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Scott Underwood
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I can't agree with that first comment. Unceasing profanity might show you have a bad habit and a limited vocabulary, but never swearing deprives your speech of a small list of rich and effective tools. Making sweeping judgments about people who use swear words is not sharp thinking itself, and in some circumstances will lead you to underestimate the speaker. (Which might be exactly the effect they seek -- consider the profane, good ol' boy politician who hopes his opponents consider him a dumb hick.) Following #3, swearing on rare occasions for strategic value, can be an excellent sign of self-control, and I have definitely used it to make a point stronger on occasion.
I went to Sam Wo's with a small group once, it must have been in 1982. Ford pointed to a booth that still hadn't been cleaned of plates, etc., got mad when we hesitated, and made us stand and watch the busboys clear it. Then, as we were sliding in (giving my date a squeeze) he loudly asked, "What you want?" When we asked for menus, he went to get them, then slammed a pad and pencil down, saying, "Write down your order. And add it up!" We were all laughing, and it really just seemed like a performance, though he never broke character. The other waiter was named Leaky Pan, as I remember. On the other hand, Zeitgeist's people definitely have it in for the clueless and unready. Do not whine to the cook, do not order a cosmopolitan, and generally try to be prepared with your order and your money. Get a beer, a whiskey, or one of their excellent Bloody Marys, and get out of the way.
Scott Underwood is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 30, 2010