Believe me, I can talk like a sailor, but I was raised with decorum. I knew people didn’t smoke cigarettes in church, spit in hallways, nor kick puppies. I also knew there was a time and place when it was not appropriate to use expletives.
In my 18 years on the school board of a large, suburban school district, I never swore from the dais. I may have thought it, but I didn’t verbalize it. I knew better. Further, I didn’t want teachers cussing at students. Thus, I set an example. However once, in front of my mom, I accidentally dropped the f bomb. She heard it fly from my mouth.
“Sue, when people use gutter talk, it’s the sign of a severely limited vocabulary. Not to mention a lack of decorum and civility. Your hero, Mark Twain, was a genius at penning classics without swearing. We readers fully understood what Huck Finn was really saying, but Mrs. Samuel Clemens edited the base vernacular from his manuscript.”
Hmm. Mark Twain was a genius–a stable one.