Over the past 4 decades, as our culture’s interest in etiquette and polite society waned, there has been a corresponding increase in the use of verbal vulgarity to express oneself. I’m old enough to remember when all commonly known expletives and vulgar words were censored from television broadcasts by a censor board. One could not say “fart” on national TV yet now it is quite common to hear “ass” and all its derivatives uttered with any attempt to bleep it out.
We’ve become a society in which our cultural disdain for caring about what offend others is manifested in an utterly careless yet often deliberate manner of speaking that draws from the depths of the obscene . We have toads spewing from our mouths with no care at all whether those around us are repelled by the assault on our ears. The ability to restrain oneself from verbal diarrhea, to present one’s disdain in a devastatingly cool, sophisticated manner has given way to lazy obscene diatribes. It used to be that curse words were held in abeyance for when you really needed to express a strong emotion. I’m not immune from uttering a string of curse words while narrowly missing being creamed by a careless car driver. But the world must be one continual drama for some people as they react to every negative nuance of their lives with an endless supply of obscenities.
Who hasn’t been out in public and heard someone drop the F-bomb quite liberally. In the worst cases, every third word is an F-bomb. The strongest weapon in our language’s verbal arsenal, the equivalent of a verbal nuclear bomb, is spread around as cheaply as grass seed. What comes next when the verbal bomb bay is empty? Studies suggest that teenagers exposed to hearing and using the F-Bomb are more likely to be aggressive.
Using F-bombs can, at least for now, result in negative consequences. You can get fired for dropping F-bombs. You can get removed from an airplane. You can get arrested for disorderly conduct. You can get rejected from the college of your choice. People have the freedom to speak in any manner they choose but those of us put in the position of hearing or reading offensive language retain the right to apply negative consequences to your choices. We should stand firm to execute those negative consequences as our right to protest having to hear/read others’ coprolalia.