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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Teens Against Cursing on Facebook

I recently got an email from new member Annette J. from Malaysia, talking about the new group she made on Facebook against cursing!

"Our aim is to lessen those mean and filthy words or maybe substitute them with other words that doesn't sound such as filthy as the original word," Annette told me. Bleep! could not agree with this message more. Try to stop using bad words in general, but if you have a hard time, use alternatives instead. I readily admit that I use a lot of substitutes for bad words, since it's hard to completely erase them from your vocabulary, even in a short amount of time.

If you're on Facebook, make sure to like Annette's page. It's a great page filled with a lot of anti-cursing inspiration. If you think you're the only one who dislikes hearing bad words, this page shows that you're not alone, whether you're in the US or Malaysia or any country in between.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Everyone Should Keep a Clean Mouth


A friend of mine recently shared this article with me. It discusses how a school in New Jersey made students take a pledge not to curse.

At first, this seems great - a school going out of its way to ensure its students stay clean-mouthed. The catch is that the school only asked female students to take this vow. Boys were asked to abstain from cursing only when they were around girls.

I'm sure the school meant well, but they really missed the mark. Although cursing may indeed be not terribly ladylike, such a concept is so archaic and outdated that it didn't even make it into the Bleep! philosophy. Making girls take a pledge not to curse and allowing boys to say bad words whenever they want to is a double standard, which is clearly not fair. The double standard in cursing has always been prevalent, and I've blogged about it in the past. However, that doesn't make it right.

People who agree with Bleep!'s goals need to understand that nobody should curse - not just one segment of the population.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cursing Online

Recently, I've become active in a certain online forum. Everyone really keeps their posts clean, perhaps with the occasional mildly bad word. However, there's one guy that consistently uses really bad words. He's a perfectly nice guy, but the fact that he curses so frequently really takes away from my respect for him. It's so jarring when I read one of his posts and I see an f bomb or other really intense word. Like, is it so hard for him to watch what he says, especially since nobody else uses that kind of language? I don't know him that well, so I would never ask him to watch his language or stop using bad words, since it's just not my place and I would feel awkward. I wish I could tell him how much his bad language is bothering me, though.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Cursing in the Music Industry

Dear music industry,
Have you ever considered a swear jar?
Sincerely, it would really help the national debt...

I found the above Dear Blank Please Blank absolutely brilliant. Not only does it manage to crack a political joke, but it reveals the nastiness behind all the bad language that singers use. I personally really love music (even though I can't sing), and I find it so disappointing when one of my favorite singers will use a bad word (or two...or three...or more) in a song. Like, what was the point of using that word? Are there not thousands, if not millions, of other words you could have used there instead?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

More Anti-Cursing Sentiments from DBPB

I was scrolling through the website Dear Blank Please Blank when I saw this:

Dear kids who swear all the time,
I remember when "stupid" used to be a banned word, and now you're cussing out your parents.
Sincerely, what happened?

Oh, how nice it would be to go back to the good ol' days, when bad words were really taboo. Well, we can't go back in time, but we can make the future better!

Friday, November 2, 2012

IM A One and Only

This is a guest post written by Bleep! members Becca B. and Tali G. It was featured in this month's newsletter.


If you could change one part of your body, what would it be? Most teenagers would think for a moment and say something like the shape of their nose, color of their eyes, size of their stomach, etc. Very few, if any, would consider changing their tongue. As the vulnerable teenagers that we are, we automatically translate this question into something that has to do with our physicality.

Most people don’t know that our tongues can actually make a huge difference in the way that we view ourselves. By saying mean words and by talking about inappropriate topics, we are lowering our standards and self-respect. The picture that we have of ourselves, the image of who we wish to be, gets blurrier and blurrier by the second. Each curse word that we say and each rude remark we let bounce off our lips actually takes us further away from who we want to be.

Words have an extreme power. If we carry them properly, we can use them as a tool to strengthen our character. We can use the same words as a weapon to hurt, and even destroy those around us. So, not only can your tongue damage your self-esteem, but it can damage your friend’s as well.

Remember, a person’s self-esteem and self-worth are invaluable. Once destroyed, it takes an unbelievable amount of effort and strength to build back up again. Next time you’re angry, think about those around you before letting your tongue overpower your mind. Think about the love and respect that you and all of your friends deserve to have.

To read more on the topic of self-esteem and body image, check out the new website for Jewish girls www.imaoneandonly.org. Be sure to sign up for updates, and submit your own pieces to the site!

Monday, October 22, 2012

*Another* Anti-Cursing DBPB!

Dear Blank Please Blank is starting to become my favorite website! It's awesome how many submissions they post that have anti-cursing messages.
 
Dear 27-year-old veteran with death tattoos in my freshman history class,
Please continue to say "Fudge, sugar cookies" when you forget your books.

I really like this one, since it breaks down stereotypes about who is most likely to curse, and gives a cutsey alternative to using bad words. All hail DBPB!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Yet Another Anti-Cursing DBPB!

I just saw this Dear Blank Please Blank:
 
Dear little girl who screamed "holy heffelump" when she saw a spider,
Please be my new best friend...

I'm a big proponent of using jokey words, or any substitute, for bad words. I understand that it's human nature to make some sort of remark when something bad happens. You can check out this link at the Bleep! website for suggestions other than "heffelump" to say instead of cursing!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Anti-Cursing DBPB!

There's a website I love to procrastinate with called Dear Blank Please Blank. As I was surfing it today, I saw this DBPB:

Dear kids who cuss, 
Swearing doesn't make you sound grown up. It shows you can't articulate your emotions intelligently.
Sincerely, tired of "F" this and "F" thats. 
 
Yeah! It's so awesome to see something against excessive cursing online, where there are unfortunately a lot of people who wantonly use bad language.

A few of the comments on the DBPB:

I wish I didn't swear so much, I'm trying really hard to stop!
 
This post is right. Swearing doesn't automatically make someone less intelligent, but I've noticed that it is used more commonly by the less intelligent. However smart you are, swearing will always make you seem less intelligent.
 
...I agree that if it's every other word, that's a bit excessive...


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bad Words on Clothes

In the past couple months, I've noticed a lot of people wearing clothing and accessories with bad words written on them. A while ago, I noticed a woman with a bag that had the s word on it. A week or two ago, I was on the bus with a man with a bad word on his shirt. Yesterday, I saw another man with a curse word on his shirt. While I addressed this concept in this blog post a couple years ago, I would like to expand on it a little bit now.


I feel that it's really obnoxious for someone to wear something with a bad word on it. If you want to curse, that's okay; I'm personally not a fan and can cite many, many reasons why you shouldn't, but if you choose to use that sort of language and the people around you are okay with it, it's your prerogative. However, by wearing clothing with curses on them, you're forcing everyone around you to be exposed to bad words, whether or not they want to be. I know that if I were a parent, I would be very frustrated if my (young) child saw a bad word on somebody's shirt or bag. So, people of the world: could you please avoid wearing stuff with bad language on them?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I Was SO Embarrassed

The other day, I was hanging out with one of my friends. Her usage of bad language all the time was actually my inspiration to create Bleep!. Unfortunately, while Bleep! has reached almost 1,000 members in 31 states and 11 countries, and impacted even more, it has not really influenced this friend of mine to stop cursing. We went into my neighborhood pizza store, and after we ordered, she realized she had no money on her. She said the s word literally ten times.

Since the pizza store is close to my home and we know the people who work there, I was really embarrassed that they saw me associating with someone with such a dirty mouth. Don't get me wrong - I love this friend to death, she's my absolute best friend in the world. However, I really didn't like that she cursed so many times. Part of the Bleep! philosophy is that when you curse, it reflects poorly on your community, whether it be your religious affiliation, neighborhood, ethnicity, or circle of friends. My friend's cursing certainly did not reflect well on me. So next time you want to curse in public, think: will the people you're with be okay with it?

Friday, June 22, 2012

My Brush With Cursing on the Bus

Yesterday, I was riding on the bus, listening to my iPod. A large group of students piled onto the bus, and three girls hovered near where I was sitting. Despite securing my earbuds deep inside my ears and keeping the volume as loud as is healthy, I could hear every word of their conversation. All of the kids clearly belonged to the same ethnic group, lived in the same community and neighborhood (literally 90% of them got off at the same stop), and went to the same school. When the girls near me began using bad words (I remember hearing "OMG, she's such a bleep!" and "what the bleep?"), I was really disturbed. I knew that it was silly to judge their entire community based on these girls' behavior, especially since they were pretty young (probably in middle school) and probably didn't understand the impact of their words. However, others may not be as nice as I was in this situation. The moral of this story is: always be careful how you speak, especially in public!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

SHE Said THAT?

Here's another GIF story from That's So True about bad words. Unfortunately, teachers and parents and other important adults in our lives do sometimes slip up and say words that would best be avoided.

When your teacher swears
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Friday, April 27, 2012

He Said What?

I found another GIF story that has to do with cursing on the website That's So True, and I thought I would share it here.

You hear a little kid say a really bad word, and you look at your friend like
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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Desensitization

When you were young and heard someone curse
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The above GIF story was on the website That's So True. It's unfortunate that the sense of "OMG! S/he said a bad word!" only really applies when we're young; we get so desensitized to bad language so early in life.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

R Word Awareness Day

Today is the annual day of awareness to end the usage of the r-word (retard/retarded).

There are a lot of things you can do to help this clean-mouthed cause. 43 states have amended their laws to use terms like intellectual disability instead of mental retardation. While that is a ginormous step in the right direction, that means that 7 states have not made these extremely important changes yet! The R-Word organization suggests that if you live in Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, or Oklahoma, you should contact your state representatives here and tell them:

As a constituent of [your state], I demand respect and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities and I encourage you to introduce a measure to change the state’s official language from ‘mental retardation’ to ‘people with intellectual disabilities’.

Another way you can help spread awareness of this issue is by taking the pledge to spread the word to end the word here.

The R-Word has pretty much the same philosophy as Bleep!: "This campaign isn't about limiting speech, it's quite the opposite. We respect your right to say anything you want, but we ask that you recognize that words can be hurtful and they do matter - choose to use words that are less hurtful."

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cursin' Over Neosporin

A while ago, I was shopping with my mom at my local Walgreen's. A number of boys were in the store, too. Based on their uniforms, it was clear that they attended a local school with a specific religious affiliation. They were searching for Neosporin, as the entire store learned when one of the boys screamed out, "Where's the bleeping Neosporin??"

I cringed when he said this, and was far from the only one. In a way, I was embarrassed for him that he just didn't understand the negative effects of using such a strong word so cavalierly in public. It's not my place to go over to random people I don't know and say, "You know, using that word is really not the right thing to do," and segue into a whole Bleep! speech, but I really wish that I could do that sometimes. I know that I thought less of this boy's friends when he said what he did, along with his school and every other group he represented. I also imagine that all of the other people at Walgreen's at the time felt the same way. When will the world learn?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Irony on the Bus

In some of the articles I've written for various publications about Bleep!, I use the following introduction:

You’re walking on the street and pass a person. Let’s call her Jo. She’s dressed from head to toe in Prada and is talking on her cell phone, the newest BlackBerry. What do you think of her? You’re probably impressed by Jo’s style and obvious wealth. (After all, who doesn’t want the newest BlackBerry?) “What the f**k are you talking about?” she exclaims. What do you think of Jo now? I definitely think less of her for cursing. Because of my strong feelings against cursing, I created an organization called Bleep!, whose mission is to eradicate the usage of cursing among kids and teens today. Bleep!’s mission is not to tell people that it's illegal to curse; its mission is to illustrate the negative effects of cursing and show people the reasons they shouldn’t use bad words.

Recently, bizarrely enough, this situation actually happened to me.

I was sitting on the bus, and two well-dressed women got on and sat across from me. They were both wearing designer clothing, had expensive accessories, and were discussing their travels abroad and complaining about how people in foreign countries try to rip off Americans. The air they had about them was clearly upper class.

In the middle of their conversation, one of the women dropped the f-bomb. Ironic much?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pageants and Cursing

I recently started getting into the TLC show Toddlers and Tiaras, which features little kids who participate in pageants. Yeah, I know, it's freaky, but bizarrely addictive. I noticed that a significant portion of these kids, who range in age from two to ten, will use bad words. They often call their parents or pageant coaches names.

I find this absolutely appalling. I mean, the show's name is TODDLERS and Tiaras - these are really little kids who do these pageants, and it's absolutely unacceptable that they not only have heard bad words, but use them. I can't automatically blame their parents for using those kinds of words around their children, since it's possible they learned the words from an outside source, but it's likely that they heard this language from family members.

I find this really ironic, since these girls are preparing to go into the big-time pageants like Miss America and Miss USA. The winners of these pageants are supposed to be wholesome, all-American girls, certainly not people that use bad words on a regular basis. While these pageants are obviously extremely troublesome, since they objectify women and create a societal value system for women based on beauty, at least they have one thing right - cursing is not the thing to do!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Directions

Today, I was walking home when a man stopped me on the street and asked me where he could catch a bus going uptown. I directed him to a stop half a block down and told him that if he just kept walking, he'd hit it. Frustrated by the fact that he would have to continue walking, he let out a bad word.

I was bothered by this on many levels. An adult using a bad word while in conversation with a young person (especially one he or she is unfamiliar with) is just inappropriate, and makes for a poor example. I know that cursing has many negative effects, but a lot of people in my generation don't. Other teenagers may think (probably more on a subconscious level) "Well, if this man curses and he's an adult, then I can curse too!" Luckily, I know otherwise, but this man didn't know that when he used a bad word.

It's also just not appropriate for a someone to curse in front of a stranger. Just because I know what the words are doesn't mean I want to hear them!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mocking

A number of years ago, long before I created Bleep!, a girl in my class decided to be (sarcasm alert) extremely mature and imitate someone who has Tourette's Syndrome. At the time, it bothered me a lot that she was acting that way. Now, when I think back on it, I realize how offensive and stupid she was being.

There are several medical conditions which cause a loss of censorship of speech. Tourette Syndrome is a brain condition that, among other symptoms, causes the patient to curse uncontrollably. Schizophrenia, a mental disorder that is characterized by misperceptions of reality, can cause people to act violently and curse. Bipolar disorder, a syndrome in which the patient cycles from being extremely manic to extremely depressed, can also cause uncontrollable cursing. People who have suffered from a stroke (which is like a heart attack in the brain) or other forms of bleeding in the brain can also lose control and curse. Other chemical imbalances and brain damage can cause uncontrollable cursing fits.
 
There are millions of people every year who suffer from these conditions and cannot control how they speak. A completely healthy person who has total control over everything they say and still curses is almost mocking the people who cannot.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Saving Up Bad Words

Obviously, we should all avoid bad words at all costs. I've always said that if you really want to curse, it's okay as long as it's in front of other people who don't mind hearing bad words. I think that bad words can also be acceptable in very specific situations when you want to make a point. All of my friends know that I can't stand cursing, so they know that if I do say an objectionable word, they know I'm really angry or trying to underscore something. When you don't ever use bad words and you suddenly use one, people will understand that you're trying to make a point.

I'm not trying to condone using bad words while you're angry or anything like that, but I think it's just an interesting point to note.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Watch It, Strangers

A while ago, my mom and I were hanging out at a local dog store with our friend, who works there. A woman came in. She acted extremely casual, cursing in every sentence and talking like she knew us. ("This bleeping dog bed costs forty dollars? That's bleeping crazy! It's a bleeping dog bed!" I remember her saying.) All three of us were really taken aback by the fact that she was speaking to us like we've been best friends with her for years when we had only met her a few minutes previously, but what really shocked and appalled us was the language she used. While it's certainly not recommended, if you want to curse with a friend who's okay with it, it's acceptable. However, if you're in the company of a bunch of people you never met before and you have no idea what their philosophies are, you definitely shouldn't be cursing indiscriminately.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Natural Reactions

A while ago, Bleep! member Ariella B. told me about a study she heard about. People were told to place their hands into buckets of freezing water. The first time, they weren't allowed to say anything, and had to be completely silent. The second time, they were allowed to say anything they wanted to, including curse words. Participants agreed that the water hurt their hands much less the second time around, when they were allowed to scream out whatever they wanted to, and curse.

This makes total sense. It's the reason it's a natural reaction to say "ow!" when we stub our toes against a wall, why we flinch when something gets too close to our faces. However, you can say "ow!" and yell and scream and express your pain, but you don't have to use curse words. It's just unnecessary. The English language is so rich, and has so many words for different occasions. Why not use an alternative to a bad word?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Stop the Word to End the Word

I've always loved the TV show Glee, which contains characters from every walk of life and shows that diversity is a good thing. I was pleasantly surprised when the show first introduced Becky (portrayed by Lauren Potter), a girl with Down Syndrome. I was even happier when I saw the "Not Acceptable" PSA starring Potter and Jane Lynch, which says that the word retarded (from hereon out the r word), among other ethnic slurs, is unacceptable. (Seriously, watch the video below. I mean it.)



I've posted about the r word in the past (here and here), and even changed my stance on the word because of a Bleep! member (here). I wholeheartedly believe in everything stated in the above PSA, and I hope that everyone who watches it at least tries to make an effort to stop using the r word.

The organization who released the PSA is called R-Word, and its motto is "spread the word to end the word." I took the pledge, which states, "I pledge and support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech and promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities." I hope you all do it, too! The Bleep! Twitter now follows the R-Word, and the Bleep! YouTube channel subscribes to the R-Word's channel, too. I urge you all to do the same with your personal accounts.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Respect Others' Opinions

I know someone who runs this absolutely amazing blog, and we've become friends through it. I completely look up to her, because she is so extremely smart, savvy, ambitious, and a real go-getter. I was reading an article she posted a little while ago, and she included a video. She put a disclaimer that the video contains "profanity...and all that bleeping bleep." (Clearly, she used the real words there.)

When I read that, it really almost hurt to see. From reading other pieces of hers, I knew that she doesn't have a problem cursing every once in a while, but it bothered me that she would poke fun at people who feel uncomfortable with bad words. I understand if she personally has no problem cursing, and if she wants to, then I hope she enjoys herself when she uses bad words (provided she only uses them in conversation with others who feel the same way). However, I think it wasn't so nice of her to mock people who do care about bad words the way she did. All I'm asking for is respect for my beliefs. She doesn't need to agree with them - it would just be appreciated if she would respect them.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Idiots on the Bus

I was on the bus the other day, and there was a young woman sitting a few seats behind me talking on the phone. She wasn't cursing like a sailor - in fact, the only bad word she said was "what the h**l!" - but she kept saying things like, "Oh, she's such an idiot," and "That's really stupid." It was a relatively quiet bus, so it really broke into the silence when she was using harsher terms. I'm not trying to blast her for using words like idiot and stupid; I, and most people out there, use them every day. However, the experience was an eye-opener for me, since it made me see that those kinds of words really just don't sound nice, especially in public.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bridezillas and Cursing

I've recently become addicted to the TV show Bridezillas, which documents brides who go absolutely crazy planning their weddings. While there are many things bridezillas have in common, I've noticed that every bride I've seen is a potty mouth. Many of them don't care who they're cursing at, ranging from innocent workers at flower shops and tailors to their own parents. They also don't really care who's around them when they're cursing, even little children.

I think anyone who's ever watched the show would agree that the bridezillas featured are some of the most selfish, snobbish, obnoxious, disgusting human beings put on this earth. I just find it interesting that all these horrible people curse.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Don't Curse in Front of Clients

There's a dog boutique on my block that my mom and I hang out at a lot. (We joke that we spend more time there than the people who work there do.) As a result, we know the workers there really well, as well as the owner of the store. She curses a lot, but it's just part of how she speaks, and it would be disrespectful of me to tell her to stop (although she does know about Bleep!). Once, as we were hanging out at the store, there was also a customer there. She got a phone call and began cursing her head off very loudly at the person on the other line, in complete earshot of the customer, without even trying to filter her mouth or be quieter. The worker, my mom, and me exchanged looks. I'm still in disbelief, to be honest. We all thought it was extremely unprofessional and just plain inappropriate of the owner to curse so indiscriminately in front of a customer. We didn't say anything to her, because it wasn't our place, but I really would have liked to show her the Bleep! site. Cursing in the workplace, especially in front of clients, is just inappropriate. When my mom worked in an office, she said that a lot of people cursed among coworkers, but never in front of a client - it's just no protocol, and looks unprofessional. I just hope that customer wasn't turned off by the owner's behavior, since it's a really great dog store!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Awesome Article!

I recently read an article in Time Magazine that discusses the negative effects of using gestures to convey bad words. I absolutely love it, as it completely backs up Bleep!'s philosophy with scientific research! You can read it here if you're interested. DISCLAIMER: the article does get explicit about the gesture, so read at your own risk.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Thoughts on the Word Retarded

I was recently at a sleepover with a bunch of friends, and we decided to visit one of my friend's brothers, who lives in a group home. We went, and it was a really nice experience that was much less scary than I anticipated it would be. As we left, I wondered what would have happened if someone had said, "Oh, that's so retarded" or something to that effect while we were around several mentally challenged individuals and advocates for them. Clearly lightning would not have struck them down, but I'm sure there would have been an awkward silence or even a gasp or two, several scandalized people, and a lot of apologies from the person who said the offensive word. I know that I was watching my mouth even more than I usually do to make sure that I didn't say anything that I would regret later on. I realized that I should be just as watchful even when I'm not around mentally challenged people. The word retarded is really just a horrible word that shouldn't ever be used, and I know that I'm going to do my best to stop saying it in the future.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bleeping Out Words

I was idly scrolling through this blog...and something stood out to me; your decision to partially blank out the word 'd**n' in this post (I'll do the same since I suspect my comment might not get through otherwise). Realising that you're writing it that way so that readers will still gain context of what was actually said, I'd like to point out that for someone who's crusading against swearing, you are still putting that word into people's heads when you write it like that. A**hole may as well not have the two stars. Same with...bas**rd, s**t....All you're doing is putting up a front of delicacy while the very word you're trying to avoid is still planted directly into the minds of whoever is reading the partially censored swearword. My suggestion, to avoid hypocrisy, is to either write it in full as a disapproving but mature witness or leave the whole thing out completely....

As stated in my previous post, before you can comment on here on the Bleep! blog, I have to approve the comment (I don't want people to curse in the comments section, after all - that would kinda defeat the whole point of Bleep!). After whiting out the particularly obnoxious comments the author made and the author's name, I decided to share this comment.

Like the commenter I discuss in the post linked to above, this commenter (let's call him or her Z) is discussing this post, about a newspaper reporter I emailed regarding an article about Bleep! who responded to me using profanity. (I think the reporter may have emailed the post to his friends and ask them to comment, since I've gotten loads of obnoxious comments on that one, which is highly unusual.)

Z does bring a point that I've thought about for a while, though: starring out parts of bad words. It would be almost impossible not to use the actual word - sometimes I just have to quote it, otherwise the sentence just won't make any sense. While I try to avoid using them when I can, there are times when I really just have to. However, I don't want to use the actually word, since that kind of defeats the whole point of Bleep!, doesn't it? I also don't want to teach it to anyone who might not have heard the word before; if part or most of it is starred out, you know it exists, but not the actual word. It's obviously not preferable, but the only way I can see it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Do You Think Less of People?



Before you can comment on here on the Bleep! blog, I have to approve the comment (I don't want people to curse in the comments section, after all - that would kinda defeat the whole point of Bleep!). I found the above comment in my moderation folder today. After whiting out the particularly obnoxious comments the author made and the author's name, I decided to share this comment.

The author of the comment (let's call him or her X) is discussing this post, about a newspaper reporter I emailed regarding an article about Bleep! who responded to me using profanity. Honestly, X is probably right in one sense, since I doubt the reporter cares if I, or anyone else, thinks less of him. He cursed at me; he knew he was being extremely obnoxious and immature.

I disagree with X that the reporter's paper and community doesn't care if I think less of it because of the reporter's actions, however. My mother used to work in an insurance office. I know that if she or any of her coworkers would have cursed while with a client, their superiors would be extremely upset, since it doesn't look good for the company. I do think less of the paper now that one of their reporters cursed at me like that, and I have to assume that the paper would care that there's someone out there who thinks less of them. I'm going to apply this concept to the reporter's community, also. I know that I would care if someone, even the most random person in the most random place, would think less of me, my school, or my community because of my actions.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pink, Why Do You Have to Curse?

I have always been a HUGE Pink fan. When I say HUGE, I mean HUGE. While she does use bad words in quite a few songs, I'm willing to forgive her for it, because she is so extremely talented and has such amazing music. Her latest song, "F**kin' Perfect," is a completely beautiful song giving inspiration to people who feel they're less than perfect. The video is also beautiful, albeit a little graphic.

It bothers me to no end that the song uses the f word so much. Why? What's the point? She could have used "freakin' perfect" just as easily, or some other intensifier like "completely perfect" or "totally perfect" or something. (I'm not a songwriter. They could have figured it out, I'm sure.) I find it so annoying that the f word is used so copiously for no real reason, and it kind of ruins such an amazingly beautiful song for me. I suppose this is why censored versions of songs exist...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Just a Bus Driver...

A while ago, when I still rode on the school bus, there was a kindergartener who shared the stop with me. His mom and my mom became relatively friendly. Once, after there was some issue with the bus driver, his mother said, "That bus driver thinks he's so great - he's just a f**king bus driver!" Right in front of her child. I kid you not.

When I first heard it, I completely did not process for a few seconds, I was so shocked that she would say such an extremely strong word in front of her five-year-old child. (She also had a three-year-old in the house.) Once I did process what she said, I was shocked and appalled. Wasn't she at all afraid that her child would repeat what she said? Did she really want her child to walk around cursing out the world with a word like the f bomb?

While there are many people who feel there are no problems with cursing, most feel that you have to curb your tongue around children, since bad words are simply inappropriate for little ones. I feel that cursing is inappropriate for all people, but especially when there's a child around. (I talk about this on the Bleep! site on the Little Children and Cursing page.)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cursing on YouTube

One of my old friends recently started uploading a few YouTube videos of herself. I haven't had contact with her in a while, but since I subscribe to her channel, the videos got sent directly into my inbox. Her first video was just of her talking about herself, and she casually used the s and f words as she spoke. Her second video was of her with some friends, and they were all just casually throwing a lot of bad words into conversation. The third was a list of things that annoy her (she used another, less savory word, however), and she used some bad words that were completely unnecessary.

Honestly, I was a little bit horrified. I knew that she cursed when I wasn't around, but still, it really surprised me when I heard her use such strong bad words in such a casual, unneeded way. I didn't think that much of her in the first place (there's a reason we haven't had contact in a while), but after seeing these videos, I really have no intention of making contact with her again.

Additionally, it's a really poor decision to curse so indiscriminately online. If you say a curse word out loud, people will always remember it; however, they don't have "proof" that you cursed. Once it's online, however, it will be there FOREVER, and there is no way you can erase it. I just hope that my friend doesn't come to regret all those YouTube videos she made as a kid using such horrible words.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Rebbetzin Kanievsky on Watching Our Mouths

A member of Bleep!, Dassi G., shared this letter from Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky's wife with me, and I thought I would share it with all of you. While Rebbetzin Kanievsky is discussing Jewish concepts, I think they apply to people of all faiths.

The situation [today] is very difficult. We are suffering terrible losses, many orphans and widows from different diseases. My husband, the rabbi, was asked what could be the reason for all these tragedies.The rabbi opened [the Talmud] and said it's because of foul language.And how can we correct ourselves? Only by watching what we say.

I read an article written by Rabbi Segal from Manchester who writes:

"Never did I see a person who learned two halachot (Jewish laws) of shemirat halashon (guarding of the language) every day and didn't see salvation from above, whether in children...good health, [wealth], or bringing up the children. He had promised that whoever will learn [shemirat halashon], he will be his defender in Heaven." And we witnessed miracles that happened to people who took upon themselves two halachot every day and saw help.

...A...story is about a woman who came to us about a year ago with great sorrow saying that she'd been married for 20 years and she didn't have children. I advised her to learn two halachot every day and [thank God] she conceived and now has a month old baby boy.

And another story: A few weeks ago a woman came to me, broken and crying, and said that her mother is in the hospital with a growing tumor. She asked what she could take upon herself to help. Again, I advised that the entire family learn two halachot of shemirat halashon every day. Two days later she returned and asked of me to tell her story and the miracle that happened. She said that the entire family gathered and decided to learn two halachot daily and two days later they received a phone call from the hospital saying to come and pick up the mother, the tumor is gone and she is in good health.

I hear many miracles such as these. And now, we should all take upon ourselves...to learn two halachot of shemirat halashon every day...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

"She Used a Bathroom Word!"

I was at my friend's house, and her four-year-old brother was hanging out with us. My friend and I were joking around, and I used the word tushy, which I think we all agree is not a bad word. Her younger brother piped in, laughing, "She used a bathroom word!"

We all thought this was hilariously funny (and it really was very cute). My friend's brother had a point, though: I probably shouldn't have said tushy in his presence, since it is considered a bathroom word to four-year-olds. Obviously, it is not a bad word for those of us past preschool, and I must prefer using tushy to the many other vulgar and inappropriate terms out there. However, next time I'm around little ones, I really should think twice before I speak.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Goodness, I feel old...2011 sounds like a year out of a futuristic book...

Bleep! has seriously grown this past year. It's been published in 15 different media outlets, has gotten somewhere near 600 more members, and been exposed to students at Manhattan Day School, Hillel Day School of Boca Raton, an ethics class at Congregation Beth Or, and other schools and youth groups. Bleep! also ran the Dr. Nathan and Sara Hoffman Competition, which encouraged Bleep! members to invite their friends to join until Bleep! got to 613 members. Shifra S., Nechama G., Elianna S., and Sarah A. referred the most members, and Atara F. was the 613th.

Since its inception in August 2009, Bleep! has really impacted society: so far, there are over 700 members from 27 states and ten countries, and hits on the Web site from every state and 101 countries!

Hopefully Bleep! will continue on the successful route it has been so far!

Monday, December 27, 2010

In Merit of Rivka bat Rachel Leah

There are several medical conditions which cause a loss of censorship of speech. Tourette Syndrome is a brain condition that, among other symptoms, causes the patient to curse uncontrollably. Schizophrenia, a mental disorder that is characterized by misperceptions of reality, can cause people to act violently and curse. Bipolar disorder, a syndrome in which the patient cycles from being extremely manic to extremely depressed, can also cause uncontrollable cursing. People who have suffered from a stroke (which is like a heart attack in the brain) or other forms of bleeding in the brain can also lose control and curse. Other chemical imbalances and brain damage can cause uncontrollable cursing fits.

There are millions of people every year who suffer from these conditions and cannot control how they speak. A completely healthy person who has total control over everything they say and still curses is almost mocking the people who cannot.

I would like to dedicate this post for the merit of Bekkie, Rivka bat Rachel Leah. She is an eleven-year-old girl who is currently suffering from leukemia. She has been hanging in there for a while, and we desperately want her to get completely better! Her devoted friends made a CD called the Never Alone CD (http://www.neveralonecd.com) in Bekkie's merit. I beseech you all to pray for Bekkie's speedy recovery.

Update: Rivka bat Rachel Leah is now in remission! This is an amazing miracle. All of you who have read this post helped bring about her recovery - thank you so much! Please continue to pray for her well-being.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cursing and Kabbalah

A rabbi I know told me that he heard a mekubal, or a person educated in Kabbalah, talking, and the mekubal was using a lot of serious bad words. He approached the mekubal and asked him, "As a person so connected to God, how can you curse like that?" The mekubal replied, "Do you want to hear a real curse?" The answer was obviously no, and he got away from the mekubal as fast as he could.

Honestly, I agree with this rabbi: I really don't understand how a mekubal could speak like that. A mekubal is a person who has seriously dedicated their life to studying Kabbalah (not like Madonna), and therefore to becoming closer to God. (A real curse from a mekubal would have seriously bad effects. If you ever hear one using bad words, I beg of you, do not approach them about it.) I have published extensively on how using bad words keeps a person grounded, and keeps them from reaching a spiritual plane. Whether a person is Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or a member of any other religion, I think they want to a reach a higher level: how can they curse and hold themselves back?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Insults Are Also Bad Words

While Bleep! is obviously anti-cursing, there are words out there that are just as bad as cursing that Bleep! combats: insults. One day when I was speaking at a school, I was sitting with the students as the principal made some announcements, and two girls were picking on a third. I happen to sort of know the two girls involved, and I know for a fact that neither one would ever say a serious curse word. However, they didn't flinch from calling another girl names.

What I'm trying to say by this is that insults can be just as bad as the "real" bad words, and they too should be avoided at all costs. Using insults hurt other people; using bad words can hurt both you and others. Is it worth it to use either?

As I gave my speech about Bleep! at the school I mentioned above, I mentioned this concept and stared straight at the two girls I heard. Did they understand what I was trying to tell them? I don't know. But I certainly hope they did.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"That's So Retarded!"

I recently got an email from a Bleep! member, Gavriel S. He told me:

"I have a huge objection with the word retarded being placed in Category 2 [of the categorization of bad words on the Bleep! site] let alone any category. Retarded is a word putting down developmentally disabled people and it's more then a curse. If [you are] putting retarded in Category 2, then [you should] add [words like] the n word, the k word, etc...There is a deep, deep problem with putting retarded with words that people don't think much of. I participated in Yachad, I worked with developmentally disabled kids many times and I ask that you take that word off, maybe add a section on words such as retarded."

Because I completely agree with Gavriel and am so happy that he pointed out my error, I took retarded from Category 2 and created a new page, Ethnic Slurs, including the prohibition of the word retarded.

Retarded is truly a bad word and should not be used to put people down. I once used the word in casual conversation with one of my friends, and then I remembered that one of her brothers is special needs. After apologizing up and down about a million times (she readily forgave me), I decided never to experience such an awkward, uncomfortable moment and have eliminated the word from my vocabulary.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Adults Are Immature, Too

I recently contacted a few newspapers regarding writing for them about Bleep!. One reporter I contacted referred me to his publisher, and when I emailed him in thanks, he responded, "You're d**n welcome."

My stock response to kids and teens who curse at me is, "To start off, I just want to say that using the f word at a total stranger online is really a poor decision. If you've looked at my website, you've see that by cursing, there are so many negative effects, and because you just cursed I think so much less of not only you but your family and school, and the community you represent. I suggest you check out my site at http://sites.google.com/site/bleeporganization and read some suggestions on how to stop cursing." However, it seemed like the wrong thing to respond to this reporter.

So instead, I'm writing this blog post. Adults are immature, too. They also curse, but they also garner all the negative effects. So do I think less of this reporter? Yes. Do I think less of the paper he works at because of the word he decided to use? Yes. And do I think less of his general community, whatever that may be? Yes. I do.

While Bleep!'s mission is to stop kids and teens from cursing, the concepts still apply to adults. They can be thought of as immature, ignorant, unimaginative, obnoxious, whiny, disrespectful, offensive, unpleasant to be around, having a bad attitude, lack of control, little character, and no respect. And I DEFINITELY think that of this reporter.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

"Shut Up, Stupid!"

My aunt told me the other day that she was reading a book to her five-year-old grandchild, and she was a little disturbed to find that words like "shut up" and "stupid" were used copiously in the book. She changed the words to phrases like "be quiet" and "silly," but it still bothered her that such words be used in a book for little kids. While words like "shut up" and "stupid" pale in the face of the really bad words, they're still not nice words. Do I use them multiple times every day? Most definitely. But the other day, when I was in front of a lot of little kids and was on the brink of telling someone to shut up, I made sure to say "be quiet" instead.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Bleep! Member's Response to "You Can Curse in Your Head"

A Bleep! member, Aliza S., emailed me the following about my previous blog post "You Can Curse in Your Head."


I just have one comment to make. I was looking at your blog and I noticed that on August 10 you commented that cursing in your head is fine. You further said that the only reason not to curse (according to Bleep!) is because people will look at you and what you stand for poorly.


I DISAGREE.


Though I wholeheartedly believe what you're saying - and think that your reason is an amazing one, I also think that cursing affects YOU as well, and cursing in your head is nearly as bad as cursing aloud. In addition to other things, when you curse, even in your head, you're training yourself to respond to certain situations in that way. It's a tremendous level to be on to be able to keep the response in the head and not let it out into the world, but I still don't think that mental cursing is too great.

I definitely agree with Aliza's thesis. Bleep! stresses the negative effects that people will apply to you, your family, school, and community based on cursing, but it's far from the only reason not to curse. While I think it's just fine to curse in your head, it is obviously preferable not to, as if you're saying it in your head, it's easy to slip.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Jennifer Aniston and the Word "Retard"

Jennifer Aniston was on the talk show Regis and Kelly the other day, discussing a photo shoot she did emulating Barbra Streisand. When Regis asked her, "So you got to play dress up?" Aniston replied, "Yeah, I do it for a living, like a retard."


I think it was just in very poor taste for her to use the word "retard". I think it just really slipped out. I obviously don't condone her action, as the word "retard" is extremely offensive and as an actor she has a lot of influence over people, but at least she didn't say a Category 3 or 4 word.

This actually reminds me of when President Obama compared his poor score at bowling to something "out of the special Olympics," the Olympics for disabled/handicapped people.



To me, Obama's remark is worse than Aniston's, as he is the president. It was also just a silly thing to say; the people who participate in the special Olympics are probably more talented than most people in the regular Olympics. Sigh. When will society learn?

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Word "Bleep" Makes it Onto TV!

There is a new TV show called $h*! My Dad Says, pronounced "Bleep" My Dad Says. Sadly, it is not in any way related to my organization Bleep!. It is actually based on a Twitter feed (unfortunately using the actual bad word substituted by "bleep" here). Because it is airing during prime time, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), whose job it is to keep profanity and explicit material from being broadcast at certain times of day, is making sure the show doesn't use bad words. While the Parents Television Council, whose mission is to clean up the media, has protested this show for its title, I disagree. I understand their position, but I think they are overreacting. They don't use the actual word in the title, but an alternative. While it certainly isn't a nice title, I think it's perfectly acceptable.

I don't like William Shatner's attitude towards it, though. Shatner, who is playing the main character on the show, has said, "S**t isn't a terrible term." Oy vey! If he only knew the negative effects people all over the country are attributing to him right now...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

You Can Curse in Your Head

I curse in my head.

A lot.

More than I'm proud of, to be honest. Obviously, it's most desired to avoid cursing in your thoughts, but as long as they don't come out of your mouth, there's nothing wrong with it. Bleep!'s reasoning behind not cursing is because people will judge you and everyone and everything that you represent poorly. If you think bad words, no one can hear them - they certainly can't judge you based on what they can't hear!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I Guess What They Say About Truck Drivers Is True

I was walking on the street when I heard someone cursing someone else out at the top of their lungs. I assumed it was road rage and looked for the source when I saw it was a truck driver yelling at someone who cut him off. I suppose what they say is true and truck drivers do curse a lot...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What Mel Gibson Said Counts as Cursing

Recently, Mel Gibson made it in the news for verbally abusing his ex-girlfriend, making extremely sexist and racist comments. This isn't new behavior for him; a few years ago he went on an anti-Semitic rant against a Jewish police officer that pulled him over for drunk driving. Among the words he used this time around were f**k, b***h, wh**e, and a word I don't even like acknowledging because of how sexist and horrifically bad it is. He also used the word n****r.

"Is that really a bad word, though?" one of my friends asked me. "Since, I mean, it's certainly not a nice word, but is it something Bleep! objects to?"

The answer to that: OF COURSE!!! N****r is a highly offensive term for African-Americans. While I don't mention the word on the Bleep! site, that's simply because if I included one word that discriminates against a particular ethnic group, I'd have to include every word that discriminates, like f*g (for the gay community), k**e (for the Jewish community), and dozens of other terms. (Unfortunately, society's made a lot of ethnic slurs.)

So yes - when Mel Gibson, or anyone else, uses words like n****r, it counts as cursing.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bleep! at MDS

On Friday, June 18, I spoke at Manhattan Day School about Bleep! and the Bleep! philosophy and encouraged membership. Check out the following pictures from the speech!


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lady Gaga - Gesturing and Cursing, It's All the Same

After the recent incident where Lady Gaga gave the middle finger at a Mets game, people have been asking me if the middle finger "counts" as cursing.

Lady Gaga might not have actually said a bad word, but she gestured the same concept. If she had yelled out a bad word, it would have gotten the same message that the middle finger got across. Even though she didn't say a bad word, she gestured it, and it pretty much means the same thing.

So yes; Bleep! condemns Lady Gaga's action. Then again, it was a Mets game...

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Bleep! Dr. Nathan and Sara Hoffman Competition

I am happy to say that Bleep! has reached over 500 members. This is a huge, huge amount in a short time - while Bleep! has been around since August 2009, I only started getting members in November 2009. That means I've gotten over 500 members in 7 months! Wow!

I'm always looking to spread Bleep!'s message to as many people as possible. My next goal in terms of membership is 613. As many of you know, 613 is the number of commandments in the Torah, and considered an important number in rabbinic literature. I.e., it's a lucky number for me. Since I want to encourage all of you to get your friends to join Bleep!, I am happy to announce the first-ever Bleep! competition!

In order to participate, all you have to do is encourage your friends to join Bleep!! Seriously, that's it. Make sure to tell your friend that in order to join Bleep!, they must email their name and state to bleeporg@gmail.com, and mention that you referred them to join. The four people who refer the most new members and the 613th member will receive Chofetz Chaim: A Daily Companion. The Chofetz Chaim was a rabbi at the turn of the 20th century who formulated many laws of clean speech, and the daily companion book can help anyone who is looking to perfect their speech and language. Winners' first names will be mentioned in the newsletter after I receive 613 members!

This contest is sponsored in loving memory of Dr. Nathan and Sara Hoffman by Yair Hoffman and family.

Remember - encourage your friends to join Bleep!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Condolences to Tipper Gore

Tipper Gore (wife of former Vice President Gore), Susan Baker, Pam Howar, and Sally Neivus created the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) in 1985. The goal of the PMRC was to censor music and make people aware of the content of music before they bought it. Because of the PMRC's work, record labels are required to label CDs with explicit content, so parents buying albums will be aware of what they are buying for their children. The label has been nicknamed the "Tipper Sticker" after Gore.

Ms. Gore's work in the anti-cursing world has been applauded by Bleep!. I wish to extend my condolences to Gore on her recent divorce after 40 years of marriage.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bleep! Has Reached 500 Members!

Wow. When I put up the first page of the Bleep! website on August 17, 2009, I had no idea that I would collect members, that I would publish in so many forums, or that Bleep! would become the widespread phenomenon it now is. I want to thank you all for making Bleep! the organization it has become.

I am thrilled to let you all know that Bleep! has now reached 500 members! I cannot thank you all enough for being members of Bleep!, and encouraging your friends to join, too. You guys really don't know how much it means to me. I was recently reading some old emails I had sent to a friend of mine, and I said in one, "I have 81 members - yay!" Wow, has Bleep! come a long way since then!

Bring Bleep! to 1000 members - encourage friends and family to join Bleep!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Robert Ford Rocks!

I just heard about state senator Robert Ford (SC-D) and how he proposed a bill to outlaw profanity in early 2009. While this law has not been passed, I just want to say - thank you, Robert Ford! He is a person who understands that cursing is an unacceptable practice. While I don't necessarily think it's something so bad that it should be fined or punished harshly by the law, I really commend Mr. Ford's efforts. Keep up the good work, Mr. Ford!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Quoting and Titles Are Fine To Curse

Today in class we were doing a performance of A Raisin in the Sun, and the author, Lorraine Hansberry, uses several curse words in it. (It doesn't take away from the quality of the book, though - I really liked it.) In the scene that we were performing, the h word and d word came up a few times, and the girls said them. I completely support this, as they're quoting the words, not saying them in a negative way. (I've blogged about this topic before.) Then the term son of a b***h came up, and the girl said it out loud.

I felt the entire room flinch, and I did, too. "It's okay," the teacher said. "You were so caught up in reading, you didn't mean to. It's fine." While I understand that it was an accident that she did say the word, I still support the fact that she said the word. It was a quote, and while the b word is a pretty strong word, she was quoting it, and it's not like none of us were unfamiliar with the word - it really was fine that she said it!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Classism and Cursing

Today in English, we were reviewing grammar homework. "But who cares if our speech is grammatically correct?" one frustrated girl asked.

"When you speak with precision and with proper grammar, it makes a good impression," our teacher responded. She went on to explain that people often judge others' class based on appearances and speech, explaining that while it's most definitely not fair, when you act and speak a certain way, people will think less or more of you. It all depends on which way you decide to go. This concept applies to cursing: what class do you think people will think you belong to when you curse?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Backpacks in the Library

I was standing on line at the library, waiting to take out some books, when I noticed there was a guy with a backpack on standing in front of me. The backpack had a picture of a monkey on it, and would have been cute, had the s word not been displayed on it in capital letters. I rolled my eyes and really wanted to make a comment to the owner of the backpack, but decided against it, as the guy was probably about six feet tall and taking out some horror movies. Had he been a little shorter and taking out some books, however...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Why I Indulge in Category 2 Words

Most people would think that as the creator of Bleep!, I've never said a bad word in my life.

Guess what?

I have. Everyone's slipped at some point in their life (as I have blogged about previously), and sometimes you just wanna say a word and you say it, throwing caution to the winds. I have admitted that I do indulge in words I call Category 2 words (but never worse on purpose), like crap, sucks, screw, etc., that are slightly objectionable, but have never been considered earth-shatteringly horrible.

Today I said the word crap, and immediately my friends were on me. "How can you say that? You're the creator of Bleep!!" they exclaimed, slightly horrified. The reason I do indulge in milder of the objectionable words out there is because I'm trying to show that Bleep!'s mission is not to make a blind blanket ban on all bad words. The First Amendment guarantees you the right to say whatever you want, and if you want to use a word that few people will be offended by, then go ahead. Might people think less of you? Yeah. They might. It's a chance that anyone, like me, has to take when they use Category 2-type words.

My bottom line: it's really okay if you say a mild word here and there. Just don't make it the only words you use.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Even Feminists Fall Prey to the Double Standard

I think many of you know that I describe myself as a radical feminist, having written two award-winning papers about feminism for National History Day and getting published on feminist blogs. I try my best (and sometimes annoy myself with how politically correct I can get) to remain gender neutral and as feminist as I can be. However, even the best of us can fall prey to the double standard.

My mom and I saw a play, MazelTov Cocktail, a number of weeks ago. (Its run is over, but I would suggest it otherwise.) It was a cute play and we really enjoyed it, but our biggest complaint was that the female actor in the one-person show cursed a lot. "It just wasn't warranted," my mom complained. I nodded; it had seemed kinda icky that she cursed so much. It was in character that she cursed, and I understood why she did, but I couldn't help but think less of her for it.

A couple of weeks ago we saw another play called Defending the Caveman (which was clutching-your-side hilarious - at some points it got inappropriate, so only for 13+ audiences, but it was totally hilarious), a one-person show with a male actor. He often cursed in the play, but my mom and I shrugged it off. "He's a guy," we rationalized. My mom even mentioned MazelTov Cocktail. "When she cursed, it was inappropriate, but when he cursed, it was okay," she said.

It only hit me after we excused him for cursing that it was totally unfair!! How could we allow the man from Defending the Caveman to curse, but not the woman from MazelTov Cocktail? That wasn't fair - if I'm gonna think less of her for cursing, I have to think less of him too! I'm just perpetuating the double standard! How could I do that?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Yup - Biden Dropped the F-Bomb

Last night as I was watching the news about Pres. Obama signing the new health care bill, they featured another headline: Biden Drops the F-Bomb! If you watch the video, you'll see that after VP Biden introduced Obama, he whispered, "This is a big f***ing deal" to him.

While the health care reform bill may indeed be a big deal, I don't see why Biden had to use profanity to describe it. Biden's put his foot in his mouth a few times before, but I don't recall any time he used profanity. It truly was an extremely poor decision to curse in front of a room of people and lots of cameras where it can be heard, recorded, and shown to the public. This is why you should avoid cursing in writing: it's always there, so it can be used against you in the future. In this case, cameras and lots of witnesses took the stead of writing. Everyone in the room heard Biden curse, and all the cameras picked up on it, allowing the American people to hear Biden's beautifully mature words.

So to all you Obama and Biden fans: after hearing Biden curse, what do you think of him?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How Ironic...

For all of you who follow the Bleep! blog or on Google Buzz, you'll have noticed that I posted about how it's not illegal to slip every once in a while and curse accidentally. I just thought I'd say how ironic it is that last night, after I wrote the post, I almost slipped! I was talking to my mother about how some people just don't care about the negative effects of cursing, and I said, "They just don't give a sh...whoops!" I just thought I'd share this for all yawl to know that even those of us who feel really strongly about cursing (almost) curse every once in a while, too!

Monday, March 15, 2010

It's Not Illegal to Slip Every Once in a While

I was talking to a friend of mine who never, ever, ever curses, and while we were speaking, a Category 3 word slipped out. "Oh no! I'm so sorry!" she said, face turning purple. Since I knew that this was not her typical vocabulary and could tell she was mortified that she had said it (to the creator of Bleep! no less), so I didn't judge her because of it. Of course I wouldn't! She slipped. It's legal.

Really - you're allowed to slip and say a bad word every once in a while, I promise! While it can be extremely embarrassing to slip, most people will not judge you based on one if they understand it's not the way you usually speak. (This is why it's important to make it very clear when you do slip that you're extremely sorry and humiliated.) So while you may have to deal with some of the negative effects of cursing, chances are people will be understanding. Really - it's not illegal to slip every once in a while!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Save Bad Words for When You Really Need Them

While it's never ideal to use bad words, I make it very clear that there are certain times and places where they're more acceptable than others. If you're in a private place with friends who are comfortable with cursing, there are no young children around, and no one who will think less of you/will dislike your word choice can hear you, it's acceptable to curse. However, while there are times that you can "acceptably" curse a blue streak, you may want to save those words for a time when you need them.

I know that sounds odd - like, when do you "need" to use bad words, let alone any type of word? I think everyone speaks in certain ways to certain people. (After all, would you feel comfortable saying "what up?" to your principal?) You "need" to use certain words with certain people. When you use language you don't usually use, people are more likely to listen to you. For example, if you normally liberally sprinkle like in your conversation (a crime I am guilty of) and make an effort to cut out the likes in a particular conversation, people will probably listen to you and take you more seriously. If you often curse, people will get desensitized to that type of language and will be less shocked when you use bad words. However, if you make an effort to keep your mouth clean, people will be extremely shocked that you cursed.

This can work both ways. People will be shocked in a bad way: if you, someone who always speaks with precision, cursed, how much more will they think less of you! (In the Old Testament, Miriam was severely punished for speaking petty gossip about Moses. One explanation for this was because she was on such a high spiritual level, she was punished more harshly than someone else would have been.) It can also work in the opposite way: people will also see that you really mean what you are saying. Once I was talking with one of my friends, and she said, "Please excuse my language, but she is such a b***h!" While there may be better words out there to use than the b word, by using such strong language that was totally uncharacteristic of my friend, I understood how annoyed she was.

Don't you want to have those bad words stored up if you really need them?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Check Out this Article

I just stumbled on this article that discusses how derogatory the b word is. WARNING: This article contains some uncensored words and objectionable concepts. It is nonetheless an excellent read that proves why the b word is so totally inappropriate.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Once You've Said It, It's Always There

I was recently watching iCarly, a show I usually only watch while babysitting. The episode I was watching was iKiss, where Carly's friend Sam told everyone watching the iCarly web show that their other friend, Freddie, had never kissed anyone. Freddie gets extremely embarrassed and stops coming to school or talking to anyone. Carly gets angry at Sam for humiliating him like she did, telling her that no matter how she apologizes to him, nothing will work - she's already done the damage and spread the word. (Watch the episode to find out the resolution!)

This concept can also go for cursing. Once you've said a bad word, you've said it; there's no way to take it back. This isn't to say that if you say one bad word in you're life, you're doomed to being thought of as someone who curses. However, it is a reminder to always really guard your mouth. You don't want people thinking that you curse often, and if you let words slip more than a few times, people may start thinking so.

This is also something to be remembered when gossiping, too. While Bleep!'s message is primarily against cursing, anything relating to bad language is also in Bleep!'s general domain. If you say something against someone, spread a rumor that's true or false, anything bad about anyone else, there's no way to take it back. It will always be out there. Think about what you say before you say it: is it something you want to be floating in people's minds forever?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Certain Words in Certain Places

I think everyone knows that if you insist on cursing, you shouldn't yell out "f**k you!" in the middle of a preschool or "you b***h!" in a house of worship. As the creator of Bleep!, I hold that all alternatives to bad words (e.g. shoot, crud, etc.) are acceptable to use. They are. However, even alternatives have their time and place. A friend of mine pointed out that when I yelled out "what the heck?" in the middle of the school lunchroom, it might not have been the most appropriate place to use any word in that vein.

I'm not trying to say that it was inappropriate that I used that kind of word; I'm just saying that you (and I) have to remember where we are at all times. It's not so appropriate to say "what the heck" to a teacher or in school; it's not appropriate to say "oh, pooh," in the middle of religious services. If it's a choice between an alternative and a real word, then hands-down no question, use the alternative. However, bear in mind that while words like heck and crud are appropriate when you're among friends, they may not be in certain other situations.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

You Can't Be Punished for Your Thoughts

People who don't curse often tell me that they feel guilty when they say a bad word in their thoughts. Here's a secret: I curse a lot in my head. I just don't allow it to come out of my mouth. While it's advisable to avoid cursing in your thoughts and your speech (since you know you're cursing and may lose self-respect, in addition to the possibility of something slipping out), it's not the end of the world if you do. You can't be punished for your thoughts, only your actions. If you think about dumping a camera into the sink but don't do it, your parents aren't going to yell at you. If you do it, however, look out. It's the same with cursing; if you think a bad word, no one's going to punish you or think less of you, but if you say it out loud, you get the consequences.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bleep! on Twitter

Bleep! is now on Twitter! Check it out at https://twitter.com/bleeporg!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cursing in Writing is STILL Cursing

A friend of mine and I were emailing recently, and she cursed in one of her emails. I asked her to avoid that kind of language when talking to me in the future, and she said, "But it's just in writing! It doesn't count if you don't say it out loud!" My personal opinion is that yes, it does count when you use a bad word in writing. All the negative effects are still in place, and you're still using the word, if not saying it out loud.

Some members have told me that they and their friends would never say a bad word out loud, but when writing they're not so picky. Put it this way: if you would never bully a person in real life, would you cyber bully them?

A few days later, the same friend emailed me and used the acronym LMAO, which stands for "laughing my a** off." I told her that I would really prefer if she doesn't use that kind of language, and she said, "But I didn't even write out the word!" Even if she didn't use the word, I know what word she would have said had she written the phrase out, so to me, it counts as cursing. (When I want to use something to the effect of LMAO, I either do LOL, ROFL, or LMTO (laughing my tushy off!!).)

So, to sum up, using bad words in writing still counts as cursing, and using acronyms that have bad words in them also counts as cursing.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Living Well is the Best Revenge

George Herbert once said, "Living well is the best revenge." (R.E.M. also had a song by the title "Living Well is the Best Revenge.") This sentiment can be applied to small-scale situations of getting revenge against a person by showing them that you don't have to stoop to their level to get revenge, but that you're living well and way above them. It can also be applied to larger-scale situations, like the Jews vs. the Nazis. The Jews were able to come to America after they were liberated from the concentration camps and create new lives. My maternal grandparents are of these people; they came to America, built up new lives, and perpetuated the Jewish nation that Hitler sought to destroy. My grandmother always felt that having children was the biggest slap across the face she could give Hitler, as if to show him that his mission utterly failed: Jewish children are being born. The Jews live.

Living well is the best revenge. By living a proper life, you are avenging people that do not want you to have one. This doesn't only apply to the Jews and Nazis; it can apply to African-Americans and the KKK, Japanese-Americans and those who put them in internment camps, Native Americans and the government that sent them on the Trail of Tears, etc.

By living well, by speaking eloquently, you are showing the people who discriminate against you that they're wrong. You are an articulate person; you are not inferior to them. They are inferior to you.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What Do You Think of the American Idol Rejects?

On today's American Idol, Ryan Seacrest said "Denver, Colorado...the air is always clean. That us, until Idol shows up." (Check out the first minute of the Denver auditions to see how many people they had to bleep out!!) People who were turned down by the judges were then shown, with bleeps covering up the words they were saying. What do you think of those people, "dirtying" the air with the words they were saying?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Some Media Agrees with Bleep!

I was recently reading the book The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga, where the main character meets a person who is "foul-mouthed, annoying, and opinionated" (pg 65). He thinks less of the person he met because of all these reasons.

Ironically, the next book I read, The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton, also addresses the negativity of cursing; the main character states multiple times in the book that his friends curse and he doesn't because he feels it's unnecessary.

If you can think of any other anti-cursing references in books or other media, email me about it at bleep3@gmail.com and I'll include it on this page!

Monday, January 18, 2010

You Can Quote Bad Words

I remember when we were reading To Kill a Mockingbird in class a few months ago, and the teacher had a student read a passage out loud. The girl was reading it, and the word h**l came up. She substituted heck. While I understand her reluctance to say h**l and respect her for it, I really wanted to tell her that it's okay to say the word! When it's part of a quote or title and you're among peers, you can say the bad word. My reasoning is that since it's not actively cursing at someone, simply using a word, it's fine to use. If there were eight-year-olds in the room, I would totally back her decision to substitute an alternative, since it's totally inappropriate to use bad words in front of little kids.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thanks for Visiting!

Thanks for visiting the Bleep! blog! You can see the website at http://sites.google.com/site/bleeporganization and email me at bleeporg@gmail.com. Feel free to contact me about anything!