There is something wrong with the English language these days. Well, that is not strictly true. The problem is not with the language itself - just the way some people choose to express themselves in it around children.
I have no problem with people swearing when in the company of those over the age of 18. (Before I found my Glaswegian friend I wasn't very keen on the liberal use of "industrial language" at all - my conversations with him opened my eyes and ears to how creative the "alternative vocabulary" used by Glaswegians in normal conversation can be.)
We have a Watershed on TV which is supposed to protect children from scenes and language of a disturbing or "adult" nature. Most newspapers and magazines for universal reading have the swearwords asterixed out so that children can read them.
You can probably imagine how I feel when I hear the parent or carer of a child swearing at them in order to get the child to comply with their wishes. Or - even worse - swearing at someone else in the child's presence.
Last week I went into a shop called "Set" in the Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester. When I was in there I saw a plaque for sale which made me cringe - both for the sentiment expressed and the language it was expressed in. The "polite" version would have been "Go away - Seriously, away you go". Put it this way - the actual words included the F-word - twice. Without any *, #, @, or ! to disguise the words.
Don't the people who come up with the idea of swearing around children realise that they may use that sort of language in inappropriate situations???
We need to teach children that there is a time and a place for different types of language and that swearing is not appropriate for everyday conversation, or when speaking to people in authority.
First we need to teach those who spend the most time with them the same lesson.
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