Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 09/18/17
I believe there’s an inverse proportion between profanity and vocabulary. The more of the former, the less of the latter. I understand “shock” potential, but I don’t understand vulgarity that’s completely gratuitous and adds nothing to the point.
Routinely, I unfriend people on Facebook who write obscenities as adjectives and adverbs. I wouldn’t look to spend my mornings with such people, so why do I want to read what they have to say? And the slippery slope increases in declivity. A woman who’s a Senator from California dropped an F-bomb at a news conference. I guess she’s trying to be hip. What she succeeds at is being pathetic.
Increasingly vulgar talk, ironically, attenuates the power of the profanity. The more we hear something, the less likely we are to be shocked by it. So the very effort of trying to be contemporarily shocking produces the opposite effect: The speaker is merely one of the crowd, howling for attention.
Obscenity is mindless. Therefore, the user isn’t someone I need to use my mind on.
“Profanity and obscenity entitle people who don’t want unpleasant information to close their ears and eyes to you.” —Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. in Hocus Pocus
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