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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The F word is used "a few times a week" by 32% of American men (and 23% of women), according to an AP poll released today. My wife and I are very careful not to use any profanity in the house. However, we did have a family discussion about "the F word" as a concept a few months ago. It started out this way: I burped while eating dinner. "Excuse me, " I said, adding "Better to have it come out of the attic than down in the basement." "What does that mean?" asked my younger son. "It means it's better to burp than fart," I said. Younger son dropped his fork and pointed at me. "Dad! You said the F word," he gasped. A lively discussion about flatulence and what constitutes so-called "four letter words" followed. I was secretely pleased that my younger son was ignorant of this term. We do all we can to protect the innocence of children. Unfortunately, profanity is all too common at the middle-school and high school level, so my teenager is cognizant of all of George Carlin's "seven little words." I'm proud to say he has never used any of them in my presence. The AP story quoted Judith Martin, "Miss Manners," as stating that profanity is increasing because the people who are offended "don't speak up about it." I agree. Families need to have a zero tolerance policy and enforce, in their homes and carpools. For more on the AP poll, see the story on Yahoo! News.

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