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A reader recently pointed out, with proper disgust, a banner flying in public using the phrase “f—- Biden.” The word was spelled out and the vowels were in place. I have seen similar stickers on cars. I have seen them on T-shirts. Evidently the nugatory complaints against the current administration do not lend themselves to serious or substantive discourse, so vulgarities are all the pro-Trump rabble have left. It diminishes both their standing and their argument — or lack thereof.

All of this puts me in mind of the shortest job tenure of which I know. That position belongs to the fledgling local news anchor, A.J. Clemente. He was fired after his first-ever words on Bismarck, North Dakota’s NBC affiliate, KFYR, were, “f—-ing sh-t.” Clemente was immediately suspended and later fired.

Clemente’s meager defense seems to be that he didn’t know his microphone was on. Do they not teach these journalistic wannabes that all microphones are presumed to be on? I can see why his appropriate market share couldn’t live up to Bismarck’s demographic. But this ignorant soul didn’t even realize that the real issue was not the microphone, it was his foul mouth and limited vocabulary.

Did it ever occur to Clemente that worthy people never say things like that? Not in public. Not aloud. Not ever! For those of you who are not part of the baby boom, this may come as fresh knowledge. Let me enlighten you.

There was a time when people were expected to show emotional extremity, or righteous indignation, or even quasi-humorous reference through the studied use of vocabulary, not profanity. What was wrong with that? Nothing! After all, it required intelligence, discipline and restraint. Those are all good things.

I saw this problem coming decades ago when the collective “we” of this land decided that the right of the academically challenged to use vulgar language was more important than the right of the rest of us to not have to listen to oral garbage. Quite frankly, when I hear total strangers substitute vulgarities for vocabulary, I know they are too lazy or too stupid to engage in serious discourse and I treat them accordingly.

As a schoolteacher and then a principal I occasionally confronted students who attempted to use foul language. When I corrected them, they all tried to defend their ugly words by saying that everyone talked like that. My response was simple, realistic, and stern:

“The language you use in private, among a small group of friends, on the street corner is not the same as the language you use in this school, because this is our place of business. Here, we are ladies and gentlemen.”

I never (!!!) had to repeat this lesson twice. If sixth-graders can figure this out, adults have no excuse.

The use of disgusting language is a form of bullying. You can’t win your argument with data, logic, reason and intelligence so you try to cow your opponent with filthy language. When you try that with me you will lose by default because I know you can’t reason with a pig. Therefore, I refuse to participate. Instead, I will treat you and your ideas for exactly what they are — emesis.

I am so (SO!!!) tired of people using the f-word like it is a mark of punctuation! I don’t allow the N-word to be used around me — ever. No lady allows the C-bomb to be used in her presence. So why should the owners of these foul banners, et al., think that I, or any other person of discernment, would want to be exposed to their jejune, impotent and insulting use of the f-word. I categorically (or incontrovertibly, or unreservedly — you get my point, there are better words out there) repudiate the lazy thinking that accompanies foul language.

Reject baseness; embrace quality; keep the faith.

Louise Butler is a retired educator and published author who lives in Edinburg. She writes for our Board of Contributors.

Louise Butler