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Published:April 10th, 2007 10:19 EST
Knock Off the Blankety-Blank Dirty Talk

Knock Off the Blankety-Blank Dirty Talk

By Terry Sumerlin (Mentor/Columnist)

J.B., my uncle who has barbered 60 years, and I once discussed changes in barbering generally and at J.B.’s Barber Shop in particular. He said that one of the things he had noticed was that barbershop talk is now much cleaner than it was when he started. He thought this might be due to the increasing number of female barbers, as well as ladies who come in with their husbands or bring in their children.

At any rate, J.B. thought there aren't as many dirty jokes being told or as much filthy language used. If this is true, then the barbershop is about the only place where language has improved. It surely hasn’t in most sectors of society.

Once, in a bookstore, I saw a book with the “f" word in the title. I don’t know if the author was striving for a shock effect or what his intentions were. I did notice, however, that the writer was some sort of theologian. I was thoroughly disgusted!

Since this is a business, rather than religious column, I’ll refrain from moralizing. On the other hand, there are some practical matters that merit consideration.

There are still many in the business world (and society at large) of the opinion that rather limited minds and small vocabularies are in evidence where there’s the presence of vulgar and profane speech. Rarely does it serve as a recommendation of anyone.

For instance, never does a daddy say he wants his daughter to date a certain boy because he tells such filthy stories or because he’s such a good cusser. Nor does a group hire a speaker because he tells nasty jokes. Rather, they want to know if stories that might be told are suitable for any group.

Dirty, profane language is often a liability, and when I hear it I'm thankful I had parents who didn’t even allow me to say “golly" or “gosh." Old fashioned? I guess so. But, as an adult, it has made it easier for me to talk like a person with some decency and self-respect. Also, not having to work on cleaning up my speech I’m left with more time to work on other habits that need replaced.

BARBER-OSOPHY: Make sure your speech is an asset – not a liability.

Revised from Barber-osophy – Shear Success for Your Cutting Edge, Copyright @ 1997 Terry L. Sumerlin

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