Monday, April 22, 2013

Public profanity: A short guide to using it

Many would argue that the use of profanity in public has spun wildly out of control over the past few decades, and there'd be little denying standards are much looser than in my parents' day. However, there are moments when it fits perfectly with a given public situation.

For years to come I imagine a primary example of that scenario to be cited will be David Ortiz's speech before Saturday's Red Sox game—the first after the Boston Marathon bombing suspects were killed and captured.

After a long, emotional ceremony that both remembered the victims and applauded the authorities, Big Papi took the mic and declared, "This is our fucking city, and nobody [is] gonna dictate our freedom. Stay strong." The word was not bleeped on the MLB Network telecast (and I read not on other channels either), and frankly, I cannot imagine any FCC fines being levied for that (and it turns out none were); in that context, there is no taking offense, no matter how delicate one's sensibilities are.

Even if I had a young child at the game who heard that for the first time, I'd explain to him or her that, yes, in general you shouldn't say that, but when you experience a terrible tragedy and are trying to recover, in that moment it is acceptable.

No comments:

Post a Comment

So, what do you think?