There are times when I’m really glad that my children aren’t with me when I’m out and about, and today was one of those days. I went down to the main shopping area here in town to buy a couple of pair of shoes and had to walk past some homeless folk, general riff-raff and scruffy college age kids.
Each and every one of these groups was speaking in loud voices (or so it seemed to me) and every fourth or fifth word was an obscenity. If the walk from my car to the store and back would have been in a film, it would have easily guaranteed at least a PG-13 rating (though nowadays, maybe people can use the F- word in a G movie for all I know).
Now, I’ll admit, I like obscenities. I talk with A- and G- about how “words have power” and that certain words have a lot of power and that’s why you should never use them without thinking, but when I’m with my pals, I’ll use obscenities for effect.
Heck, some of the best words in the English language…
But the liberal use of obscenities in public, in places where plenty of families walk and where it seems to me that my kids are just as likely to hear these words as anyone else, just turns me off completely.
My view is that in private I really couldn’t care less how people communicate, but when you’re in public, and especially when you’re in front of children or even in an area where there’s a strong likelihood that children will be present, you need to clean up your act and skip the inappropriate language.
Does that make me a prude?
Fortunately for me, while my kids are very aware of their surroundings, we haven’t yet had a “Dad, what does $#@$# mean?” sort of question, which rather surprises me. Probably they already know what the words mean, but they’re also savvy enough to know that they’re not really words that we use in everyday discussion.
As it is, G- (who is 6) already knows about “the F word” and while he doesn’t actually say the word, he’s clearly fascinated by a word that has such power. A- (9) doesn’t seem to care less, but that might be a gender thing too: in my experience, men use a lot more obscenities than women do (which isn’t to say that women can’t keep up with us guys, just that in everyday speech guys seem to be more crude).
Nonetheless, back to point. Is it just me, or are you also seeing a gradual degradation of public discourse to where it’s hard to differentiate it from an Eddie Murphy comedy special or some pathetic “stoner” movie?
As for me? I wish these uncouth folk would just go the $#@$#@ away!