A week without cussing? How grand

Published 12:52 am Friday, February 26, 2010

Oh, my stinkin’ … Well, it’s certainly better than the vernacular heard on the streets, on the airwaves and coming from the mouths of many people these days. From public events to online posts to casual conversation, profanity and language once deemed “inappropriate” have become so commonplace that we’ve become numb to the vulgarity of it all.

Some folks want to change that, starting with a California teenager, McKay Hatch, whose school-based “No-Cussing Club” was the impetus for a 20-state movement. That same movement has sparked the California Legislature to embark on efforts to create the nation’s first “No Cussing Week.” It’s goal? Simply to promote greater connectedness, organizers say.

“I’ve always wondered why we behave differently when grandma is watching than when we’re on our own,” said Assemblyman Anthony Portantino.

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Good question. With the pervasiveness of technology and social media, one would think today’s generation would grasp that nothing you say or write or text or post ever really goes away. And, that old adage that says “if you wouldn’t want your mother to hear it (or read it) than you shouldn’t say it (or write it)” has never been more apt.

Somehow, with the advent of instant access and instant communication, we’ve become more casual and lost some of our sense of decorum. Foul language is accepted as a norm in many cases – just turn on any television network and count the number of once-banned words that are written into prime-time scripts these days – and foul-language unfortunately for many segments of society is celebrated as a natural part of the lexicon.

It’s a shame, and a sad statement on the evolution of the English language.

So we celebrate, if even for a week, efforts to stem the tide and stop the cussing.