Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Saturday, December 8, 2012

Are We Losing Our Gentility?


A rant

My Husby and I like to swim.
It keeps us healthy and young.
Or at least healthy.
After a bit of rigorous paddling, we like to sit in the hot tub and visit.
Our local pool facility inevitably has music playing.
Yesterday, shortly after we got in, a catchy tune started.
Catchy.
I started to listen.
The chorus came on.
The background music quit, just as the last line was sung.
A last line that consisted of the words, “What the ****!”
The words were painfully clear.
I looked around at the small children playing near us.
Children to whom the words were just as clear.
“Did you hear that?” I asked my Husby.
He didn't.
The chorus came on a second time.
“What the ****!”
“I can't believe what I'm hearing!” I crawled out of the pool and marched, dripping wet, into the front office.
The song wasn't as loud here, but still discernible.
“Can you guys hear that song?” I demanded.
The two women at the front counter frowned. “I wasn't listening,” one said.
“It's foul!” I said. “And there are little children out there listening to it!”
“Oh, my! We'll change it!” she said.
And she hurriedly did so.
They hadn't chosen the song. They had merely turned on one of the satellite radio stations, thinking that it would have a modicum of decency.
They were obviously wrong.
The experience reminded me of the time, a few months ago, when my Husby and I were eating breakfast at a local 'family' fast-food restaurant.
A young woman a few tables over was talking loudly on her cell phone to her boyfriend.
Or I'm assuming it was her boyfriend.
Some of the one-sided conversation would suggest it . . .
“You're the worst ****ing boyfriend I've ever had!” she said. “What are you ****ing talking about? I can't believe you would ****ing say that to me! How could you ****ing do that to me? Well **** to you too!”
And so the conversation went.
For nearly twenty minutes.
There were families there.
Trying to eat.
Most hurried their children through their meal and packed up and left.
And still, the girl shouted obscenities into her phone.
It turned my stomach.
Finally, we packed up what was left of our breakfast and escaped.
Finding somewhere better to finish.
Thinking of that girl and that song, I can't help but wonder . . .
Have we lost our gentility?
My Dad taught me when I was growing up, that what came out of a person's mouth was a direct reflection of what was going on in that person's brain.
That a person who resorted to obscenities in their conversation simply didn't have the intelligence to converse on a higher plain.
I think of a speech given by a woman named Margaret D. Nadauld:
“The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined.”
We can easily substitute the word 'people' for the word 'woman'.
Have we been concentrating so hard on being tough and independent that we have lost our ability to talk on an intelligent level?
Is this really how we want to be heard expressing ourselves today?
Is that how we want our music, our movies, our conversations, our lives to sound?
And, for goodness sake, can't we think of another word?!

What are your thoughts?

30 comments:

  1. I absolutely detest 'that' word. I remember standing next to a bunch of young men waiting for a light to change (noon hour at work) and every other word was, well, you know. Eventually, every time one of them said that I said, quite loudly, frangipani. My frangipani girlfriend and her frangipani father..you get the idea. After a couple of minutes of this they got the giggles. We crossed the street, they went their way, I went mine but I could still hear them talking at the top of their lungs using their brand new nasty word..frangipani. It was a change.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Inspired! Positively inspired! Thank you for this gem!

      Delete
  2. Too true. It's amazing how many bleeps they have to put on the "reality" shows. And overseas, the one swear word everyone seems to know is the f word. Where do you think they got that? All our exported media.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never watched reality shows. Now I'm glad . . . Great. So the whole world is privy to our lack of intelligence.

      Delete
  3. It's not about tough and independent. It's about lost of civility. At least your natatorium staff will pay attention to their radio station.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Maybe the singer and the girl worked in a repair shop or in the oil fields. I hear that 'bomb' dropped so many times a day I don't even notice it anymore. Except if someone uttered that in church I might... I know if you're herding cattle on a hot day, one's brain seems to suddenly become devoid of intelligent things to say, except that derivitive of a totally innocent German word that everyone seems to know. Dad hated herding cattle on a hot day because the task was too hard on his Recommend. Now, my son-in-law who spent several years in the US Army is the most clean-spoken man I've ever had the pleasure to converse with. It's really too bad I notice people with clean language more than those without; it should be the other way around.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I had my time, working with cattle on a hot day. The last time I used a four-letter word was the time Dad heard me use one. He was so disappointed in me. Never, ever again! And you're right. The people with clean language do tend to stick out in today's world.

      Delete
  5. Oh I totally agree! This world has become so casual. In dress, attitude and speech. I miss the "classiness" of the days gone by.

    As soon as someone opens their mouth and speaks like that girl you overheard in the restaurant.....I want nothing to do with them. It appears as if they are non intelligent. It lowers their level of IQ immediately. But this is not the reason I want nothing to do with them. It's the fact that they also appear to be so full of anger that they have lost their faculties and may do something at any given moment....something that someone who has a clear and stable mind......might otherwise do not. Did that make sense?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you. Anger scares me. And I do miss class . . .

      Delete
  6. I agree! and I love that quote, especially with "people" substituted for "woman". I cringe mentally when I hear that particular word - and it seems to be heard more and more.

    I wonder if the restaurant management could have spoken to that woman - I'm sure they'd rather have all the rest of their patrons than the one who drove them away!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It makes me cringe, too! I was surprised the management didn't do anything. Everyone could hear her. Everyone! Maybe they were just as afraid of her obvious anger as the rest of us.

      Delete
  7. I totally agree with you Diane, I try very hard not to speak like that. If I do, I immediately try to change it around. Unfortunately my ex step mother had an extremely foul mouth and then my ex was not much better.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am with you on this rant and I totally agree with your father. It's something I have said to my own kids growing up, that the use of foul language doesn't indicate that you are hip or cool or whatever the going word is. It simply shows a lapse or lack of intellect. There are a lot of other words to be used to indicate dislike, dissatisfaction, anger, etc. Just check the dictionary or thesaurus. The last few generations are certainly examples of a loss of gentility. I know we can do better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like to read the things that people like Winston Churchill used to convey disappointment, disgust, anger or contempt. Now that man had a brain!!!

      Delete
  9. I think anyone can use coarse language (if they so desire) but it takes someone with creativity and knowledge to use words that are acceptble and convey the same thing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think anyone can use coarse language (if they so desire) but it takes someone with creativity and knowledge to use words that are acceptble and convey the same thing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anyone can use coarse or foul language but it takes someone with knowledge and creativity to convey the same thing using language that is not coarse.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love this! The other day I was in line to buy food and was surrounded by teenagers, 3 boys in front and 3 girls behind me,and the language coming from them was horrible and the girls were worse than the boys. I wish etiquette was taught in schools!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that just makes me want to cry. That the girls mouths are worse than the boys. They want to 'fit in'. And think this is what it takes. And all it does is make them seem cheap. Or less than intelligent.

      Delete
  13. It isn't really conversation anymore, when every other word if "that" one. Saddest of all is when I hear little kids peppering their conversations with it, (surely they can't possibly know what it means)at four and five years old. There's only one place they can learn to talk like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that is the saddest fact of all, that little ones are using it. They can only have learned it from those people they are closest to. So sad!

      Delete
  14. Downunder in campgrounds, Pilchard & I sometimes overhear entire conversations of the **** word - we call them ****ing ****er conversations. But even though we try to laugh it off, it's such an aggressive, explosive word you'd know it was offensive even if you didn't know what it meant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. An aggressive, explosive word. Prefect description. I'm so tired of hearing it . . .

      Delete
  15. Hi there! I could have sworn I've been to this website before but after reading through some of the post I realized it's
    new to me. Nonetheless, I'm definitely happy I found it and I'll be book-marking and checking back frequently!
    Here is my web blog ... gallery porn side town wrong

    ReplyDelete
  16. My Hubby and I use 'What the fruitcake?!?' and 'Shishkabob!'

    'Holy Mackerel!' is another favourite of ours. Not coarse at all, and gets the surprised quality of yourself out just as readily!

    I actually commented on a Facebook post about some celebrity break-up, and said 'Who the fruitcakin' CARES?' and the 'fruitcakin' got more comments and lols than the actual article! I preened a little.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting! Drop by again!

All of My Friends

Daughter of Ishmael

Daughter of Ishmael
Now available at Amazon.com and .ca and Chapters.ca and other fine bookstores.

Follow by Email

Hugs, Delivered.

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?

Google+ Followers

Networked Blogs

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!
New Tween Novel!

Gnome for Christmas

Gnome for Christmas
The newest in my Christmas Series

SnowMan

SnowMan
A heart warming story of love and sacrifice.

Translate

My novel, Carving Angels

My novel, Carving Angels
Read it! You know you want to!

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic
What could be better than a second Christmas story?!

About the Mom

My photo

Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

Join me on Maven

Connect with me on Maven

Essence

Essence
A scientist and his son struggle to keep their earth-shattering discovery out of the wrong hands.

Essence: A Second Dose

Essence: A Second Dose
Captured and imprisoned, a scientist and his son use their amazing discovery to foil evil plans.

Looking for a Great Read?

E-Books by Diane Stringam Tolley
Available from Smashwords.com

The Babysitter

The Babysitter
A baby-kidnapping ring has its eye on J'Aime and her tiny niece.

Melissa

Melissa
Haunted by her past, Melissa must carve a future. Without Cain.

Devon

Devon
Following tragedy, Devon retreats to the solitude of the prairie. Until a girl is dropped in his lap.

Pearl, Why You Little...

Pearl, Why You Little...
Everyone should spend a little time with Pearl!

The Marketing Mentress

The Marketing Mentress
Building solid relationships with podcast and LinkedIn marketing

Coffee Row

Coffee Row
My Big Brother's Stories

Better Blogger Network

Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis
I've been given an award!!!

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award
My good friend and Amazing Blogger, Marcia of Menopausal Mother awarded me . . .

Irresistibly Sweet Award

Irresistibly Sweet Award
Delores, my good friend from The Feathered Nest, has nominated me!

Sunshine Award!!!

Sunshine Award!!!
My good friend Red from Oz has nominated me!!!

My very own Humorous Blogger Award From Delores at The Feathered Nest!

Be Courageous!


Grab and Add!

Search This Blog

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?