When you spend your time in different places you tend to become very aware of their different cultures. Having just returned to England from America I was once again hit by the amount of swearing that goes on. Swear words are used more frequently than punctuation is any given sentence, it would seem.
Many Americans think of British people as being epitomized by using the term “Bloody this” or “bloody that”. I have to say that this view is very outdated; I wish this were the only swear word that was used!
I took a five minute walk to the local shop yesterday and my ears were assaulted by a far more choice rage of colorful swear words, I can assure you. Not only that, the voices were loud, the attitude of the people walking along was cocky, and they exuded a total disrespect for anyone else in the neighborhood.
Just why do so many British people assume that it’s not only cool to swear but appear to see it as normal and “the way to be”? I for one just “don’t get it”. And the more I am subjected to this assault on my ears and feelings, the more I dislike it. I have to admit that I see it as an extreme display of total ignorance.
I’m not a prude. I’m not totally against swearing. But let’s face it, there’s a time and a place for most things and swearing should not be an exception. The only way in which a community survives is if there is a basis of mutual respect. There are rules which we observe, some written and others unwritten. When these rules are broken, so too is the community spirit.
We believe in freedom of speech and freedom of choice but not to the degree that it dictates to others or spoils their enjoyment of life. And so within the concept of free speech there are always going to be compromises which most of us are willing to make out of respect for others.
We might enjoy a certain type of music, but we know that it’s unfair upon our neighbors to play it at the highest volume with the windows open at midnight. We are all aware of the concept that behind closed doors we can do pretty much as we wish, but in public our behavior might require some adaptation.
So why do people who swear in a chronic manner in public think that it’s ok? They really cannot NOT know that other people may find it abusive. Why would you want to intentionally abuse other people, people who have done nothing at all to provoke such disrespect?
Swearing in Britain seems to have become “normalized” and this is a great shame. We see it on the television, we hear it in the streets and many kids are brought up with it in their homes. But when you go away and spend time in a different culture and then return you do really notice how swearing affects you. At times I have to admit that I am embarrassed to be British.
Roseanna Leaton, specialist in hypnosis downloads for happiness and well-being, as well as assistance to stop swearing.
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