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The Other F Words

15 0 1

In some ways, growing up in the 50s feels like a century ago. As I look back, I can remember three things, in particular, that were rare and almost unheard of – divorce, tattoos and profanity.

Most of us had two parents, happy or unhappy, who chose to stay together. Tattoos were scarcely seen, and exclusive only to men, but, perhaps, one of the greatest changes in society has been the degrading level of our everyday language.

Words which were, not so long ago, considered crude, shameful and vulgar are now thrown around without a thought and without regard to the tender ears of the listener. They’re heard in our music, our films, entertainment and even from ordinary people who have adopted what they apparently now view as normal and acceptable jargon. Vulgarity has, unquestionably, invaded the English language with a vengeance.

Venturing a guess where it all started, I probably would have to look no further than Hollywood and other celebrities, be they singers, athletes, politicians or other famous personalities. Through their flagrant use of nasty terms, the harshness and shock-value of those words, little by little, began to be neutralized as a clever conditioning set in.

For some, the use of these words was meant to be a sign of coolness or sophistication; much like smoking in the 1960s. For others, using profanity was a way to fit in and gain acceptance. Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure – hardly anyone winces anymore when vulgar language is spewed out like sewage these days.

While its effect has elicited everything from crude humor to a type of worldly coarseness, its popularity and frequent use cannot ever compete with good manners, politeness, refinement and poise which may be seen as outdated but which, nonetheless, bears witness to an........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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