Ruth, with our friend Andrei at the Orheiul Vechi Historical Complex at Trebujeni, Moldova. Photo taken December 2, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Friday, July 3, 2015

What's with the F word?

Is it only us? It seems to me that the use of obscenities, swearing, and expletives has become more commonplace. Almost to the point of where it has no shock value anymore.

Almost.

Sometimes, I'm still shocked. Not by the use of the word itself, but by how much people don't care if they use it.

The other day it was in the evening and a group of youngsters (14 or 15 years old maybe?) were over at the playground. It's located the other side of our front yard, and there's a road between us. We were sitting in our house and we could hear the language from there! And there are other campers around outside as well.

And it wasn't only the F word, but it was everything else as well.

Now I'm not a prude and I spent my career years working in auto body shops. Trust me, I've heard it all. And I've used most of it as well at some point, but there's a time and a place, no?

Like if you stub your toe. Or bang your head on something. Pretty sure I say it in my mind at least a few times a day.

But out loud? When there are people around that you don't even know? I think that shows a huge lack of class.

So I went over and talked to them. Things were quiet for about a half an hour and then it started again. This time, I went and found their parents. So far, no more problems from that group.

Last year at the end of the season, there was a girl (woman?...maybe a woman, but certainly not a lady.) sitting outside the canteen with her young children. Every second word was the F word. I got upset with her and told her that if she couldn't act respectable that she could leave the park. She got upset with me, and told me that everybody talks like that.

Really? Maybe everybody in her world.

She left the park, and I haven't seen her since. Fine by me.

It's not only when you're around people. We watched a movie the other day that was supposed to be a comedy. I'm sure the 14 and 15 year old crowd must have watched this movie too, because that's where they got the idea that it's okay to talk like that. I even see it in the blog posts of some of the younger travel bloggers. I sent a note to one of them saying it was unnecessary, and she told me that she has sponsors who's market demographic is 20 somethings who don't mind the use of her language at all.

So I stopped reading her blog.

I don't get it. I must be getting old.

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54 comments:

  1. Well said! And for fear of sounding like a cranky old lady, it seems language isn't the only thing for which the bar has been lowered. Read an article the other day that had to do with student discipline and an adult was quoted as saying the student's weren't getting enough respect from the adults. . . hmmm, when I was their age respect was something earned, not just an expected behavior. (I am climbing off my soap box now. . .)

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    1. I feel like we are starting to sound like our parents but maybe that is because of the way we were brought up, and we agree the respect is something that should be earned and it goes both ways. We realize that times change but change isn't always for the better. Thanks for you input Jackie and Joel.

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  2. My father always felt that the use of non-stop profanity showed a lack of intelligence. The English language has many descriptive adjectives that don't involve the use of swear words.

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    1. Your father was very well spoken and we totally agree with him and with you, Judy!

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  3. I agree and it's not only in the way people talk, sometimes the tshirts they wear, the bumper stickers on their car. . .it's everywhere. I find myself saying to the children "you know that's not a nice word and we don't use that kind of language" but I'm afraid they'll fall into this trap too when they are out of my earshot.

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    1. You are totally right Lynde, I remember at one time the F word was beeped out of shows or movies even s#%t was but now especially with movies it is more like how many times can we fit these words and worse into the movie. I know that in some movies it fits in with the movie but in most cases it just turns me off. Hopefully your children are listening to you and will not be one of those that feel they have to use it for every second word.

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  4. We were just talking about this yesterday with our early thirties lawn guy. Maybe it is just me but I think the word is used less now. Maybe it is because my circle of friends is older than they were when I worked for a living, but I can go for days or weeks without hearing it from a person. Movies are another thing. It is common language in movies.

    The other place I see it is in the "F*** Cancer" Campaign. I understand the purpose of it there and have used it in that context myself.

    Other than that, I can't remember the last time I used the word myself. Oh yes, maybe when I tripped on something and tore a toenail off. It may have slipped out then. ;)

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    1. I think you must just have a really good circle of friends, Croft! ;-) I have to say that for the most part we don't hear lots of swearing but then there are times when we do. I am finding movies and comedians now to be some of the worst, we actually don't find much of it funny anymore, just vulgar, guess we are getting old. I know that I use the word in my head sometimes but it very, very rarely ever comes out of my mouth.

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  5. I use it sparingly, and usually only in front of "the guys". I too get a little agitated when someone is using it for every third word. And you might argue that it was more commonplace back in the Middle Ages, but then you'd have to be well enough read to be able to support that contention. Most people can't.
    Foul language in a park setting is particularly onerous, and punting someone out is certainly acceptable in my way of thinking.

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    1. There is a time and a place for it, and more often than not it is with the "guys". I guess I am not very well read as I am not familiar with Middle Ages part of swearing. I will have to "google" that some day and find out about it when I have nothing else to do! ;-)

      Any public setting isn't the right place for it especially when there are small children around.

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  6. Down here in rural America the locals have a saying which --in their way of thinking--explains this phenomena, they say' "Them folks jus' didn't get no learning!" Of course what they are trying to point out is that in their opinion people that use metaphors that are offensive failed to receive parental instruction common to that of past generations. Language unfortunately is not the only problem, dress and actions which display a lack of respect of others as well as one's self is just as problematic.
    On another note:
    Please allow me to thank you for your efforts in blogging, your work and that of your peers provides a window that allows us who can't RV see the world through your eyes.

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    1. We agree, much of this is in part do to parenting or lack there of! We've personally seen parents swearing in front of the kids so it's no wonder that those kids turn around and swear. I think that movies certainly don't help either though!

      Thank you for your kind words on our blogging efforts, we always try to make them helpful and informative to RVers and travelers in general.

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  7. I agree. It feels like the world has turned upside down on it's head. I have a teaching certificate & when I was working in my hometown high school (here in the states), I often heard the "f" word as well as others. I was told by the administration that "there were bigger fish to fry", so just ignore it & realize that's how kids talk. Really? That's when I decided to get out of the profession. When you don't expect anything from kids, you will get nothing. And people don't seem to care one bit that they use this language in front of my small grandchildren. It's disgusting and a sign of the decline of decency in our society. I don't care how common it is, it's still rude & shows a complete lack of respect for others when used in public places.

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    1. Yep the world is constantly evolving and not always for the better! I would not want to be a teacher today, they have made it very difficult to teach effectively now. It seems that the kids have all the rights and the teachers have none. You are very correct with your thoughts on what to expect from kids but the same can be said for adults as well. We agree that offensive language is rude and disrespectful in public areas but just not sure how we can change it.

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  8. It seems the younger generation feel that talking like that is a way to show they are becoming young adults. What it really shows is they are still too immature to know the difference.
    Like yourself having worked in a factory setting heard it most of the time and occasionally let a few slip into the conversation. Unfortunately it didn't make me feel good about myself afterwards.
    Strangely like Croft the last time it did slip out was when I also ripped a toenail off.
    Hopefully the movie industry will start to grow up and set an example for the younger generation.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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    1. Agreed but it isn't always the younger generation that have a foul mouth, we have heard many older people swearing but it isn't always in a public location. I sometimes think that kids do it because they think it makes them cool or they just aren't thinking!

      I think a big part of the problem in the movie/entertainment industry!

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  9. Hats off to you Kevin for talking to the kids and then to their parents and for setting the woman at the park straight. In public is not the time to be profane IMO. Many great comments here with which I agree - poor vocabulary, too immature, and lack of taste and class at the movies which I no longer attend in boycott of the prices, the violence and the language. I don't think it's age. My daughter isn't a fan either.

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    1. Thanks Sherry! Hopefully the talk with the parents and the kids will have helped. We don't go to the movies either for much the same reasons. We have watched some newer movies DVD's but for the most part haven't found very many that were worth while. Our daughter isn't a fan of bad language either. We never hear our son swearing either but then I don't know what he is like with the "guys", I know that he wouldn't be using language like that in public places that's for sure.

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  10. YES! I agree. I never heard the "f" word as a kid, (I'm female, 69 yrs old). Never heard it among my school mates, Respect for others and self was more apparent then. Yes, "no learnin" is right!
    You were right to speak to those kids and their families, and to send that woman packing! Good for you!

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    1. I definitely heard it when I was a teenager but not to the point that we hear it today, and it was rare to hear it in public areas. I did know a few friends that had their mouths washed out with soap but I don't think that was for using the F word.

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  11. You're not getting old, you were just raised properly!

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    1. Thanks Paul and Marti, we do tend to think that why! :-)

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  12. i don't think your getting old, we just know when and where to use the word. I remember a time when my you ng son could not get his head through the opening of his turtle neck, so in front of his visiting grandparents he said " can someone help me get the #&$/ shirt off!!!, I died a thousand deaths. When I returned to the room I found my parents doubled over in laughter, they said my reaction was priceless.
    Do not get me started on what girls wear to school. I walk everyday near a highschool and the girls are wearing short shorts, skimpy tops. It is crazy. Ok so I am getting old!

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    1. You are right Shelagh, a large part of that is knowing when and where it is appropriate to talk like that. A public park is definitely not one of them! I remember even when I went to school that girls wore short, short skirts and tight pants and tops but boys never wore pants down to their knees!

      Love the story about your young son, embarrassing but funny all at the same time!

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  13. When I was growing up I would have a mouthful of soap if I swore. Our children were raised to know the same...and my husband the English teacher for years would have made them write five hundred times......"Swearing is not a language we should ever be speaking." Our schools in the USA are atrocious in teaching just about all subjects today. And if you dare to speak to someone of some other ethnic background about it.....YOU are giving hate speech. Humm..... Hubs has no desire to teach anymore in that system, for truly he wants to help kid, and it is no longer possible.

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    1. I luckily never got a mouth full of soap but I remember my brother getting into trouble once for saying a bad word.

      I agree, the education system is a difficult place to work these days.

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  14. I've never used the 'F' word and seldom use four letter swear words but I do hear my adult children using the word often. The word/s are never directed at me but they use it like an exclamation i.e. 'That was 'f...' hilarious' I ignore the general meaning of the word and accept it as a changing society i.e. I no longer cringe when my children discuss sexual body parts without shame. I was raised in world of being ashamed of these things especially sex or anything tied to sexual connotation i.e. words tied to sex. Now I'm comfortable enough it doesn't offend me but I do agree children should be respectful of older generation as well as younger children. Sure eventually they will pick up the language somewhere along their growing up. So, if someone yells at me in anger 'F you!' I let it roll off my shoulder like water off a duck. I don't let them offend me instead I think to myself.....so what 'F you too' However, I still can't bring myself to say the word out loud.

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    1. I very very rarely use a swear word but I definitely use it in my mind a number of times! We are very lucky but when our children are around we never hear them talk like that, that doesn't mean that they don't but they know when and where it is appropriate and I think that is what matters most.

      I think the problem these days it that they have made these words so common place, I think it is very rare to go to a movie nowadays where there isn't swearing unless it is a kid's movie. I has definitely lost it's shock value in our mind. We generally just ignore it as well but when it is a public place with young children around and they are using the words "very loudly" it certainly needs to be dealt with.

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  15. My mom always told me when you swear it shows the people around you that you lack class and a lady should never lack class.
    I think about the F word like you, when I stub my toe or some other injury.
    It shocks the younger generation when they start working and realize that they can't use that word in the boardroom or the office (if they choose that career path).

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    1. Your mother is a wise woman! I think that anyone in the younger generation that is going to work in an office or boardroom setting knows when it is appropriate to use that kind of language and wouldn't have any problems with dealing with it. I think it is not being taught how to be respectful that is the greatest problem and then again it is sometimes just teens being teens and hopefully most of them will mature in a good way.

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  16. Funny thing. While bobbing in the adult pool the other night after the kids left, I heard the F word repeated several times....most of the folks are retired and in their late sixties or early seventies.

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    1. You're right it isn't only the younger generation that have a problem with bad language, after all they have to learn it somewhere. I wonder if they would have used that language if younger kids were around, somehow I doubt it!

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  17. I agree with you as well as all the commenters & I couldn't say it better than they all have.

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    1. Yes, there are lots of wise people here! :-) It's nice to know that it isn't just us that feel this way.

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  18. I don't get it either. Unnecessary and degrading. To them. Shows no class. I agree with you.

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    1. Well maybe the odd time it is necessary, like when that toe is throbbing like crazy just after you stubbed it really good! Otherwise we don't think is needs to be used as a common place word.

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  19. There's not much I can add since I agree with all the commenters as well as you. But I have an even bigger issue with the Lord's name being taken in vain. Respect for just about everything and everybody is no longer a part of our world.

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    1. The world is certainly changing and as I said before not always for the better!

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  20. I don't see what's wrong with the F word we use it in my house all the time FRIED FOOD
    It's just another way of making themselves look like they're cool older sharp an sophisticated
    certainly no way that you could blame the parents because there Well behaved little Johnny has better upbringing and diction that that
    But the other one I do agree with you I can still taste my mothers,,, bar soap,,,but that's a whole new expletive into themselves describing the taste
    JXX YXXX DXX

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    1. Agreed, when the parents talk like that it is hard not to expect the kids to talk like that. Not all parents talk like that though and many try to teach their kids right from wrong but teens will always try to be cool and liked so they think swearing will make them that way. Luckily many grown up knowing the difference and go own to teach their own kids that words like that aren't good, at least we hope they will! Movies, TV, comedians and media sure aren't helping with the issue though.

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  21. I was censoring my blog and trying to present a sort of sweeter version of myself in them. But, I guess I really don't have that much class. I drop F-bombs occasionally in real life and when I'm speaking naturally in the blog they come out now and then too. I have to be fake so often in real life. My blog is where I want to present myself unfiltered. Swearing is the real me. :/

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    1. It's your blog and you can do whatever you want with it and that 's the neat thing about blogs, if you don't like the content then you don't have to read it but when you are out in a public place you can't always just walk away from the bad language. The main point that we are getting across here is that these words don't have that same shock value in society anymore and have become common place. I guess we are just old now because we just don't see the need for it, you can get the point across using better adjectives and descriptions without having to use profanity but I guess that is what the younger people seem to want judging by the movies and comedians out there.

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  22. The F Word is too pervasive, can't watch a movie without hearing it every few sentences, I don't use it nor do my two 20's something kids. One can only hope that it will lose it's shock value from being overused and go away!!

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    1. You're right Leah with you description of movies these days, there are some movies out there that it is part of the setting but some of these comedies where it is used as every second word all of a sudden isn't so funny!

      Unfortunately I don't think it is going to go away, if anything it will probably only get worse, if that is possible.

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  23. I guess its all the way you were raised. We were never allowed to use swear words and raised my family the same.

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    1. We were raised the same way but how do you tell kids it bad when all the movies have it in them! It isn't just parenting but that is certainly a big part of it.

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  24. It makes me sad to see what is being accepted now. Our laws, our language. Just wonder what next will be acceptable and we are supposed to approve of it , or keep our opinions quiet.

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    1. Everything is changing some for the good and some things are not so good but I guess when you look back over the years and generations it is something that has always been ongoing.

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  25. Same in Spanish, kids are using language that isn't appropriate but then again their parents use it. I think I have cleaned up my mouth over the years but once in awhile, out of shock or anger the F bomb appears. We weren't allowed to use the word "god" when I was a kid growing up. Times have changed and I'm getting older. Juan's observation about Canada is that Canadians curse a lot less than Americans. I don't know if that's true or not.

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    1. I am sure it happens in all languages!

      I am not sure if we have really noticed at difference in either country. Maybe hJuan noticed it less in Canada because we have a smaller population! ;-)

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  26. I use it way too often, I have caught myself and have made a decision to try to use it less. It becomes part of your everyday language which is a shame as there are so many wonderful words in the English language to use and hand in hand with bad language comes a use of less of the rest of the language available.

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    1. Good for you in making a conscious decision to try and use it less. I think that is the problem people just start using it as part of their everyday language that it gets to the point that they don't even realize they are doing it. It seems to have become so mainstream, that it has lost it's shock value at least to some people. Hopefully as a society we can revert back to using it sparingly but some how I don't think that will happen.

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  27. I think, in this day and age, that people have heard it and used it so much that the F Word has become -- to many -- just that: A word. Meaningless in its shock value. In the late 90's, the two owners of an office where I worked in Southern California were young Italians. I had never heard the F word used with such abandon and in such creative fashion: As a noun, verb, adjective, interjection, adverb, etc., with humor, in jest, anger, to shock, and in plain old everyday conversation. It was contagious, but I never felt comfortable there. I don't consider myself a prude, but shouldn't there be a time and place? Sometimes a well-placed cuss word is funny or tells a complete story in itself. Nowadays? Too much is too much.

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    1. That's the problem, it does seem to be used as just another word these days but that doesn't mean that we have to like or use it. I still blame the entertainment industry for most of it because people are so influenced by movies, TV and comedians and it seems that they use it like there's no tomorrow. In fact the last time we went to see a comedian, we actually didn't laugh once. As Kevin said we aren't prudes either but sometimes it is just too much!

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