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
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.