Thursday, July 10, 2008

What the Bleep?!!???

During lunch today I heard a radio commercial that has been playing an awful lot lately. It utilizes a series of bleeps, buzzes and other audio dingbats to replace words that cannot otherwise air on broadcast television or radio. I am pretty certain the advertisers and the executives that developed this ad were pretty proud of themselves. At the risk of sounding a little prude, I found the bleeps to be more offensive than had they actually utilized the real words. Seriously, what is so cute about substitute words or sounds?

I am not someone who can actually judge others for their choice of words. I have tried in recent years to clean up my language but I have not always been as particular about the words I choose to speak. A few years ago, when I decided to clean things up, I remembered something my grandfather once told me, which at the time went in one ear and out the other.

Speaking on profanity, Grandpa said, “you communicate nothing more clearly than your own ignorance.”

I have to say, I cannot agree more heartily with his statement. Why is profanity becoming more acceptable today? As it is, you cannot hardly go a hour without hearing the Lord's name taken in vain. Exclamations that express absolutely nothing more than frustration or strong dissent are offensive and add absolutely nothing of worth to a conversation.

The commercial. A young man enters a store and after the clerk responds that the item he seeks is out of stock, replies with a series of bleeps that allow the first letter of each obscenity to be heard. It certainly doesn't take a lot of imagination to understand what words are being covered up. It is no less offensive either. In fact, I think it more offensive. Do they really think they are pulling the wool over someone's eyes?

Profanity and the replacement sounds and words all communicate the same thing. My grandfather, he was right.
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