Thursday, June 08, 2006

No swearing please, I'm human

In the old days, no man would dream of swearing in the presence of a lady.

It was assumed that no lady would even know of any swear words, let alone use them.

These days, it seems I can't have a simple dinner in a food court, watch a movie or listen to the radio without having my ears battered by a steady flow of profanity.

The other night, I almost got indigestion from having to listen to several rap artistes tell me explicitly how they felt about various issues. Interestingly, though the issues varied, the cuss words didn't. Not much, anyway.

The last time I watched a movie, it was an animated feature. I guess that's what made parents assume it was ideal viewing for their kids, because the cinema was packed with under-12s. I wondered if the parents in there cringed as I did at the references to bodily functions and "watered-down" euphemisms for cruder swear words that some thoughtful scriptwriter must have put in for the sake of the child-safe ratings.

Some people tell me I'm too sensitive, even judgemental. Am I being hypersensitive by trying to practice discretion over what I hear? If I don't want this kind of language coming out of me, I'd better start with getting as little of it as possible to enter my mind, hadn't I?

As for the "judgemental" tag, please. I have nothing against the people who swear. It's just their language I have a problem with.

I'm sure some people can't understand why I get hot and bothered over a small thing like language. Aren't things like violence, stealing and prejudice worse? Sure they are, I just haven't written about them yet!

I've heard many people say they want to live a life with meaning and leave something good behind. I think the quality of our lives depends a lot on the words we speak and hear.

If you're someone for whom "strong language" equals saying "Oh, my!" when something shocking happens, yay! And if the bulk of your vocabulary consists of words that you wouldn't say in front of your grandmother, religious leader, three-year-old niece or primary school discipline master, how about an overhaul?

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