Profanity Is Not A Sign Of Intelligence

Curmudgeonly Monday

I think I will make this a new, weekly feature where I just rant and rave and carry on about things that make me feel surly, crusty and ill-tempered. Or old, which makes me feel curmudgeonly.

Something that my favorite teacher ever, my tenth grade English teacher, Mrs. Sonja Maas, said was, “Profanity is not a sign of intelligence.” She even had a big button she wore that said it. I have one, too. But instead of a button to give you (other than this picture), I have a blog post for you.

It used to be, back in the good old days (And when did that saying change to “Back in the day” anyway?) that swearing, cursing, invectives, epithets, expletives, cuss words (including sissy cusswords), obscenities, or even vulgarities were frowned upon. There were just certain words you didn’t use and some things you did not say or talk about in polite company or in company at all.

It still shocks me to hear it, especially from people who otherwise impress me as smart. There used to be rules on the radio about what you could and couldn’t say, rules governing what was then common decency. Now you can’t find a station where there is not some sort of foul language by either the DJ or what passes for a singer.

It used to be that the excuse was art. it was an expression of the artist/poet/writer/actor/whatever to emphasize some point or other. Sure. Except that it causes a desensitizing of the audience. They hear the word or phrase so often it becomes old hat. It stops shocking people any more and so the speaker has to do something else to get your attention. It isn’t just far-left “shock jocks” anymore, either. I can’t play most of the right-wing, supposedly conservative talkers either. Why must you punctuate every other sentence with an expletive? Do I really want my four-year-old grandson or thirteen-year-old grandson or any of my grandchildren, to talk like you?

“Well,” said a couple of the biggest talkers with nationally syndicated shows, at different times, “My show is not meant for children.” Well, lah-de-dah. Mr. Producer, would you kindly explain to your on-air host that there are still adults out here that want to hear an intelligently articulated argument and not profanity and vulgarity?

Bloggers, too. Some of you are so smart and have such good ideas and interesting things to say, but I could never re-blog very many of your posts or recommend your site because I try to run a family show here.

Having said all that, yes, there are many articulate blogs out there who do not rely on vulgarity and risque innuendo, and I want to thank you. To the rest of you, I will tell you the way my English teacher told me, “I know you can do better than that.”

14 Comments

  1. Awesome post! However, I do use a curse every now and again when it fits a situation. And even then, I’m minimal with it.

    However, it’s when people curse and use F-bombs in every other word in their sentences that makes me cringe. Those people we call “potty mouths”. I feel that if someone has to use an entire string of bad language during an argument or conversation, it only shows they really have nothing better to say.

    • Well, it’s also Rush and Levin and Savage and all of their ilk, too. I’m sorry, too. To me, profanity and vulgarity do not do anything to strengthen an argument or enhance a point.

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