Judged by the four letter Word

Does it matter to you if a performer uses Foul Language?



This is difficult for me to even write. How does one even broach this subject without mentioning the words I want to discuss?

When I was in high school, I remember a discussion that ended up getting me sent to the principals office. Whenever the music teacher would admonish a certain student, he would always start his defense with “well heck”. Somehow everything stopped in class, and we started the discussion of swearing. I made the observation that saying heck is no different than saying hell, saying frig is no different than saying, well, you know. All of a sudden *I* was the one being admonished for swearing!

What impact does it have on you when someone uses foul language as part of their speech? Does it bother you when a comedian or other performer has to use bad language to get a laugh?

Has it become such a part of every day, that we have become immune to it? I’d like to think not.

I read very interesting article from the elle.com blog titles “Why swearing is a bad habit – Swearing affects your mental health”. (read the blog here)

Are we even aware how the words we use might offend someone? Worse yet, do we care?

A recent University of Arizona study, raised the matter of the social cost of cursing. In this case, women coping with breast cancer or rheumatoid arthritis wore recorders, and researchers duly noted their usage of profanity among friends and family. What they found was that the women who cursed—even those who uttered the relatively mild crap—received less support from loved ones. “It wasn’t that they were swearing at people, either, which really surprised me,” says Megan Robbins, the lead author of the study. “The take-home is that people are sort of repelled by counter­stereotypical behavior.”

We don’t stop and think about how the words we use affect those who hear them. We think they are simply part of the overall message, without giving credence to each word that makes up the entire message.

There are many professional entertainers who use four letter words as part of their act. When someone buys a ticket for one of these performers, they know what to expect. No surprises.

What about a slip? Oops, said something once I shouldn’t have said. If we sprinkle our conversation in daily life with obscenity, how much more difficult is it to refrain when in front of an audience?

There are a fair number of comedians who don’t sling dirt around, and they’re among the smartest and funniest: Stephen Wright, Jim Gaffigan, Brian Regan, Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall,  Ellen DeGeneres, Jerry Seinfeld.  Stephen Wright is especially brilliant, and sometimes gets a bit ahead of his audience.  I personally think the brightest comedians don’t use a lot of cuss words for impact because they don’t need to.  Their stories have plenty of impact without the foul language.

Using those four letter words isn’t just “offensive”. It settles into the psyche of the person who hears them. Wether it is a rant at someone, telling a joke, or just normal conversation, what does this say about us? Both the person using the words, and the one listening?

So I leave it you you. Would you rather stay on the high road and keep it 100 percent  clean, no matter the event or situation, or risk not only offending someone, but leaving a much deeper negative impression about not only you, but those who hired you and associate with you?

You can have a lot more fun by keeping it clean.

“As was his language, so was his life” – Seneca.



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