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Lexiboost: “Billingsgate” Encouraging Self-Censorship

MP900382873 (small)LexiBoost Du Jour:

Billingsgate (n.): Coarsely abusive, foul, or profane language.

Walking down the street the other day, I heard the most creative and inappropriate string of expletives. I would explain the situation, but really it doesn’t matter. It could have been a mother reprimanding her child, or a female expressing her distaste to a male of interest, or friends simply hanging out. What really shocked me is how openly people seem to speak these days, with very little thought to those around them.Whatever happened to minding your manners? In every situation, in every setting, there seems to be a lack of decorum.

The very word is beginning to sound archaic as its use is quickly being phased out. Decorum seems to be a thing of the past.  People spew their own vile brand of billingsgate anywhere, anytime.

The March issue of Uptown Magazine featured an article by Star Jones, which I highly recommend everyone read. It provides testimony to what I’m saying. There seems to be no filter between people’s brains and their actions and speech. This would not be an issue if not for the ears and eyes of other people.

The question is do you know who’s in earshot? Do you know who is watching you?

Ms. Jone’s point is that bad behavior seems to be rewarded these days, and in some situations that’s true. But, there’s an old saying, “Be careful the toes you step on today–they might be attached to the backside you have to kiss tomorrow.” Now I am not a proponent of obsequious behavior, but you get the image. Offending someone today, even unintentionally through behavior rather than malice, may have serious repercussions in the future. We have seen it already with the censuring and firing of  a rash of people based on their Twitter posts and Facebook profiles. You may think you have a right to free speech–and you do–but it does not negate anyone’s rights to enforce company policy or personal convictions.

The next time your mouth forms around that obscenity in a public space, just stop to think–Do you need your job? Do you want that promotion? Because the truth is words matter. Deportment matters. Decorum matters. And people are listening.

Quick Tips: All social media have privacy options and policies. Use them! Make your profiles private or semi-private such that you can enjoy the full freedom to express yourself to your actual friends, while preserving a facade of propriety for the rest of the world.

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