Wednesday, April 27, 2011

1968 Editorial on Swearing

An interesting editorial caught my eye that was published in The Fowlerville Review in 1968. It follows:

I was thoroughly ashamed last Saturday evening when, at approximately 9:45 pm, it was necessary for me to come to the business district and I heard the language being used by three teenagers on the streets of this village.

There were two boys and a girl in the first block east of the traffic light on the north side of Grand River Avenue and apparently they were engaged in a small snowball fight when one boy was struck by some of the snow. The language that he cut loose with was not fit to be heard by man nor beast and yet this adolescent was shouting it to the top of his lungs.

Apparently the other youths deemed this hilarious and as they laughed the youth with the foul mouth shouted more and louder.

I do not know the names of these young persons engaged in the activity, but apparently they have no self respect let alone any respect for other persons on the street or even in their homes in the area.

The police on duty told the children to go to their homes. I don't believe that this is the remedy for the situation although it was all that was in their power to do as they did not actually hear the horrible language that was being used. They were just summoned to the scene.

I have wished since this happened that I had found out the names of these persons involvked so that the parents could be informed of what was going on. I just can't believe that the apathy of the parents of today could extend so far as to let this type of thing go on.

Interestingly enough, in 1899, the following article was found in The Fowlerville Review:

It may not be generally known that there is a law on the statute books of Michigan making the offence of swearing in the presence of ladies or children a criminal offence. Ignorance of the law excuses no man and while it might seem unjust to one who was ignorant of such a wholesome statute, were he arrested and made to pay a sharp penalty for its infraction, yet there is no excuse for any person to do violence to his manhood and lower himself to the extent of not being a gentleman by the use of profanity and vulgar talk in the presence of ladies and children on the street or his family at home.

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