© 2016 Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM. World Rights Reserved.
Is the English-speaking segment of the World now in Profanity Stress? In the last few months, I have noticed a large shift in one area of the American language: an upswing in the use of language that would have been unacceptable even 2 years ago. It’s languaging that is still regarded as rude or profane enough that it needs to be bleeped in broadcast media. Yet, on television evening talk shows, in live entertainment shows, and in campaign speeches, we now have the common and deliberate use of profanity. Try to find one episode of one entertainment show without it.
In order to report on these performances, media need to cover the speaker’s mouth with a pixelated effect, a cartoon “pow”, or other obscuring effects, plus making some sound that prevents hearing the word/s. A new video of a key Presidential candidate goes on for minutes with a montage of recent public occasions where he spoke in ways that required bleeping. Urban music has been using profanity for years, but performances on broadcast media often use substitute words for Those Words. So why would current candidates use these words? (I’ll wait…)
Apparently, they believe they will gain favor with those particular audiences, and that favor is worth the negative reactions they will get later from some. But harsh wording is harsh on your nervous system. You get a little stress jolt from hearing profanity. The more profanity, the more of a stress jolt. And you’ll get a social reaction jolt from people who don’t need to hear profanity.
I have written articles previously on the phenomenon that profanity can, in fact, release stress (http://wp.me/pw4HM-mG), IF you don’t use it very much. Swearing can actually reduce pain when you get injured. But that isn’t what this current phenomenon is.
One of my key references for how life has changed with the decades is my 1912 edition of Everybody’s Cyclopedia, a 5-volume set of words people thought were important several years before World War I. That’s right. I own a dictionary/encyclopedia from 1912. It was prepared by writers and scholars connected to the Encyclopedia Britannica. And in this fascinating set of the best of the World’s concerns and knowledge 100 years ago were: none of the words being bleeped today! The word “profanity” isn’t even in Everybody’s Cyclopedia, let alone the names of personal body parts or sexual functions. Not even the word “sex”.
Do we really need to be using profanity in public venues? Do late-night talk show hosts really think it’s punchy and funny? Or are they trying to be “relevant”? Has the American public sunk so low in education and taste, that they will only “enjoy” a Presidential candidate and vote for her/him if s/he uses profanity? And what are those speechwriters thinking as they compose this material?
Is this languaging simply “relevant” noise? For each of us, we need to decide how to craft our best life. We are at choice at all times. And using language that gives us a stress jolt is likely not for our Highest and Best good. Don’t we all have enough stress already? Dump your Profanity Stress and live at a higher level. And that’s Upbeat Livingsm!
- Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert. She also has a natural healing practice and is an ordained minister. She is the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br), plus the 2013 book, Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core, Second Edition(http://tinyurl.com/mqg3uvc ). Her newest book is Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine, available through her office. Just email SacredMeditation@kebba.com.
- For an appointment or to ask Kebba to speak for your group: firstname.lastname@example.org .