Mouth Pollution…The New Culture War

February 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Photo Credit: DC Urban Dad

While many of the 2012 Presidential Candidates and other politicians up for re-election are debating a woman’s right to choose, to have access to birth control, to use it or not use it etc…I have a new proposal to bring to the table.  Please do not count me insensitive or out of touch with these issues, it’s just that I find all this political posturing and legislating around women’s bodies by male candidates a bit archaic and more than a little uneasy.  And at the risk of sounding apolitical I will add that there are many areas of our society that do need to be legislated, debated, and amended starting with campaign finance reform, but as a woman I resent the way the female body and the individual choices women make with and for their bodies becomes someone’s soapbox every-time an election rolls around.  That said, I bring to you the new Prude dish for the day, or what I am proposing to be the New Culture War…Mouth Pollution.

Scenario No. 1.

Mouth pollution is when you are working quietly in your cubicle, typing and tinkering away, and then you suddenly hear that sound, “What the F###.”  You are troubled, and wonder what has happened?  Is someone hurt?  By the time you realize there is no need to panic, its stench has already made its way into your workspace.

Scenario No. 2. 

You are sitting alone in a coffee shop or cafe, tinkering away on oh…I don’t know a dissertation.  Your thoughts, oh your thoughts, the ones you struggled to keep in tact for the past twenty-eight hours through dinners and snack times, story books and episodes of Dora the Explorer are finally coming together in some semi-recognizable sequence.  You are thrilled and even a bit excited.  You begin, but then you stop.  Your thoughts have just been invaded by mouth pollution.  The guy sipping on  Pepsi at the table across from yours continues to drop “the F bomb,” along with many other choice words courtesy of every South Park episode he’s seen.  Mission impossible. The stench of his language has settled in and the coffee house/cafe has suddenly become stifling and unbearable, you leave deflated, but determined to begin a new mission.

Photo Credit: Mr. Potter's Funtime Blog

What will it take, this Prude wonders to institute a No Cussing section similar to a non-smoking section in public places?  For me profanity and the flagrant use of it in public spaces is a real issue.  I know the free speech police are already rallying around this one, but I think public profanity, much like public drunkenness and nudity should be regulated.  For example if I am out with my son, and I know that I don’t use certain words in our house, the last thing I want is to take him to pick up a bagel and for his young – innocent  ears to be exposed to every curse word  at least fifteen times before you finish telling your story about what happened the other night.  Yes, call me a Prude, but I think people should refrain from cussing in public places, particularly where there are likely to be small children and families.  Now don’t get me wrong I’m not into policing your every word, I could care less about the content of your conversation, but when you speak loudly – enough for everyone to hear and your profanity reaches my ears, that’s when it becomes my business.

Remember the good ol' days when youth were innocent and garbage pail kids did all the bad stuff?

Also, as a lover of words, writing and the English language, I know that there are so many other choice words that could be used to display the very same sentiment.  For example in Downton Abbey those folks can be bitter, scorned, enraged and passionate all without resorting to four and five letter words.  Also, a very wise mentor once told me that writing, speaking and thinking are deeply connected, and for this reason I believe that a lack of life experience, creativity, inspired thinking or some combination of all three keeps some people on the potty mouth.  Call me a Prude but isn’t it time we found better ways of communicating, and at the very least, shouldn’t we have the courtesy to know that not every person in the room would like their own thinking to become muddled by someone else’s profanity.  After, all, if I were to begin crying loudly in the middle of a restaurant, wouldn’t that spoil your dinner?  Well in a similar way pubic profanity and even some that we find sprinkled through daytime and primetime television, business meetings, conference calls, pop music, rap music, all music and even play-off games has the potential to negatively impact ones thoughts.  I mean, what positive message or connotation can be derived from any swear word?  I know the idea of mouth pollution may sound strange to some and even ridiculous to others, but then again, being a prude isn’t exactly the norm.  I encourage you to share your thoughts on this new culture war with me, are you for or against it…please share, but remember to use your nice words.




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