.  Some impressions don't matter.  Others do - very much. 

Plus, it's just rude.

I know sometimes, they are warranted.  "Oh, damn, I just broke my arm.  Gee, it hurts."  Fine.  I have launched many F-bombs myself.  I still do. I hate that I do!   It is just the everyday comments.  Every other sentence, spoken or typed out. The casual conversations. I am not saying I'll never say one again.  I'll just save them for when they are truly warranted.

I was spanked twice in my entire life by my parents.  The first time, I lied to my father.  I'll leave what I lied about out.  The second time, I was eighteen.  I threw an F-bomb at my mother.  I received the only slap across the face I have ever had in my entire life by my father that day.  I totally deserved it, too.  Point taken.  It took weeks for me earn any kind of respect back from her, and I truly was ashamed.

I'm not saying I'm right.  I'm not saying I'm better than anyone else.  I'm saying I really wish I had not been such a potty-mouth.  I am still trying to improve my vernacular. I am just doing my tiny bit to make our world a nicer place to live.  It is just my contribution. 

Sometimes my blogging is just me venting.  I honestly don't care what your opinion is regarding this entry.  So cuss if you may.  Cuss at me if you must.  Just don't expect me to think you're cool.

Read further on the decline of civility:   http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-moment-youth/201206/teaching-civility-in-f-word-society

3 comments:

  1. I so clearly remember the first F-bomb I ever dropped. I was 16, working for the summer with a group of slightly older girls who were "rough". I thought I was a total "bad-ass", and when I got home from work one afternoon, my brother asked how my day was (he was 17), and I said "F**ing awesome!" He knocked me on my butt, and as I got up I said "What the f**?" and he knocked me down again. Took me years of marriage to the idiot before I ever said THAT word again, lol! I do try not to use that one, it is a frequent flyer in my field, and my mom totally hates it. Makes me cringe when my boys try to get Jade to use it.Hopefully, her mom will be a bigger influence on that one.

    As always, thanks for the memories.
    Kat

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  2. I'll never forget my first few days of college English and the professor telling us "You know, you can use the F-word in your writing now. But a word of advice. Don't over-use it, don't use it just because you can. It lacks all impact that way. I would save it for when you think you really need it." GREAT advice. Had to un-friend one of my new acquaintances on Facebook because EVERY OTHER WORD was "f" this and that. Crass and icky, and definitely lost any true emotion or significance!

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  3. I love this. LOVE IT. Thank you, Laurie! :)

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