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Honk if you hate public profanity

Yesterday, I was driving behind a truck with a bumper sticker that said, “Get a tattoo you f@#*ing pu##y.” (But with, you know, the real letters.)

Blech. Call me old fashioned, but I just don’t think people should be plastering their cars (or T-shirts, for that matter) with profanity. I don’t think they should be swearing their mouths off, loudly, left and right on buses and subways or on the street, as so many teenagers (not to mention younger adults) do ’round these parts. I think it’s disrespectful and generally ugly.

I know, I sound like an old fogey. Then again, I’ve felt this way all my life.  It’s not like I’m not a prude when it comes to swearing. I’m certainly not above dropping the occasional F-bomb or S-missile (I just made that up) for emphasis, on this blog or elsewhere. But not on my car, or on my clothing, or out loud in public places where people don’t have the option of  changing the channel or turning the page or moving along to a different blog or whatever the case may be.

And now that I have children, public profanity makes me even angrier.

My girls don’t read yet. But they’re gaining steam fast, and I suspect that in a couple of years, they’ll be able to read the likes of the aforementioned bumper sticker. I certainly don’t expect to shield my kids from swearing forever. They know, because we’ve taught them, that some words are “grown-up” words — not for kids to use. (And they know this, specifically, because if I hurt myself or break a glass or whatever, I still haven’t quite untrained myself from a knee-jerk “sh#*!”)

And I guess it would serve as a teachable moment if they read the thing and asked about it. I could give them the same self-righteous little sermon I’m giving here. (Ha.) And then attempt to explain why, in our culture, crude words for genitalia are used as insults. (Again, here, I use those same words from time to time myself. But, again, not in public where children and little old ladies can hear.)

Still. I’d rather they — and I — didn’t have to look at it at all, unless by choice.

What do you think? Does public profanity bug you? Or are you more relaxed about it?

 

DOUBLE TIME, my memoir of parenting twins and battling depression (among other things) is available for pre-order! Order before May 8, and I’ll send you a bookmark and free signed bookplate. Click for details.

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Photo: Peter Durvander

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