Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Curse of Cursing

Early in my career I worked in a newspaper sports department, and there was a particular writer who cursed a great deal. At one point, we counted, and fully 3 of every 5 words coming from his mouth were swear words. He had a reputation for being a good writer, but listening to him for even a couple of minutes I lost any respect for him as a person.

The anonymity available on the internet has opened the door for the foul-mouthed to spew on social media. They create a false identity, then hurl invective at anyone with whose nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, financial status, or opinion with which they disagree.

Problem is, as I see it, their potty-mouth obscures whatever legitimate argument they may be trying to present. Who wants to have a discussion with someone who lacks the mental agility to come up with legitimate words to convey their ideas?

I now refrain, for the most part, from making comments on Facebook postings which seem to have a great many followers - newspaper articles, for example. Even when you post a reasoned comment, you invite personal attack. The one I thought the funniest was those trolls who mistook me for French when I commented on the Saudi king having a public beach closed during his holiday on the Riviera. When trolls guess I'm American, they ascribe to me everything they consider negative about the US - even if I had nothing to do with the situation and perhaps even oppose it myself. Some who know I lived in Texas nearly 20 years also ding me for anything that may be wrong about Texas.

I've been known to curse a time or twelve. Almost always in private. And almost exclusively reserved for something boneheaded I did to myself or perhaps railing against an obtuse or obstinate bureaucrat here and there. At the time, those words (and the way they are delivered) ARE carefully chosen and the effect can be temporarily cathartic.

Indeed, I can now even cuss in two languages!

1 comment:

  1. Oh you are correct, It is so easy for people to curse on social media and I often wonder if they would say these things in person to your face. Ok so I have big eyes! What!!!! You worked for a newspaper! My great uncle won a Pulitzer for his newspaper work. Harold Eugene Martin was his name. I only met him one time.