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Interesting F#ck!ng Session

If you missed the GenX session at AAM, then you missed good times and people. The moderators weren’t too far into their slides when someone dropped an “F-bomb” from the podium. I remember turning to the person I was sitting beside as we both raised our eyebrows in a silent smirking, “Aw shit! This is going to get crazy.” And it was…in a “crazy like a fox” good kind of way. Imagine mixing an AA therapy session with an Occupy rally and you start getting toward the vibe in the room.

Which brings me to Gen X and cursing. Gen Xers curse, period. We are socially savvy foul-mouthed sailors, but I reckon we push the boundaries. We aren’t alone, boomers started paving the way here. You have to go back to the “traditionalists” to get where cursing is almost never appropriate. I tried to do a bit of research on generational differences in profanity to see if there is anything from which to learn. Then I realized I have a real life and a short attention span. But before I gave up I found one abstract that I will leave you with:

Public swearing research reveals that swearing is a common conversational practice resulting in no obvious harm. “Common sense” (folk psychology) views of swearing are mistaken and inadequate for some decisions regarding harm. Meanwhile, efforts to restrict speech in media and instructional settings continue, despite the lack of a convincing need to do so. Harm from offensive speech is contextually determined; therefore attempts to restrict speech on a universal basis are misguided. Psychologists’ research needs to be informed by public policy and courtroom practices, and public policy and litigation need to be better informed by psychologists’ research.

I also learned there is a “Journal of Politeness Research” which I think is fucking hilarious. What say ye? Any parables or proverbs about the subject?

About Michael Wall

Something something witty...something something jaded...

5 responses to “Interesting F#ck!ng Session

  1. JennX

    okay, that was probably me who dropped the f-bomb. Honestly, it didn’t occur to me that anyone would be offended! And, in fact, I bought that “I love the fucking Walker” tshirt at #AAM2012, wore it on the plane, and got asked to cover it up because it might offend someone as I walked down the aisle of the plane!!/ZeitgeistMama/status/197762074783387648

    I did refrain from wearing it to work today at my children’s museums – so I guess I do have some standards of politeness!

  2. Michael Wall ⋅

    Nice shirt. The language was perfect for the session. I loved every minute of it.

  3. JenniferVH ⋅

    I was just thinking about this today in front of nine year old girls. We didn’t use anything too foul. My husband said “crap” and I cringed, remembering my parents didn’t like that language from me. I said, “Dear, LANGUAGE in front of the girls” and then the girls said, oh, “I’ve heard it before.” I thought, maybe I don’t really care that much if my children use mild swear words. Except around my parents. And my husband’s parents. And I suppose not at work.

    • Michael Wall ⋅

      Yup.. Funny as a parent. I recall singing “Add it up” by the Violent Femmes with reckless abandon when I was 12. Yet, my wife and I helicopter around my 12 year old’s music. Always a struggle to balance tradition with experience.

  4. Jennifer ⋅

    My kids hear me cursing all the time but they know that grown-ups get to say such things, not 6 and 9 year olds. In theory it sounded good until I got a letter home from my son’s kindergarten teacher. Apparently he was talking with a group of fellow kindergartners and someone must have said something either amazing or just plain nuts because my darling Riley said, “what the fuck?!” So much for the play dates I had planned for him this summer.

    The AAM GenX session was phenomenal! Having this community has helped me to feel like I’m not on a island (even though I work at a historic lighthouse).
    Many thanks!
    yet another Jennifer

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