Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Channeling My Dad

"Oh, for crying out loud!"

I had spilled some moccachino (coffee, chocolate, whipped cream) down the front of my shirt ... a fairly long drizzle in fact ... as we sat in the back room of La Noisette on  busy marché day.

As I wiped up the spill, I wondered briefly, where did that phrase come from? I had uttered it reflexively, almost automatically.

Of course, I realized. That's something my Dad used to say regularly. It was his way of cursing, in a sense, because he never mouthed a profanity. And when one of his five boys would use a euphemism such as "jeepers creepers," he would let us know this was unacceptable as well, borderline blasphemous.

Today, across most age groups, though it seems especially with younger people, vulgarity seems more the rule than the exception. And not just for something they don't like. Even positive comments are sprinkled with F**, S**, A**, and similar. The re-invigorated gun control movement is popularizing the phrase "We Call B*S*."

My two cents, I think profanity and vulgarity tend to diminish the message, whatever the message. It also diminishes the messenger. It's lazy language. Be a little more creative. If you want people to help carry your banner, come up with something everyone can say without cringing.

Unlike my Dad, I am not a saint when it comes to cursing. Used sparingly, though, I think it has more effect for its rarity.

The same goes for temper. If we are constantly outraged at every issue, major or minor, every day, how does someone else distinguish what is important to you? Choose your battles. And choose your words well to fight those battles.

1 comment:

  1. I can relate & often find my mums phrases spilling out of my mouth unexpectedly. Agree too that many of the younger generation are more potty mouthed than ours but sometimes it helps to underline a point or emotion. I’m no angel myself but certain words are still taboo for me as being quite simply too rude x