A phenomenon that I have recently noticed is that of the relaxation of standards as they apply to language used on television. I remember that when I was young, the word “damn” wasn’t allowed. These days, on network television, the word “ass” is frequently present.
If that’s not enough, listen to cable programs and made for television movies. While I am not a purist or a prude, the use of the f-bomb is ubiquitous and, in some cases, in every or every other sentence.
No, I’m not suggesting that we revert to the Queen’s English. It’s fun to imagine what would happen if I introduced “thee, thy and thou” to my speech. My best guess is that numerous people would look at me as if I have lost my mind. While that may or may not be a subject for discussion, I have no need to include such words in my discourse or writing.
At the same time, it continues to jar me if I hear obscenity used prolifically, primarily because there are so many wonderful words in the English language. One of my favorite endeavors is to find one that is not heard often and add it to my conversation or writing. This is not done for the purpose of showing off; it’s my educator self and if I can teach someone (anyone) something, where’s the harm.
It doesn’t seem to me that the trend in language won’t be changing any time soon. Happily my students are still aware that there are good and bad words. The tattle tales will quickly report that someone used the “d” word or the “a” word in class, expecting that I will deliver the proper rebuke. Whether I do on not depends on the situation. If I’ve heard the word spoken, I will say something. If not, it’s hearsay.
And so, I shall grit my teeth and endure words that I don’t use in everyday speech. Either I will become accustomed to it or the effect desired by using such language will lose its punch. As I often say, never apologize for doing the right thing. Shalom.