Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Expletives *"@~%$"!!!

Profane, vulgar, obscene words and bad language were not a feature of my childhood.    

Goodness, gracious!
By golly gumdrops!
Well blow me down!
Golly gosh!
or, perhaps occasionally ... Blooming...

were the kind of phrases which my parents used around us.   Indeed, I don't think I ever heard anything stronger than the occasional mild swear word from either of them.   Nor did I hear bad language from friends or their families.   It simply wasn't necessary and it certainly wasn't 'the done thing'.

I checked with Max and he cannot remember his parents using any 'bad' language, ever.

We both grew up in the 1950's and 60's.

My father spent a few years working on Grimsby trawlers as a Radio Operator, so strong language would most definitely have been around down dock, but never at home.

My red-haired mother certainly knew how to get cross and would hurl an occasional angry slipper my way, so it wasn't some fairy tale, Enid Blyton-style, nicey-nicey, household!   Fiery tempers and an angry tone, yes.  Bad language, no.

Why am I muttering on about this?

A few days ago I heard a young child,  about four years of age, come out with some really disgusting language.  The child obviously didn't know what the words meant.   The people I assumed were her parents simply fell about laughing, so did their friends.  So said child gave a repeat performance with embellishments.

So many young people these days pepper their conversations or comments with the f-word, and worse; I don't know whether they are even aware they are doing it.

In this world we are losing our ability to hold a conversation,  information is only useful if it comes in bite-sized pieces, because that is all modern brains seem able to process, hand writing is becoming a thing of the past, and even looking at the real person next to you has been superseded by looking at your telephone screen to see how many people in the world are following you, love you, want to talk to you, etc.

And don't get me started on pronunciation.

When did this silly nonsense of saying 'sicth' instead of 'sixth' become acceptable on the BBC?

I'm going to stop here.  The sun is shining, the sky is blue-ish.  I must walk this nonsense out of my head and enjoy the real day.


  1. Felicity I agree with you one hundred per cent on this. Our parents' generation did not swear whatever the reason. We got yelled at and smacked but bad language never came into the equation. My mother was offended even when she heard a damn or blast. Her favourite 'curse' was 'ye gods and little fishes' which has become mine as well. Here in Greece bad language is part of everyday speech and over the years I have unfortunatley adopted some of the expressions. Somehow it doesn't seem the same in another language but really it is just as bad. I hate it when a foreigner uses english swear words and thinks it is cool. It is not. It just shows bad upbringing, lack of good education and disrespect of others. How can parents laugh at the disgusting language of their children. It is so common even here. But so many people today cannot speak their own language correctly. What grates on my nerves is the use of 'like' half a dozen times in one sentence. The 'Queen's english' and spoken english are different languages nowadays. I'm trying to think up some more examples but they aren't coming at the moment. Written english is the same. Who knows nowadays when to put the apostrophe before or after the 's', or even when to use 'their' or 'there'.

    We went to a wedding a couple of weeks ago and the family seated next to us had four children, teenagers. All of them had cellphones and spent almost the entire time messaging or playing games or whatever they were doing to pass the time. It amazed me because while greek children are all electronically au fait they are also very sociable and love to talk, sing and dance, but these children were in another world. Another world and another vocabularly. What will the english language sound like in a couple of generations?

    I'm glad someone you brought up this topic. Alas we can't do much to change the situation.

    1. Hello Linda, "Ye gods and little fishes" - how could I have forgotten that one - my mother was a great one for using it!
      The reason I took the post down was because I try to steer clear of social, political or religious topics on the blog - but I feel I can allow myself this tiny thing. I am so glad you understand what I was trying to say!

  2. I couldn't agree with you is much the same where I live. And frankly, I haven't a clue how to put a stop to it.

    1. Hello Meggie, It is my week for accidentally upsetting people. (I'll tell you about the other one when I email you over the weekend.) I've already heard from a couple of thirty-somethings who think my post was a dig at them - it wasn't intended as such, but I suppose that if the cap fits...!;)

  3. I'm sorry you had to put up with any flack over this post. Just goes to show how rotten the world has be one when someone cannot acknowledge, or even see, their bad behaviour. I don't think it was a controversial post, simply an observation of the present.

    1. Hello Linda, No, I wrote the post, and it is truly how I feel about bad language, so I stand by it. It hasn't caused any problem, so don't worry! I enjoyed being a guest at your Greek wedding, wish I'd taken my brolly, though!

  4. I have just read this from last Oct and can only say yes, yes, yes!!! I dislike bad language but sometimes, when things go really wrong and I'm on my own, I do let rip, it's a safety valve I think and while I'm not proud of myself and bad language isn't nice, I feel better afterwards, for example if I drop and smash a nice vase on the floor, or drop a hot pan, or spill milk on the kitchen floor. Not that I do all this regularly, but when I do, I let rip.
    However, I strongly dislike incorrect pronunciation and also glottal stops and dropped aitches (and why do people call them "haitches" these days, when there is no 'h' pronounced in the word aitch?) One word I dislike is "tour" pronounced as "tor" ... a tor is a rocky outcrop on Dartmoor! And why do people pronounce "tooth" as "tuth?" It's as if they're frightened of the double-o sound. Oh, and "bin" for "been". Indeed, I'm not keen on regional accents either, although I suppose it's not politically correct to admit this! Regional accents should be saved for amongst close friends, and not when speaking to others (when Received Pronunciation should be used) because regional accents can get in the way of understanding and understanding is what language is about. The trouble is, children aren't taught how to speak properly, sadly.
    Also, and I don't think it's just because I'm older, but people tend to gabble too much these days - perhaps it's the heightened pace at which we live, but I often have to ask people to repeat what they have said because of gabble, dropped aitches, glottal stops and just generally sloppy speech. Last week I met an old lady of 92 and she had the most lovely speaking voice. It turns out her father was a dentist and she was his dental nurse, and also she attended my grammar school more than 25 years before I did, so we had common ground there. She spoke beautifully and clearly; I could understand every word she said and what a pleasure it was to chat to someone with such a lovely and distinctive voice.
    I must learn to be more succinct in my comments - sorry this is long! - but also the sound of voices has changed, or is it our TV? So many women especially have high pitched, nasalized voices and I can't bear to listen to them! Some elocution lessons wouldn't go amiss!
    Margaret P

    1. Margaret, I won't fan the flames further but, yes to all the above!
      My grandchildren were in stitches of laughter yesterday as I regaled them with all the verses and pieces which I could recall from my school days and elocution lessons. My little Granddaughter particularly enjoyed the one about "Hot coffee from a proper copper coffee pot" whereas her brother liked "Betty Botter bought some butter...etc etc". I was delighted to have been able to distract them from yet another game of animal dominoes.


Lovely to hear from you!