Thursday, 6 January 2011

On Profanity.

A couple of days ago, as I was queuing at the cashier counter in Carrefour, the lady in front of me, all of a sudden exclaimed (in a voice, that was so loud, I think everyone in Carrefour heard it) to the guy manning the cash register, "F**K! Dia ambik trolley I." while she pointed to another guy who was mindlessly pushing an empty trolley away to the opposite direction, most probably unaware of the whole brouhaha he was causing.

A number of heads turned to look at the source of the commotion. The cashier, in response looked taken aback and so did I , I think.

Call me a prude, but for a moment there, I was too shock to even move because of that little outburst.

Just to make it clear to you, that was not my first encounter with profanity,but maybe I didn't expect it from someone like her. This woman seemed poised, classy at first. She was wearing tudung and looked like one of those... wanita melayu terakhir, that was, until she cursed. After that, my impression of her changed.It then occured to me, that to openly use profanity does not make us look cool like some people seem to think, it drags us down to classless. More so, if you are a lady.

I don't want to be all preachy here. Sometimes I do curse, especially when there's no one around (I think many of us do this) , but I can't remember the last time I did it openly, especially now that I am a mother ( Lagi nampak buruk...). I guess there is a time, place and occasion for everything and while filthy language is acceptable in the bedroom or in private conversations between close friends, there are other places where it just isn't.

Okay, so maybe the aforementioned lady had a bad day, and had reached her boiling point when the trolley was taken from her. I think we can all relate to that. Since I don't know her, I'll give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she would not have dropped the f bomb had her day went well. But what about those who constantly swear. So much so that each of their sentence seems to be interlaced with curses.

This takes me back to a couple of years ago, when I was at klcc. I went to the ladies where I stumbled upon a group of teenage girls, who were all hogging the mirror, adjusting their heavily applied makeup and chatting to each other at the same time. Mind you, their extremely skimpy attires and the horrendous makeup were not as disturbing as their language. I'll just spare you the details but suffice it to say that the swearing would make even sailors blush. Judging from the constant usage of bad words, it's as if they were scared that the message they were trying to convey would be lost if dirty words were not included in the conversation. And they were so loud that a few ladies (and even a few small kids) were already throwing disapproving looks at them, which of course were ignored.

I don't know what everyone else thinks, but to me, the only real message these girls were trying to send across was "look at me, I know a lot of bad words, I'm cool."


  1. Guilty. I don't cuss but I cuss a lot when I'm stressed with work. No F words, but i fudge them. It's one of the Improvement projects that I'm working...cussing less. Hehehe. Would you believe I picked this up at work?

    I do agree that kids these days think that cussing is a right of passage. I have cousins who cuss with F words in every other sentence as their status update. Kena tegur pun bole defend diri sendiri. Shame.

  2. hi julie, nice blog u hv here.. really want to follow yr blog, but i couldnt find the follower widget hehe.. anyway thanks for dropping by my blog.. keep blogging and have a nice weekend.. :)

  3. Sorry, I cuss sometimes. Think it's all the time I spent in America :) But I agree with you. It doesn't sound 'cool'.

    And I hate you :) You still have Carrefour. They're closing them down here in Bangkok and it's the only halfway decent supermarket. Now we're going to be stuck with only Thai-style supermarkets. So sad :(

    BTW,I just realized you're in KL. I LOVE KL. It's my second favorite city next to Bangkok. I'm usually there on short trips every 3 months or so. Wonderful city, incredibly nice people.