Profanity, even in Grand County, is too commonplace |

Profanity, even in Grand County, is too commonplace

To the Editor:

I was recently involved in a play about the story of Scrooge. Most people are probably familiar with this story and the classic line of “Bah, humbug.”

Not knowing what the word humbug meant I looked it up. When Dickens wrote the story in the mid 1800s it meant “nonsense.” That made sense to me. But, in the 1700s it was actually a profane word, much like bulls*** is used today. I wondered how words that were once profane become acceptable in any society.

When I was a young man (I’ll admit to being an AARP member now) words like d*** and hell were considered profane. If you said them or some other words, you might get your mouth washed out with soap. And if you said them around your mother, well, no dinner for you and you wouldn’t be able to sit down for awhile. As an adult, it was also considered impolite to use them around women, children, or in public. If you were with the guys it was understood you would clean up your language in those situations.

With their proliferation in the TV and print media, including the Sky-Hi Daily News on a fairly regular basis, are words once considered profane now acceptable? If so, when did this happen? The people I hang out with don’t use them so I’m not sure when all this took place.

If a young man says one of those words today is it OK? I assume if it’s in the local paper, it must be okay for your 12 year old to say them. How did we get from Ozzie and Harriet to the seven words you once couldn’t say on TV being used on a regular basis?

I can’t help but wonder which profane words are now acceptable in public or in the local newspaper and which aren’t. Is there an official list somewhere and who decides what’s on this list?

Does someone have a copy of this list that I can have? I would like to know which words are still profane. I’m not sure if I can use the word bulls*** or not and if the editor of this newspaper will edit this word. Maybe our local paper has a list. I don’t want to get my mouth washed out with soap.

Ken Anderson


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