Coarse Words

Cover Your Ears?

Cover Your Ears?

While attending a sporting event, my ears burned hearing a deluge of coarse, crude words from the surrounding crowd. Tolerance for this growing trend in our society is not right. George Washington felt the same way as he instructed his troops. “The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it.” Why do people use such language? I believe many have become desensitized because of the frequency of hearing them. Some may feel that words are only words, but Rudyard Kipling fully understood their implications.  “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used on mankind.”  Foul words are habit-forming just like a drug. God commands us to use clean language. “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain” (Exodus 20:7).  Taking the Lord’s name in vain may take different forms, and perhaps one of them is using uncouth language, even when the Lord’s name is not specifically profaned. This habit is becoming way too prevalent in our society. I want to keep my thoughts clean and my mind clear. When I hear crude words, I try replacing them with clean, inspiring and uplifting thoughts, or even lyrics to good music.

3 thoughts on “Coarse Words

  1. Andy

    Great advice. Responding to language is definitely different to those you know well as opposed to those you don’t. Thank you!

  2. Alan Post author

    Andy this is a very sensitive subject knowing how to best handle or react when subjected to bad language. When things are intense and unbearable, Joseph Smith set the proper example while he was in the Missouri jail. He said to the jailers,, “SILENCE, ye fiends of the infernal pit! In the name of Jesus Christ I rebuke you, and command you to be still; I will not live another minute and hear such language. Cease such talk, or you or I die THIS INSTANT!” Of course in most cases this would not be an appropriate approach. Setting an example will encourage those around us to use clean language. If friends and acquaintances use profanity, we can good-naturedly encourage them to choose other words. If they persist, we can politely walk away or change the subject. Judith Martin of the Washington Post writes the article “Miss Manners,” and said this regarding rudeness of speech: “How does one deal with a rude person? Politely. I don’t believe in answering rudeness with rudeness under any circumstances.
    “How is that accomplished? With the stare or smile. I do not recommend the snappy comeback and putdown.” (People Magazine, Aug. 1982, p. 38.) Latter-day scripture says: “Therefore, strengthen your brethren in all your conversation, in all your prayers, in all your exhortations, and in all your doings” (D&C 108:7).

  3. Andy

    I agree. It’s too bad that bad language has become so unshocking to so many. It’s a completely different conversation how we react or respond to such language. kinda tricky. What do you think? Interested to hear your thoughts on this…


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