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
3.  Indulgence

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.

2.  Respect

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.

Location matters.

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:


3.  Indulgence 

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.


LucyEcho said...

I'm just a lowly citizen, not a journalist or a blogger or even a Facebook page owner, but I 100% agree with you regarding freedom of speech.

Moreover, the guy's words are reprehensible, but this was presumably a PRIVATE conversation. Imagine if all of us were punished at work for the things we might (completely legally) say in our private lives!

Anonymous said...

Amazing article Peter! I printed it to give to several people I know who are wondering whether to push the no-cursing policy with their kids, as soooo many other youngsters now just arent being taught proper language etiquette. AT ALL!
Its important and still relevant.

Tania Cadogan said...

My sister in law (the welsh witch) and my welsh bro both have potty mouths.
Craig didn't use to, it was the odd F this when things went seriously bosoms up.
After they married, it seemed to be a race to be first to the gutter.
My Bro told them bluntly no swearing in front of his kids, if they did they would be shown the door.

Inside of 5 mins they did, he did and after that they never spoke to him.
The funniest thing i heard though was when i stayed with them in Wales for a week and we went to our half bro's wedding in Devon. They were both doing their usual F this and the hated C word and some kids wandered past effing and blinding.
Welsh witch turned round and complained about their bad language, punctuating with words i had never heard as well as more than a few in welsh.
I don't think she even realised she was saying the words and, i mean, it was literally every other word was a cuss word.
I hated it and i was superglad to get home.
Although she would do anything for anyone, i simply couldn't handle her language, i am amazed to this day only one of their kids has a potty mouth.
Unfortunately said kid, now grown up and married, decided to bad mouth my bro, his wifey and myself to mutual friends who told us on the grounds what she was saying was vicious and untrue.
She then came to me for help as she had just moved back to town and needed to make new friends. Bro and i had quiet words with her and made it clear we had heard what she had said and told her not to darken our doorsteps again, we didn't need her upsetting his kids or our family and friends.
She scarpered back to Wales with her tail between her legs for a while before sneaking back after getting married.
She has not contacted us since.
I do miss Welsh bro, he has his own issues to deal with.
He knows how to contact us anytime if he needs help, we will be right there for him. We can't make him accept it though and he won't talk to us even when we tried repeatedly to call him, skype him, email him etc.
I suspect should he decide to leave his wife, he will be a lot happier and not such a potty mouth. (they always said they would never divorce as neither wanted custody of the 2 girls. They claim it was said in jest, nah.)
Both girls though are now married and moms (one of which was a surprise to us)
I also wonder if the reason they won't visit or call us is they wouldn't be allowed to swear in front of bro's 2 kid's and they simply cannot restrain themselves.

Meanwhile i limit myself to dang darn poop and when things are particularly going bosoms up i use a childhood phrase we made up.
ratbagcontraceptivedoodoo. the other phrase i use when dealing with annoying people and i want them to know i am not a happy camper is "you're flocculent, diadelphous and you make me want to extirpate" (thank you Mr Preston, my english teacher) it sounds vulgar but actually means you are like tufts of wool, have two stamens and you make me want to pull you up by the roots.
The look on the faces of people as they try and figure out if i am insulting them or befuddling them with words of more than 4 letters and more than one syllable. :)

Statement Analysis Blog said...

LucyEcho said...
I'm just a lowly citizen, not a journalist or a blogger or even a Facebook page owner, but I 100% agree with you regarding freedom of speech.

Moreover, the guy's words are reprehensible, but this was presumably a PRIVATE conversation. Imagine if all of us were punished at work for the things we might (completely legally) say in our private lives!

well said!

I did your exercise and "imagined" some of my private conversations being heard by the world! My joking alone would get me hanged.


Anonymous said...

I agree. This man was having what he thought was a private conversation. It's his right to say what he wants. What this comes down to is the wife sued the mistress on March 7th. The mistress was ticked and decided to set this guy up. It worked perfectly for her! She was feeding him questions to get responses. I hope he sues her for recording a private conversation.

Jenny said...

Did you see this about Holly Bobo?

JoAnn said...

Thanks for that info about Holly Bobo. What struck me was that law enforcement has sworn witness statements that place this man who was charged today with Holly and Zachary Adams in the time AFTER her abduction. So it sounds like more than one person saw her after she was kidnapped, which likely means they were involved in the crime as well - otherwise, they surely would have made a statement before now. More arrests expected soon - it won't bring peace to her heartsick family, but some measure of justice is the hope.

Frannie said...

Today I dropped a "f-bomb". Burnt myself on the oven. Reliable statement!

Tania Cadogan said...

Off Topic

Authorities in Tennessee have charged a second person in the case of a Tennessee nursing student abducted from her family's home three years ago.

Jason Wayne Autry was charged with aggravated kidnapping and felony murder by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, authorities announced Tuesday.

At the same time, Zachary Adams, who previously was charged with murder and aggravated kidnapping in the case, was additionally charged with coercion.

The charges against both Adams and Autry--who has a lengthy criminal history and is currently incarcerated at the Riverbend Maximum Security Facility-- were handed down after evidence was presented to a grand jury.

Autry was charged after sworn witness statements said he was seen with Adams and Bobo after the time of her abduction. Investigatorssaid they anticipate making more arrests in the coming weeks.

“We believe there are others who have information and may have been involved,” TBI Director Mark Gwyn said at a late afternoon press conference. “This sends a clear message that we will be knocking on their door.”

Bobo, a nursing student at the University of Tennessee at Martin, was last seen at her home in Parsons on April 13, 2011, by her older brother, who reported seeing her being taken into the woods by an unidentified man dressed in camouflage.

A small amount of blood was found in the family's carport, where Holly was believed taken from while on her way to school, police sources told FoxNews.com at the time of her disappearance. Despite extensive searches that included bloodhounds and high-resolution underwater imaging, authorities found no trace of the 20-year-old woman, who is presumed dead.

In late February, Adams, 29, was charged with murder and aggravated kidnapping in the case.

"We believe we can prove that she was taken forcefully from her home without her consent," District Attorney General Hansel McAdams said at the time. He said he will consider pursing the death penalty if Adams is convicted.

Investigators would not get into details about why Adams was charged. His home, however, is about 15 miles from where Bobo lived in Parsons, a small town about 100 miles northeast of Memphis in Decatur County.

He has pleaded not guilty and remains in jail without bond.

Bobo's brother, Clint, reported to police that he saw a man in camouflage clothes leading his sister into the woods behind the family's home. He said he initially thought she was being taken into the woods by her boyfriend, but grew concerned when he saw the man's arm holding onto his sister. He called his mother, who then contacted 911.


Tania Cadogan said...

Off Topic BBM

Amanda Knox: 'I Am Innocent'

Updated: 10:24pm UK, Tuesday 29 April 2014

Amanda Knox has issued a full statement after a court in Italy published its reasons behind convicting her again of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.

It reads:

I have stated from the beginning of this long ordeal that I am innocent of the accusations against me.

I was found innocent by the only court in Italy that retained independent forensic experts to review my case.

I want to state again today what I have said throughout this process: I am innocent of the accusation against me, and the recent motivation document does not - and cannot - change the fact of my innocence.

The recent motivation document does not - and cannot - change the forensic evidence: experts agreed that my DNA was not found anywhere in Meredith's room, while the DNA of the actual murderer, Rudy Guede, was found throughout that room and on Meredith's body.

This forensic evidence directly refutes the multiple-assailant theory found in the new motivation document. This theory is not supported by any reliable forensic evidence.

The forensic evidence also directly refutes the theory that the kitchen knife was the murder weapon: the court-appointed independent experts confirmed that neither Meredith's blood nor her DNA was on the alleged murder weapon, which experts also agreed did not match the stab wounds or the bloody imprint of a knife on her pillow.

In fact, in the prior proceeding in which I was found innocent, the court specifically concluded that the forensic evidence did not support my alleged participation in the crime and further found that the circumstantial evidence was both unreliable and contrary to a conclusion of guilt.

The recent motivation document does not - and cannot - change the fact that the forensic evidence still does not support my participation and the circumstantial evidence still remains unreliable and contrary to the conclusion of guilt.

And the recent motivation document does not - and cannot - identify any legitimate motive for my alleged involvement in this terrible crime.

No fewer than three motives have been previously advanced by the prosecution and by the courts.

Each of these theories was as unsupported as the purported motive found in the new motivation document, and each of these alleged motives was subsequently abandoned by the prosecution or the courts.

Like the prior "motives," the latest "motive" in the new motivation document is not supported by any credible evidence or logic.

There is simply no basis in the record or otherwise for this latest theory.

I will now focus on pursuing an appeal before the Italian Supreme Court.

I remain hopeful that the Italian courts will once again recognise my innocence.

I want to thank once again, from the bottom of my heart, all of those-family, friends, and strangers - who have supported me and believe in my innocence.

Tania Cadogan said...

Amanda knox just admitted she participated in the murder of Meredith Kercher.

In fact, in the prior proceeding in which I was found innocent, the court specifically concluded that the forensic evidence did not support my alleged participation in the crime and further found that the circumstantial evidence was both unreliable and contrary to a conclusion of guilt.

The recent motivation document does not - and cannot - change the fact that the forensic evidence still does not support my participation and the circumstantial evidence still remains unreliable and contrary to the conclusion of guilt.

And the recent motivation document does not - and cannot - identify any legitimate motive for my alleged involvement in this terrible crime.

In the first statement she tells us about my alleged participation in relation to forensic evidence in the prior proceeding where she was found innocent.

In the second statement she tells us about my participation in relation to the forensic evidence in relation to the motivation document in the last proceeding where the gulty verdict was reinstated..

In the third statement she refers to my alleged involvement

She herself just told us she participated in the crime and the verdict of guilty was correct.

She no longer talkes about alleged participation she now talks about participation, the ommitted word alleged tells us the truth.

In the last statement participation has now become involvement.
A change in language means a change in reality.
Is the change warranted?
Also note she uses the word THIS in relation to terrible crime.
This is close, that is distancing.
She places herself close to the terrible crime, something an innocent person would not do.

At no point does she say i did not murder Meredith Kercher, she instead talks about her innocence.

She can focus on an appeal, but all they can do is look to see if the rule of law was not followed ( in other words a technicality) the facts of the case cannot now be appealed.

Anonymous said...

Of course Sterling has the right to say whatever he wants to say. That's guaranteed to him by the First Amendment. His First Amendment rights have not been violated. No government entity has censored or punished his speech. The NBA is a private entity in the business of making money and is well aware that it will be harmed financially if it does not take action to show it rejects Sterling's vile attitudes. That's a free market issue, not a free speech issue.

Rose said...

Don Sterling's case is not a freedom of speech issue, it's a contract issue. I have not read it, but I assume there are many things in the NBA charter (which he AGREED to) that limit what an owner can and cannot say. He likely also has to maintain a certain level of morality and professionalism.

Anonymous said...

With the swearing thing, can you make an exception for those of us who grew up in the Boston area? When I grew up, the kids swore like pirates, you'd hear it all day every day, kind of just woven right into the language. I remember one day when I was about 9 playing ball, I just kind of froze for a second and thought "wow, kids in my neighborhood really swear a lot", OK back to ball playing. I do swear more than I should, but when you grow up hearing it all the time it just becomes a habit.

1crosbycat said...

Good point about Clippers owner's racist remarks. There would be natural consequences to him - people not going to games or buying gear causing financial loss, losing friendships when people will not be seen with him, getting cussed at, etc. Regardless of whether it was the government punishing him for bad attitude or a private organization, the idea that you will be tried, convicted and sentenced without any investigation beyond polling public sentiment is scary. I think he is a jerk, but what if my ideas that are "normal" now become politically incorrect? Mark Cuban initially warned about this "slippery slope" but then backed off and said he agreed completely with the punishment. Next we will see the government revoking licenses for people who don't support gay marriage, for example, or taking away kids from parents who refuse vaccinations or have a medical disagreement with their doctors (like Justina Pelletier in Boston with mitochrondrial disorder right now in DCF custody). No one has to do business with Sterling, but preventing him from having that business because he is obnoxious is un-American (at least comparing to what America was meant to be).

Anonymous said...

I'm sad today after hearing my girlfriend say in a conversation, the words "...think I drink at work and..." embedded in her speech. Sometimes picking up info via SA is like a kick in the teeth.