Friday, August 18, 2006

Paul's "Going Pro" response
Thanks for this post, Macon. It made me think about my 35 years as a lawyer, practicing mostly with firms, dealing other lawyers, judges, accountants, other professionals, business people, lay people, and the dearth of profanity I have heard. In most of these relationships, when we communicated it was purposeful, we were attempting to say something important. Profanity simply had no use, and has no use.

As I made my way through all of those relationships over the years, meeting new people, some potential allies, some potential adversaries, some perhaps very intelligent, some perhaps not, some truthful and some lying, I always looked for "tags", for clues as to character. Language was a big item, and someone's use of profanity always got my attention, my antenna went way up, and the question was "What's going on here?" And often either nothing was going on, in which case I was wasting my time, or something was goning on that demanded my more focused attention.

I spend a lot of time in public transportation, riding MetroRail almost every working day and the PeopleMover. There is a dearth of profanity among the people with whom I ride, black, white, Latin, non-Latin. As I think about when I have heard it recently, I recall young (twenties), well dressed men on the PeopleMover; vagrants; and some little black kids, urchins really, who are obviously, probably chronically, without adult supervision, and who annoy everyone else, black and white.

I like your philosophy of language, Macon, and I affirm it.
He made these comments in the "comments" section, and since they spurred my further thinking, I thought I'd re-post them here. Especially that last sentence. Clearly, he is a man of brilliant insight.

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