There is nothing wrong with cursing, but if you live in Mobile County, Alabama on Valentine's Day 2011, you might feel otherwise. Today, in that county, cursing is effectively banned for one 24-hour period.
The Mobile County Commission declared a daylong ban for Monday, February 14 after middle school students requested it. They formed no-cursing clubs at their middle schools. In addition, commissioners gave one of the middle school groups $5,000 to go to an assembly featuring McKay Hatch, a California teenager who founded a nationwide No Cussing Club in 2007.
Now, it doesn't sound like there is a fine for those who curse or any kind of punishment, so I'm not sure how this "ban" is being enforced. Perhaps they're just relying on general civility? If so, good luck to them!
According to The New York Times:
"I know children who grow up in homes where profanity is as prevalent as English," said Merceria Ludgood, the County Commission member whose district includes Lott Middle School in this small town north of Mobile. "The small issue is cussing. The larger issue is civility. As a nation, we have gotten meaner."
Ludgwood is right. As a nation, we have become much crueler. Just look at the comment sections of any website (even CafeMom). The vitriol and the name calling are repugnant and cruel and a departure from anything ever seen before. But it's also free speech and that is what's great about this country.
I curse all the time and would be pretty perturbed by anyone trying to tell me I can't. I was an English major who loves words, and "fudge" just doesn't cut it when what you want to say is f***! I realize the irony of starring the letters in a piece defending the use of the word, but it actually illustrates my point: Even a potty mouth as wretched as myself understands the concept of time and place.
Cursing is one of the joys of adulthood. Besides, where is this county getting $5,000 to bring in a "no-cussing" expert? How is this a good use of county funds?
The fact is, like it or not, we have the right to use blue language. We have the right to say things exactly the way we please and to take that right away is a lot more frightening than just not being able to say sh**.
Do you support the cursing ban?