Are we beginning to censor things too much? I admit that when I hear young people around me using profanity as common language, it makes me cringe. Who determines what is profane and what isn’t? So much street language now can mean so many different things.
I remember when “bad” actually meant bad and not good, but only when it is used in certain situations. My students used to really have a hard time when we read books that said someone was happy by using the word “gay”. And if the word “breast” was in a story, the boys practically fell out of their chairs.
I attended Furman University to get my degree in teaching and at football games, the President of the university would get up in front of the stands and yell, “FU one time, FU two times, FU three times, FU alllllllllllllll the time!” Would he banned today from doing that?
What about words that people use for different body parts but are innocuous if used in other ways? I used to allow my students to use the word “butt” in my room rather than the other alternative but they would tell me that they got a detention from another teacher for using it in that classroom. I explained to them that some teachers had different feelings about words that offended them and this was a lesson in real life. When they got out into the real world, they needed to watch their language closely.
But when we start reading too much into this and trying to stop people from using words that might offend someone, aren’t we becoming too controlling? Are we overreacting? If we start banning words, what words will we have left? Will we have to describe something rather than using the actual word? And what if one of the words in the description is considered profane? My students had a hard enough time with expressing themselves appropriately but I hate to think of what will happen if we start trying to censor all of their words.
What do you think? Should this vanity plate be allowed? What message does this give to our students?
Original image: 'Cheesecake' http://www.flickr.com/photos/33529090@N00/678296933by: John Abell