Foul Language, Common Courtesy, and Professional Etiquette
I've just finished watching 60 Minutes and I have to admit that I am one those people who actually get out a kick out of listening to Andy Rooney. Oh, I know that a good many people think him a bit annoying but I really do enjoy his segments.
He made one statement during his segment tonight that struck a chord with me. Andy Rooney said that when he goes to the movies he is still genuinely uncomfortable with the proliferation of the "F" word in modern movies and with the ease at which most young people accept it as a normal part of conversation.
My wife and I moved to Michigan for a short while in 1995 and we were both shocked that typical Michaganders used the "F" word so frequently. We thought it unusual at the time but now see that it is commonplace all over the country. Oh, we're not prudes and we are definitely not above a good swear word when circumstances dictate but we were exposed to people who seemed to think that using the "F" word is a perfectly normal, proper, and socially acceptable . It is more commonly considered as one of the most impolite and flexible curse words in the English language being used as verb, noun, adjective and adverb
As a case in point I use one of my co-workers there in Warren, Michigan as an example. Dan (no, not you Dan L.) used the F word so freely that I once counted its use 27 times in a two minute period.
Now when my wife and I go the movies and they use the "F" word excessively we always joke and say something such as "must have filmed that one in Michigan!".
What disturbs me more is that its use has also become commonplace where I work now in Chattanooga, Tn. Co-workers use foul language openly (and sometimes loudly) in areas where customers would be exposed to it. It's not only used openly by the average employee but also by people who are in leadership positions. These people should know better, expect better from their co-workers, and display a more professional attitude in the workplace.
While I also slip and spew forth an "expletive deleted" from time to time I try to limit this behavior to the confines of my office. I like to think that there are just too many others ways of expressing concern or displeasure. One mental aid that helps me to keep a leash on my tongue is to imagine that my own mother could be just around the corner listening. I know, I am 50 years old and can speak any way that I want but what my mother thinks of me is still important and a guiding force in my day to day life. Believe me, she would not be proud to hear me talking like a drunken sailor. Believe me, I am sure that my customers would not like it either!
I may be a bit old fashioned but I just don't think that "F^*&! you, you old A$$&#!^" would be an acceptable substitute for "Gee Willikers, Mr. Wilson" if they ever make a motion picture of the old Dennis The Menace show.