People often ask us “what’s the big deal”?“Its just words”.“You’re stepping on freedom of speech”!
While we respect these opinions we also respectfully disagree.First of all, we are not pursuing a law where people are arrested or fined because they said a bad word when they smashed their toe.Second, we disagree with the philosophical letters we have received that say words are meaningless sounds created by humans.In the real world, everyone knows which words and expressions to avoid at a job interview or first date, or when speaking to their boss or a police officer.But, as the following stories from our members show, there is less and less consideration in our language in public and in front of children.Our goal is to raise awareness for people to consider their language in public and to speak more politely. After reading the stories below, we hope you will join us in our National Cuss Free Week (click here fore more details).
The Swearing, Sea World, Shamu Show
It was a sunny day at Sea World, San Diego, California.My wife, my 10 year old son and I were enjoying the Shamu Killer Whale Show, when suddenly a flurry of obscenities filled the air around us.I expected to turn and see a group of teenagers sitting behind us.Instead, I discovered a young father with his wife and daughter (4 or 5 years old) settling in for the show a couple of rows behind us.Not only was there profanity in every sentence the man uttered, but the subject of his conversation was completely inappropriate for this family setting.My frustration began to build as I’m sure it did with all the other people around us.As a factory operations manager and former US Navy officer, I usually have no problem confronting people.But in addition to this guy’s language, his demeanor suggested that our confrontation would be a long one, possibly physical, end up in the parking lot and on the evening news.I had to make a quick decision; risk ruining the rest of the day for my family and I, or bite my tongue for the last 15 minutes of the show.Let’s just say that my tongue was sore for the rest of the day.I’m sure there were a lot of sore tongues that day.
More than the fact that he used this language in front of his young daughter, I marveled at his inability to discern the discord between the setting and his language.A year later, I am still conflicted over my decision to sit there stewing with the combination of Shamu the Killer Whale performing to the sounds of profanity.Part of my inaction was a result of today’s sad culture where youth seem to take a simple rebuke to the extreme of a physical confrontation that ends up on the news.But did my inaction also contribute to this man’s inability to consider his language in a crowded family setting?If I had spoken up, would there have been others to back me up?Could I have taught this guy, my son and others in the crowd a lesson?
Terrible Time at Target
One of our members went Christmas shopping at a local Target store with his two young daughters, 5 and 7 years old.As they entered the store, the man could hardly believe what he saw.There was another family entering the store in front of them; a father, mother and their daughter (about 4 years old).The father was wearing a black T-shirt with 4 large, white letters printed shoulder-to-shoulder on the back; F_ _ _!Yes, the “F” word!
Guess he was just exercising his “freedom of speech”?
President’s Profanity Predicament
One member worked as a secretary at a stock broker company.Every day, all day, there was loud profanity and dirty jokes used by most of the people in the office.The president was the worst abuser.One day the president’s 18 year old daughter visited the office.The secretary was astonished at the change in the office atmosphere.Suddenly, there was no profanity and only polite language.The secretary then went into the president’s office and, in front of his 18 year old daughter, she let fly a string of words commonly heard in the company.The president was furious!“How dare you speak that way in front of my daughter” he scolded her!“How dare you speak that way in front of ME” she retorted “I am someone’s daughter TOO!”
One of our members said that she once interviewed a candidate for a job at her company.As the interview progressed, the candidate began to feel more comfortable and began to use bad language.The interviewer wondered why the candidate felt it necessary or acceptable to use such language.She felt that the candidate cussed in order to show her assertiveness.However, the interviewer was not impressed.If the candidate felt this comfortable with her, how would she act with the company’s clients?
Foul Football Game
I went to a college football game with my father-in-law and brother-in-law.We sat just behind the field goal.There was a fence that went all the way up from the field to the top of the bleachers, separating the fans on either side of the field goal.It was obvious that the fence separated fans of the opposing teams.One way you could tell was the behavior of the people on either side.On our side there seemed to be a lot of father and son groups sitting down, watching the game and cheering when appropriate.The other side was filled with college age men, mostly standing, many drinking alcohol, pressed against the fence facing our direction.They seemed to have no interest in the game, but rather were getting much enjoyment at yelling all kinds of profanity at our side.At one point, there is a lull in the game and everyone is sitting on our side.Suddenly I see this kid about 10 years old, sitting with his dad 5 rows in front of us.He stands up, visibly upset, faces the fence of drunken hordes spewing profanity at us, and he yells “you’re all a bunch of GARBAGE!”Needless to say, he didn’t have much effect, other than to elicit raucous laughter from them and, I must admit, a few giggles from our side.But this 10 year old’s frustration was not lost on us.The endless streams of profanity from the other side grew tiresome and definitely dampened what should have been an enjoyable evening.
Mom Gets Middle Finger
I’m a mom with 5 kids.Yes I have an SUV.No my kids don’t play soccer.But still, my day is filled with taking my kids here and there to various activities.One day, I’m driving with a car full of kids and stopped at a four way intersection.I started to go when I realized the car at my right hand side had the right-of-way.I quickly stopped, never entering the intersection, to let the other car go.Smiling, I waved my hand and mouthed “Sorry”.Apparently the other driver was not pleased.I could tell because he stuck his head and middle finger out the window of his big black monster truck and yelled some obscenities and me and my children.
My Sister Never Gave In
When my sister entered high school as a freshman, a group of girls surrounded her during lunch.They knew that she never used bad language.They started teasing her for being a “goodie two shoe”.They told her that she would eventually have to use some bad words if she wanted to fit in.What hurt most was that some of the girls in the crowd were her friends from junior high.Then all the girls started yelling at her to say the “F” word.Her friends stood by and did nothing while the rest of the crowd taunted her.My sister never gave in.
She stuck to what she knew was right.She knew that the most important people supported her; mom, dad and her brothers and sisters.At the end of that school year, one of her friends that had been in the crowd told her that she was sorry about what happened that day and that during the whole thing she was hoping that my sister wouldn’t give in.She said that my sister was a great example to her of standing up for what you believe in.
My sister is in college now and she still doesn’t cuss.She is a great example to me.