I HAVE often thought that excessive use of bad language displays a lack of vocabulary. Unless I’m watching football on TV.
But, at least, in those circumstances, I am alone in my front room, away from the public. I’m even away from my wife, Maria, who evacuates the ground floor and prefers to watch Come Dine With Me in the bedroom.
But I do not approve of bad language in the street or public places.
It used to be that it might offend women and young children, but quite often these days, women and young children are among those who are using it.
Try walking through any town on a Saturday and not be offended. Any village, even.
“You want to travel by bus,” Maria told me. “It’s worse then because you’re trapped with it.”
The other day I followed a young man through town who had a mobile phone to his ear.
He was dominating the conversation in a voice so loud that it rendered his need of such a device redundant. You could hear him in Dewsbury. Not surprisingly, every other word was not flipping heck.
So I applaud the actions of the good people of the small Massachusetts town of Middleborough, population 20,000, who have voted against bad language.
Anyone henceforth heard using obscene language in a public place could be handed a $20 fine by the town police.
Why can’t we have a similar law in England?
Bad language in public used to be an offence under the public order act until a High Court judge ruled last year that expletives are in such common usage they no longer cause distress.
Well, they do to me, if only on grounds of lack of vocabulary. There are far more descriptive adjectives and far more cutting ways to hurl an insult than resorting to the usual four letter single syllable words.
We should have language police on the streets ready to impose fines, withdraw alcohol rights for 14 days at a time and send culprits to night school to learn a better use of the English language.
If this doesn’t work, persistent users of obscenities could be sent to a closed prison for six months. In Effingham.