Friday, December 12, 2008

Cussin' up a public, political storm

One of the most fascinating aspects about the impending fall of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is the excerpts from his wiretapped conversations. The man talks like he's filming a Quentin Tarantino movie, only not quite as clever.

"I've got this thing and it's (expletive) golden," Blagojevich said of his authority to appoint the replacement for President-elect Obama's Senate seat, "and I'm just not giving it up for (expletive) nothing."

And his wife is right there with him on the cussin' front. She unleashed an obscenity-filled tirade suggesting Tribune Co. ownership should "just fire" Chicago Tribune editorial writers if the company wanted the state to help it unload Wrigley Field.

"Hold up that (expletive) Cubs (expletive)," she's quoted as saying in the background as her husband talked on the phone. "(Expletive) them."

OK. I cuss. Quite a bit. I've never believed that business about how you're not a lady if you use foul language. I swear in English and in German, and sometimes in French. But even I got a little slack-jawed when I heard what came out of the Blogojeviches' potty mouths.

I really began to question my own use of salty language when I read this story, which mentions a 2006 study that found 74 percent of Americans frequently or occasionally hear people cursing in public and that most believe the use of profanity is on the rise.

But, “there's a huge difference between a person who drops a swear word once in a while and a person who uses it in every other sentence,” the story quoted Peter Post, director of the Emily Post Institute and an author and lecturer on business etiquette, as saying. “There's a certain level of arrogance in it that says I can do anything I want, I can speak any way that I want.”

Noooo, I don't feel that way. I moderate my language depending on who I'm talking to, of course. In casual conversations with friends I may pepper my sentences with profanity, but even so, I don't think I'm as blue as the Blagojeviches. Or am I? I wonder what tapes of my conversations would sound like?

I don't think I'll give up swear words completely -- in many situations a "gosh darn" or "crap" just doesn't cut it -- but I will make an effort to use less of them.

What about you? Do you use profanity in everyday language? Have the Blogojeviches made you rethink your cussin'?


Anonymous said...

they are just words, they will not f***ing hurt you i promise

Anonymous said...

I am a male wh got married when I was 38. I cussed like a sailor and then I had children. I simply do not cuss any more. I don't want my children to hear it and they don't. And the good thing about it, I don't miss cussing at all. It's just not necessary. Maybe at my age, I just have the need to "be cool"

Anonymous said...

It is enlightening how others express themselves, and it casts a shadow on a person's integrity. As the governor, his cussing is unprofessional and casts a negative perception on him - which in this case serves to validate the Illinois governor's inability to continuing serving the people of Illinois. It's too late for Blago to move on graciously, but he still needs to move on nevertheless . . .