Recently, at Safeway, a man went running across the parking lot. He screamed a profanity. He had forgotten his wallet and already had gone through the checkout line. While I didn't happen to be behind him in line, it didn't directly affect me. It did affect me, however, when he felt the need to cuss and scream in front of me and my 4-year-old.
What is it with cussing lately?
Last month, while waiting with my 10-year-old in the lobby of the doctor's office, a couple of ranchers were discussing the difficulties of their profession. Every other sentence contained a profanity from one of the ranchers. I finally asked him if he could refrain from cussing in front of my daughter, who was obviously within earshot. He said absolutely nothing and acted like he had no idea what I was talking about. While the other man nodded in agreement that the cussing was out of hand, he still neglected to say anything to his friend.
How about the ski lift lines on the mountain? While a group may be embellishing their exploits, many times it cannot be done without throwing in a slew of profanities for emphasis. It just isn't necessary. And it certainly isn't right in front of children. For that matter, I don't want to hear it, and I am an adult. Would you talk that way in front of your grandparents? I doubt it. So don't do it in front of me.
If you cuss, you should expect your kids to do it. When my kids occasionally ride the bus home from school, they tell me horror stories about the profanity used by the high-schoolers, and middle-schoolers on the bus. Can't someone do something about this?
If you want to cuss, do it in a bar at night with your friends. Do it at home when you stub your toe. Do it in the privacy of your own car when someone cuts you off. Just please have the common courtesy to think about your language when you're in public, or when there are others present, especially children. It certainly doesn't make you more macho or tough. It just makes you look like you don't have a grasp of the English language or any respect for others.