Monday, January 14, 2013

The Dead End Treatment

Rin Tin Tin
Forgive me my little trends on this blog, but, back to profanity again. A few days go, I wrote a lament to the death of the effectiveness of profanity. In short, I don't hate profanity. In fact, I think it was once an effective communication tool. It just seems to me that is has been rendered impotent by unfettered use. (Thanks goodness that doesn't happen to people -- BA-DOOOM, CHEE! Thank yeew!)


Anyway, I recently saw a post -- a thing about dogs. I started reading it and thought I might re-post it on Facebook. (It was about dogs and their silly dogness...) As I read further, it got more and more crass. By the end, I decided that it wasn't how I, a teacher with many former students as friends -- and even some of their parents as friends as well -- wanted to represent myself on social media.

The thing is, the profanity in it was simply not effective; it didn't make the piece any more funny. If anything, it took something away from the contrast of dogly innocence to the real world that would have made it even more humorous.

It is as if people are desperately looking for ways to inject profanity and crassness into things, regardless of context. It as if the teacher didn't show up for class and the kids are running amok. It just seems so stinking immature; and embarrassing -- embarrassing in the same way I feel embarrassed for a person who puts his or her body on display, but in a manner that shows a complete lack of understanding of the part mystery plays in sexiness.

Lassie. Come on -- can you imagine profanity here?
At least I can, in not "sharing," have a tiny impact on things. I didn't re-post. So, the writer of the piece lost a good number of possible additional readers. I'm not saying I could make or break the website (which is pretty popular) but he did lose a shot at the nearly 600-plus friends I have on Facebook (and everyone they might have shared it with) as well as another round of circulation on Twitter...and maybe here. That's not chicken feed.

So there, Mister Dookie-head-dog-defiler. (See -- that was funnier than if I had called him a @#!$%^& &^%& head.

(I know it would have helped in your understanding of this if I had linked to the post in question, but...well, you see the paradox of effectiveness that would have presented...)


  1. Completely agree. I know I shocked you with my Facebook comment yesterday. The most shocking thing to me about that student's statement was his utmost sincerity in feeling that he had done me a favor in saying what-he-said in place of what-he-didn't-say (I don't want to litter your comment section with icky words!) The fact that that kid really thought that saying the p-word (that was actually what he referred to it as) would have been truly foul, and that using that grossly descriptive phrase in its place was actually less shocking and inappropriate is mind-blowing. It makes ya wonder what goes on in their heads (if anything, ha!). These kids hear and use so much profanity that it means nothing to them.

    Here's what I think - that each new generation of parents leaves something from their own rearing in the dust. First it was spanking (makes enough sense), then it was not letting other people (neighbors, teachers, community authority figures, etc.) help raise their kids (again, makes complete theoretical sense. I think now parents are saying about profanity "Who cares? It's just a word. Swearing never hurt me any." So, now, their children will swear, relentlessly. I don't necessarily think these are good, or bad, things. I guess I'm intrigued to see how even future-r (I'm an English teacher now; I'm allowed to make up words) generations will raise their little rascals.

    1. Yeah -- it's funny, Lisa -- what shocked me wasn't the kid's language so much as the fact that he thought what he said was okay -- or better. I like you theory, you English teacher, you!