Daily Nugget of Gold 664
“The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it.” – George Washington
Did you imagine that the people cursed back in George Washington’s day? Maybe not, because what we read from those years, what history has recorded contains almost none of it. There’s a reason for that. There is no better way to display to others that you lack command of the language or that you have character issues which may keep you from being entrusted with a position of great responsibility than having the habit of cursing. Swearing shows disrespect for ourselves and others, puts a negative pattern of thinking out there for all to see, and often is thought of as being a sign of a lack of mental prowess in general.
A pioneer for women’s rights, Ernestine Louise Rose said this: “But say some, would you expose woman to the contact of rough, rude, drinking, swearing, fighting men at the ballot box? What a humiliating confession lies in this plea for keeping woman in the background!” Her point was that men knew that the behaviors she described were uncivilized even if they were used as an excuse to keep women from voting! Women have indeed come a long way now, but unfortunately, some fit right in with the rough, rude, drinking, swearing, and fighting types. This, we think, is not what she had in mind!
The actor who played Cliff Clavin in Cheers, John Ratzenberger, said this: “There are times over different projects when I’ve asked the writers why people are swearing for no good reason. I tell them that it would be funnier if there weren’t these swear words.” John makes the point that often the curse words are a distraction, a cheap trick to try and illicit an emotional response, in his case- laughter. Some intelligent people swear, surely, but as a rule people understand how it often undermines all your hard work by making it easy to define you as low-class, immoral, or dumb- and this is not to say that we’re for people judging us- but we had better get used to the fact that they do. This is especially true when we’re applying for a job or are on the job. The more we tolerate ourselves cursing, the more difficult it becomes to control it at those moments when we know it would be extremely harmful to us and our own interests to engage in it. Please also reconsider the act of putting down your own race, sexual orientation, nationality -or whatever- by using vile, obsolete terms for each other. More than anything else, this displays an extreme amount of disrespect for not only who you are, but for the people who gave of their lives to help you arrive at this point. It also gives others outside of your group more permission to do likewise, something you’d probably claim was not your intent.
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“How can I remind myself to curse less and instead build my vocabulary so I don’t need to?”
Copyright 2012 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.