So not only did you teach me about writing memoir, you also taught me about reading and thinking about how others write memoir. Thank you so much!

p.s. my mom now refers to me as the family "chronicler" - getting down all the family stories. How I love that title!! :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Peer Pressure in a positive way

Tonight I heard a 15 year old boy, McKay Hatch, tell about his project to clean up the abominable language the kids are using in public these days. He started a No Cussing Club and challenged his friends to stop using profanity and vulgar language. He endured ridicule, nasty letters and even death threats because he stood up for his beliefs. He wrote a book and appeared on Jay Leno's show tonight. Jay was proud of this self-assured young man who is non-plused by those who oppose his efforts.
Being a writer and a communicator of my thoughts and ideas, I have been offended and appalled for many years at the pitiful denegration of vocabulary in this country.
I heard a man from Europe say he thought cussing was the normal way of speaking in this country because of the language in our movies. In his country mainstream citizens did not use such words, certainly not in public.
McKay Hatch said his peers thought they could not stop using profanity. It had become a habit and they hardly knew they were doing it. But he asked them, "Do you cuss in front of your mother?"
They said, "Oh, no."
Well, if they could stop when they were in the presence of their parents, they could certainly stop if they wanted.
Hatch said he also had to talk to his teachers about using profanity in class. To promote better language among the students, he had to persuade the teachers to join his No Cussing Club.
I learned years ago that profuse use of profanity in normal conversation showed an ignorance of vocabulary, ignorance of how to communicate. It is too bad that many feel they aren't considered "hip" "cool" or "in the know" if they don't spew bad language. I know some people use it simply for shock effect. Mothers curse their children. How sad to teach young children the offensive language that makes them appear ignorant and uncouth.
I grew up in a family where my father never used bad language in front of my mother or his daughters. If he used it elsewhere, I never knew it.
Sometime between my college days and today, the F word and worse seems to have become the norm. I have high hopes that the No Cussing Club by young Hatch will bring this to the attention of Hollywood. Top rated movies with excellent actors and actresses become not so pleasant to watch when every other word is profanity. As this young man says on his website: Learning to say no to cussing is a step toward saying no to drinking and drugs. I certainly wish him well. I just had to go to his site and leave a comment. His parents must be proud of him.
Posted by Glenda C. Beall at 12:50 AM 0 comments Links to this post


tipper said...

Wow what Hatch is trying to accomplish is wonderful! I'm upset by the way kids in school use profanity too-I swear I don't think it was as bad as it is now when I was in school. I hope he has a great success!

Kathryn Magendie said...

what a positive and inspiring young man!

Anonymous said...

My granddaddy used to say "Well, I'll be John Brown!" Then it was time to go elsewhere because you knew he was really angry. (Of course, he was never violent or mean to others, but he did frown and "tromp around" some when he was upset.)

Pat D.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...


How refreshing for this young gentleman to stand up for his beliefs. I like this profile very much.