The Age of Profanity

March 29, 2006

I have a problem. It’s not a big problem now, but it can be if I don’t do something about it. I have been known to cuss like a sailor. So, I found this article entitled Who gives a @#$% about profanity? of interest to me. According to this article, and the evidence that surrounds us, we are living in an age of profanity, and frankly it disgusted me.

Nearly three-quarters of Americans questioned last week — 74 percent — said they encounter profanity in public frequently or occasionally, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll. Two-thirds said they think people swear more than they did 20 years ago. And as for, well, the gold standard of foul words, a healthy 64 percent said they use the F-word — ranging from several times a day (8 percent) to a few times a year (15 percent).

I’m embarrassed to say that I’m in the 64 percent that use the F-word. That has GOT TO CHANGE! In my defense, growing up I had very strict parents and I was convinced that they knew everything I was doing or saying. As a result, I never swore and was a 22 year old virgen. So, once I emancipated from the iron rule of my parents, it was f-bombs for EVERYONE!!

Younger people admit to using bad language more often than older people; they also encounter it more and are less bothered by it. The AP-Ipsos poll suggested that 62 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds acknowledged swearing in conversation at least a few times a week, compared to 39 percent of those 35 and older.

More women than men said they encounter people swearing more now than 20 years ago — 75 percent, compared to 60 percent. Also, more women said they were bothered by profanity — 74 percent at least some of the time — than men (60 percent.) And more men admitted to swearing: 54 percent at least a few times a week, compared to 39 percent of women.

Wondering specifically about the F-word? Thirty-two percent of men said they used it at least a few times a week, compared to 23 percent of women.

My kids don’t cuss. They snitch on each other when one or the other uses the “s” word. Oh, and their “s” word is “shut up”. But, I don’t want to raise my kids with the “do as I say, not as I do” mentality. So, with respect to foul language? I’m gonna have to stop that shit.