Penalizing Profanity Promotes Use of It
Profane language is used once every six minutes on network television shows, every two minutes on premium cable shows, and every three minutes in major motion pictures, according to a new study by the Centre for Media and Public Affairs¹.
Upon learning this information, one would make the assumption that profanity is another common attribute to our daily lives, such as brushing our teeth. But what is profane language? Webster's dictionary defines it as being "the condition or quality of being profane - abusive, vulgar, or irreverent - and the use of such language." However, although society is being exposed to this "coarse" language repeatedly, many are still being penalized for using it in…show more content… Why? Because of the Toronto District School Board's "Zero Tolerance" ². However, the usage of tobacco and alcohol is also liable to a 20-day suspension. Whether this was intended for or not, the TDSB is promoting the image that usage of profane language is equivalent to that of tobacco and alcohol. Its guidelines state that "The Toronto District School Board is committed to providing a safe learning and working environment for all students, staff and visitors to our schools". This statement leads one to believe that the TDSB's mission is to keep its students safe by omitting and eliminating safety hazards. Does a "swearing" person generate a safety hazard? The clear answer is no.
Some people have taken the usage of profane language as far as legal punishment. During an incident in Standish, Michigan in August of 1998, a man was charged for using profane language, in accordance to a 104-year-old law, which "forbids cussing in front of women and children."³ The incident began when 24-year-old Timothy Boomer fell out of his canoe while heading down stream. As he flopped in the water, he began yelling in the direction of his friends, inadvertently using profanity as a means to attract their attention, as well as communicate urgency. Shortly following his outburst, his friends learned of three sheriff's deputies on the riverbank staring at them with binoculars. To their dismay, one of the deputies handed Boomer a misdemeanour citation. The charge: