The Goody Two Shoes State?

Graphic credit: Atlantic Cities
Graphic credit: Atlantic Cities

I was raised in a family in which profanity was non-existent. The worst word I ever heard my Naval-officer father use was “crap,” and that was only once. As a Baby Boomer, I learned at school to swear some time around the 4th grade (never under-estimate the value of a private-school education), cussed like a pirate in college, and since then, as an adult, have tried to rein in my use of foul language — although I do cuss a blue streak when I’ve lost my keys. I raised my children not to curse, which they manage not to do in my presence… although my adult daughters confess to using language, when in the company of their friends, that would make a drill sergeant blush.

What can I say? I’m old fashioned. I find cursing (even when I do it) to be vulgar, discourteous and intellectually lazy. (If you want to insult someone, do so with creativity and panache, not with garden-variety obscenities.) I’d rather live in a world free from cursing, just as I’d prefer to live in the world free from the “N” word or other racial and ethnic epithets.

Thus, I find it gratifying that in a recent study of telephone manners, Virginians were the 5th least likely to resort to profanity. According to Atlantic Cities, the data was compiled by the Marchex Institute on the basis of 600,000 phone calls over the past 12 months placed by consumers to businesses across 30 industries.

The most obscenity-free state? Washington, where people wore in one out of 300 conversation. The Most profane? Ohio, in which people swore in about one in 150 phone conversations. I can’t help but notice that our friends across the Potomac, in Maryland, rank as the second most profane state.

The good news is that even in Ohio, in 149 out of 150 phone conversations, people did not swear. Frankly, that’s about 30 times better than contemporary American cinema and much of American television programming!


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4 responses to “The Goody Two Shoes State?”

  1. I normally don’t answer the phone when caller ID suggests its a telemarketer, who have kept on calling despite the ban or one of the zillions of private fundraisers for this that and the other police/fire/military groups. They get about 5-10 cents on the dollar. But once and a while I answer these calls and tell them to add me to their do-not-call list. When they still try to solicit a donation, I curse them out. It makes me feel good.

    BTW, an FTC attorney told me that the Agency thinks the Rachel from Credit Card Services calls are still being made from Mexico. Just hang up on them so they cannot confirm your phone number is real.

  2. Any number that does now show up as an ID I know – goes to answer machine.

    I get right back to those that I need to and the others can go straight to H E Double LL

  3. reed fawell III Avatar
    reed fawell III

    Habits, good or bad, are self fulfilling.

  4. folks who get robocalls may find this useful:

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