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Posted on July 9, 2024 by richard Anthony in dirty mouth, profanity, Richard S. Anthony, teenagers

Shut Your Dirty Mouth, Please


Shut your dirty mouth, please

BY RICHARD J. ANTHONY, SR.

Our society is becoming more coarse.  Americans are swearing more than ever before. They’re spewing expletives on televisionin movies, in classrooms, on the streets, in the air, and on the sea, and they are fouling the written word because “reality” sells. Even PG-rated books and movies aren’t the refuge they once were. The boundaries of “polite society” haven’t just been pushed aside, they have been stomped on by a liberated cohort for whom unchecked individualism is a right.  Consideration for other’s rights is a cliché.

Cursing has become an acceptable way to express happiness, sadness, stress, fear, and surprise, and to vent emotional buildup. Expletives have become an integral part of how we create camaraderie, express defiance, and identify with others. Its emotional usefulness in relieving pain has allowed once-taboo speech to weave itself into our everyday lexicon.

“Walk behind a group of teenagers in any city, large or small, and you are likely to be in the wake of loud, indecorous profanity spewing from the mouths of uninhibited kids of all ages and sexes,…”

Not cursing or calling attention to its offensiveness will make you uncomfortably conspicuous or unwelcome.  Cancelled.

Walk behind a group of teenagers in any city, large or small, and you are likely to be in the wake of loud, indecorous profanity spewing from the mouths of uninhibited kids of all ages and sexes, floating on a cloud of marijuana mist.  Most police would recommend that you drop back and say nothing. Too risky. You could be the lead story on increased street violence on the nightly news.

Back in the day, the parental antidote to an audible curse word was, “I’ll put a cake of soap in your mouth!”  Sadly, that rebuke would be scorned today and countered with a battery of F words.

Two of my granddaughters are credentialed psychology counselors. A third is an elementary school teacher. Their reports of the foulest language and defiant behavior among the youngest, barely toilet-trained children are appalling and frightening.  Young kids are modeling the adults’ words, actions, and attitudes in their lives. Well before they know what the words mean, they are drawing on a pitifully limited vocabulary to express themselves. Adolescents on track to becoming adult adolescents.

When was the last time you heard a foul-mouthed customer, passenger, or sports fan admonished to “watch your language” out of respect for a woman or child?  The likely reply would be, “Who the F do you think you are!”

“…we believe that language and behavior are reflections of who we are and affect the way others perceive us. And that matters to us.”

Most troublesome is that this has become the new normal, leaving many of us alienated from our surroundings, caught in a generational time warp of civility, respect, and consideration for others. We gravitate to people for whom an expletive is the exception rather than the rule. We all curse occasionally.  Hit your finger with a hammer and your brain receives then sends a signal for an involuntary audible reaction.  Most of the time we regret it, particularly if it’s within earshot of another, because we believe that language and behavior are reflections of who we are and affect the way others perceive us. And that matters to us.

Some will say that this is much ado about nothing. Cursing is as old as the Stone Age and before. Swearing is in our DNA. Besides, they’re only words. Studies show that cursing can have the cathartic benefit of relieving stress which is good for our mental health, right?

That argument doesn’t excuse the foul-mouthed teenagers walking ahead of you on the street, the men and women at the sports event screaming vulgarities at no one in particular, or the driver who cuts in front of you and gives you a gratuitous finger, or the 10-year old girl who blasphemes her teacher when disciplined, or the young man at the dinner table who casually drops the F-bomb in front of his entire family.  Shock and awe!

This is the new normal. It doesn’t have to be.

richard Anthony

About the author

Richard (Rick) Anthony, Sr., is a retired management consultant who now spends his time teaching part-time and hosting a local TV show.
Richard J. Anthony, Sr.
Managing Partner
The Anthony Group, Inc.
Host-CaregiverAssistTV
Host-30 MinutesTV
Host-TheEntrepreneursNetwork
Author- Organizations, People & Effective Communication

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