Character glows in the dark. Give yourself a good name. Ad for Heineken beer
Oh, how I wish I had thought up that quote! It’s an effective double meaning—the quality of a good beer, like human character, shines. Character is highly noticeable, particularly because it seems to be markedly diminished in this day and age. It honestly seems that a majority of people don’t care how they act, as though this is some badge of glorious autonomy—proudly not caring what others think,waving their own flag of independence. (Interesting how they insist they don’t care what other people think of them, but they want to be sure everybody thinks of them as free from concerns of being thought of.) Let’s just take some small indication of the erosion of character . . . hmmm . . . how about what used to be called cussin’ and swearin’ but is now referred to as expletives, dissing, or (being specific) dropping the f-bomb.
People who have a command of language can express themselves without expletives, because they know other effective words. To say something is "f-ing great" is not going to convey an event or a moment was "spectacular," "astonishing," "beyond my ability to comprehend what was going on." (Lose "awesome." It's so overused it now means the same thing as "fine.") Drop the f-bomb and you sound crass, which means gross, obtuse, and stupid. Unable to complete a sentence without vulgarity? You're in danger of sounding uneducated and perceived as unmannered. Those who write for television absolutely love to throw around all they can get away with. I had to stop watching a favorite show because every sentence had the word sh** in it. Why? It didn't add to the drama at all. "Son-of-a-b****" is the favorite expletive of TV show writers. It teaches everyone how okay it is to sound like a truck driver (my apologies to truck drivers who know how to speak).
Isn’t anybody bored with it? It’s like celebrities who love to tell us how different and special they are because they are sexually more free than the rest of the universe and, oh yeah, they think the naked body is beautiful, particularly theirs. They think they set themselves apart by saying, “I like to push the envelope.” No kidding—just like everyone around you who also pushes the envelope. Here’s a press release: to really stand out as unique, be a respectful, thoughtful, polite, interesting, non-self-absorbed, quietly charitable person. Who doesn’t cuss or swear or drop bombs. And combs his or her hair for interviews. That would be so different it would be almost unbelievable. Reporters would fall all over themselves trying to get to the bottom of such envelope-pushing behavior. What publicity that would be for a celebrity or two! They would practically glow in the dark.