Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Cursing in Statement Analysis
Why do people curse?
Why do we teach children not to curse?
Why is it shocking to hear a child curse?
Why the **** would it make a difference?
How should we view cursing, or swear words, in Statement Analysis?
I. Cursing and Society
"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" from Clark Gable's character, Rhett Butler, in 1939's "Gone With The Wind" was a quote that had to pass censorship. Today, it does not rise to the level of discussion.
We teach children not to curse for a variety of reasons, including two important ones:
1. Self restraint
2. Respect for others
It matters not what the word, itself, is, when we are dealing with self restraint. It is easier to curse than not to curse; similar to a large sign, in a stone filled lot, where there is an abandoned building with a large sign that says:
"DO NOT THROW ROCKS AT WINDOWS"
Every 10 year old boy knows the adrenaline rush he feels when he sees that sign posted just below the targeted windows. The statement, in the negative, is provocative; that is, it provokes the boy into wanting to throw rocks. Had it said, "KEEP WINDOWS UNBROKEN" it would not have the same impact written in the positive.
It takes a measure of self restraint for us not to curse and self discipline is critical to responsible adulthood. The lack of self discipline impacts every area of life from health to safety.
It matters not if the word is "Gobblegook" or any nonsense word: it takes restraint to not say something.
Self Restraint is something that keeps society safe, and the lack of self restraint is what has led to an abundance of laws, to the point where Caesars from yesteryear would have drooled over the control government exercises today over its citizens.
Self Restraint is good for children to practice, just as it is good for us to practice it. Where one, for example, refuses to curse in front of women and children, he is, perhaps, using self restraint as a means of respect. If that self restraint is later put to the test, in a more serious manner, such as domestic violence, the man who, as a boy, was taught to govern his passions and temper, may escape the once unmanly assault of the weaker sex.
Like it or not, self discipline is critical to society, even though the self-esteem cult has steamrolled past it, where everyone must be first, and the language of humility is as foreign today in a way a few generations ago would have thought impossible.
a. Respect for women.
b. Respect for status or position
c. Respect for location
This can also be a nonsense word, but its lack of use, in the presence of some, is a sign of respect, sorely lacking from society today.
I taught my sons not to curse in front of women, as it was disrespectful. Again, it could only be the word "gobbledegook" or something like it, which is not the point: the point is that if I could teach them, as boys, to take special care around their mother and sisters, one day, they would take special care of their wives, who would, in turn, thank me for teaching them manners.
It is like the kid who gets a new (for him) car and polishes it and cleans it every day. He is not likely going to be reckless with it: he has invested too much effort into it. So it is that young boys can be taught, from an early age, to never hit a female.
We wouldn't have the Domestic Violence industry that we have today if this was still taught. Sadly, egalitarianism says otherwise, and when my son refuses to hit a female in hockey, he is laughed at.
That's okay with us. This too, shall pass, as what we embrace today as a society may be gone tomorrow, or the day after, as we grow sickened by the burgeoning jail population of brutish, effeminate men who think it is acceptable to hit women. Masculinity sacrifices strength; it does not use it to exploit the weak.
b. Respect for status or position
"Mr. President..." is a term of respect to be used when addressing the man who holds the office; it is appropriate for the office, no matter what you think of the man. "Salute the rank" military says.
When a child uses foul language to his or her teacher, or coach, it is a signal of disrespect, not only for the person, but for the position the person holds.
It is almost unthinkable that children should stand when speaking to a teacher and say, "Good morning, Mrs. Smith" to start the day.
Tell a child to dress appropriately for school, in a manner that shows respect for the dignity of the learning facility, and the cries of "censorship" and "squelching freedom" are echoed everywhere.
I like to use the term, "Doctor" when addressing someone who has worked hard enough to receive a Phd in whatever profession, even though they may not be a medical doctor. It shows respect for the hard work they put into their studies. To hold a doctorate, for example, in history, deserves respect.
c. Respect for location
Would you walk into the White House and spew out vile cursing?
How about church?
Would you walk into an opera, take your seat and start chanting, "hell yeah!"?
I have had job applicants come in for an interview, not only slovenly dressed, but littering the interview with four letter words. Talk about first impressions?
We cannot stop people from judging us. It is naturally done by the brain (as seen through our words) but we can influence that judgement by our appearance and our words.
I wore jeans and a polo shirt visiting Ben + Jerrys, but I would not wear that to the White House, nor would I go to a job interview in shorts.
Think of the great symbolism manifest in a Christian wedding, including the colors, and the high view of marriage as displayed in symbolism. An American flag might be but a few square inches, as a symbol, but the reality is almost 300 million people and hundreds of years of history the symbol represents.
Language can be seen the same way: in the reality it represents.
Statement Analysis seeks to enter into the reality of the subject's perception, through the understanding of communication.
Enter the language and learn the truth. Here is such an example:
Some will simply refuse to self regulate and will indulge in whatever it is he wants to say.
When the LA Clippers owner said he didn't want his mistress bringing her black friends, the backlash was severe, calling for the NBA to remove him from ownership.
I have yet to read of anyone saying, "Hey, it's racist and stupid, but I defend his right to say so" or anything similar to this. Instead, those who refuse to take personal responsibility in life are calling for laws and more laws.
What would I like to see happen to him?
I'd like to hear people defend his freedom of speech and then boycott the team until he sells off his interest and fades into oblivion.
No firing, no loss of employment forced upon him, but the simple force of him exercising his freedom to say he does not want blacks to come to the game, against the force of people of good will saying that they do not want to buy tickets to his team as long as he is owner, while defending his freedom to be a moron.
He is said to be a man who is so self indulged and so entitled, that he cannot see past his own needs and wants.
The nation now sees him as a moron. He may be said to be "spoiled", that is, rotten, and rotten by means of refusing to govern his mouth or even his heart. When I looked at his team, I noticed that his money seems to come from the players' skill levels; most of whom appeared to be black.
Wouldn't it be something to see his freedom of speech defended while fans forcing him out by them exercising their freedom of speech?
It would be something to behold.
A child who is not restrained will likely become an adult without restraint.
I recall one day, years ago, in which I was called over to meet a 3 year old boy. I noted co-workers trying to keep a poker face, so I knew it was something special.
"Who the f*** are you?" the toddler asked me.
I asked the workers, "Did he just drop the f bomb?" I simply did not believe it. Some three year olds are hard to understand, so I knew I must be wrong.
One of the workers asked him about "Mommy" as a way to get him to talk again.
"Where is my f***ing mommy?", he answered. He went on to describe his mommy in equally colorful language.
What was his future?
Perhaps his mother wanted to teach him freedom of speech.
II. Cursing and Emergencies
"Where the hell are you? My son needs an ambulance!"
In statement analysis, there are times, like in a 911 call, when we expect to hear cursing within the urgency.
I recall reading a study that showed that some cursing was healthy, in emergency situations, as it released pent up stress.
In my work, I allow staff to come into my office, close the door, and vent.
This vent does, at times, have some pretty colorful words; words I don't normally use. This same staff, now having vent out frustrations, often leave the office feeling better, and will not take out such frustrations on clients, or co-workers.
There is the expected just as there is the unexpected.
Recently I reviewed a 911 call in which I concluded deception where the perpetrator called with a greeting, and with the victim laying on the floor, not breathing. "The gentleman", he called the victim.
That's way too polite.
The victim was not breathing because the 911 caller had assaulted him viciously.
We have even seen some appropriate use of cursing during interviews where the innocent person is accused by the interviewer and the subject becomes frustrated with the interviewer's inability to dicer.
"What would you say if I told you you were lying?"
I expect the innocent person to not take this lightly, and if I continue to push hard enough, I can expect (and have heard) some say "You're an idiot. You need a new job" and so on. The anger rises.
UPDATE: The NBA has banned the racist owner. I won't get to see the clash of freedoms in action, at least not in this case. What is in the heart, comes out in the words.
"From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks."
The heart is the seat of the intellect and the affections; what we know and how we feel about what we know.