Monday, April 03, 2006
Nearly three-quarters of Americans questioned last week - 74 percent - said they encounter profanity in public frequently or occasionally, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll.
Two-thirds said they think people swear more than they did 20 years ago.
And as for, well, the gold standard of foul words, a healthy 64 percent said they use the F-word - ranging from several times a day (8 percent) to a few times a year (15 percent).
Just ask Joe Cormack. Like any bartender, Cormack, of Fort Dodge, Iowa, hears a lot of talk. He's not really offended by bad language - heck, he uses it himself every day. But sometimes, a customer will unleash the F-word so many times, Cormack just has to jump in.
"Do you have any idea how many times you've just said that?" he reports saying from time to time. "I mean, if I take that out of your vocabulary, you've got nothin!'"
Yep. NOTHIN'. Hit the nail on the head.
For those who might find the results depressing, there's possibly a silver lining: Many of those who swear think it's wrong nonetheless.
Like Steven Price, a security guard in Tonawanda, N.Y., who admits to using swear words - including the F-word, several times a day - with colleagues or buddies, "like any old word."
Price, 31, still gets mad at himself for doing it, worries about the impact of profanity (especially from TV) on his children, and regrets the way things have evolved since he was a kid.
"As I get older, the more things change," says Price. "And I kind of wish they had stayed the same."