The question comes up periodically, because I have a tendency to call a spade a spade and a hoe a hoe. I don’t hesitate to use the language as it’s meant to be used, and I rarely back up when I select a word. Although, I do know how to use a thesaurus, and I’m familiar with the dictionary too.
However, when the question pops up as it occasionally does… I have an answer.
Nobody talks anymore.
There used to be talk around the dinner table, with parents asking questions, children answering, and discussion about anything that might be the topic. We chattered on for hours about the differences between men and women, and I would have been shocked to hear anyone mention anatomically correct, or incorrect parts over spaghetti and meatballs. But when push came to shove and we needed assistance, if Mom wasn’t available, we called Dad.
In the car, if we listened to music, we could have a conversation over the volume. And nobody’s lungs were vibrating to the tone of the bass. I learned that my grandmother didn’t refer to a male bovine as a bull, but rather called him an “animal” but a cow was still a cow. Feed for cattle was referred to as cow sandwiches, and processed feed was called a “Patty” but she still didn’t call a male bovine a bull. Life went on, and there were other lessons learned, through conversation.
In a rather pickling situation, on the shores of Lake Michigan, the beaches were covered with bikini clad figures, and Grandma turned her head. So did Granddad. We moved on, because naked women and men weren’t the objects of our interest there on the shores. A lighthouse further up the road had no beaches, but instead was welcomed by rocks and splashing waves. Propriety indicated it was a better place to visit the shore.
“F” bombs in my childhood years would have resulted in a nibble off the gritty bar of LAVA soap Dad washed his hands with when he came in from doing chores… And nobody wanted a bite of that!
Where did it go wrong? When did conversation stop? And how did the language become infiltrated with disgusting terminology that might have been better left in the barnyard, or better even… Left behind the barn?
Was it the invention of Television, when dinner hour became the hour of sit-coms and news? Or was it the Walkman, earplugs, and personal music devices? Why did we stop having road conversations, and talk around the dinner table?
When did those horrible words become the object of humor? And why? They aren’t funny!
Oh, I suppose there was a moment there, when crooners were lusting after babes in hot pants on television, and their glances were appealing, that some humor might have been wrought from the way a phrase implied something wrong. A bit of a hint, like the turn of an ankle visible just under the full crinoline skirts of a dashing southern belle, or the glimpse of a wink that came from a gentleman seeking company. But… more than a glimpse would have been too much.
Yet… We’re accosted frequently now by skin, words, language that would turn a sailor red on Friday night, and still…
From crooners singing about love, moonlight, dancing, romancing, to rappers slapping, crapping, and pounding vibrations, is that where innocence no longer hides?
Oh, I long for times of conversation. Days long past where words had real meaning, gentler, kinder inclinations, and life didn’t reverberate with hatred, meanness, and brutal disgusting actions. I long for voices where life is discussed, and love is shared.
I long for language that offers hope, friendship, and pleasant meanings. How about you?
Can we have that language here again?