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MADISON, Wis. -- Cursing. Are you sick of hearing it? Granted, the Constitutional right to "free speech" is for the non-religious and religious alike, but let's face it: all ways of speaking are not equally noble.

In this article, I would like each of us (including myself) to consider a higher degree of verbal honor. I hope to challenge our proud and profes¬sional warriors with some practical reasons not to curse:

·Cursing is unprofessional
·It reflects poorly on you, the unit, the wing, and the coun¬try
·It is rude and offensive
·It exhibits limited vocabulary
·It turns off a potential/actual life-long mate
·It is verbal abuse and belittles the listener
·It sets a poor example for subordinates
·It potentially exposes personal anger, powerlessness and frustration and could call leadership qualities into question

The word "vulgar" comes from the Latin vulgaris/vulgus meaning "the common people." Synonyms for vulgar include "inferior, lower-class, low-life." Stop and think a minute. Will you stand out above your peers if your undisciplined speech is as coarse and morally crude as the next guy? If you think cursing speaks in favor of your next promotion, try using it in your next performance report!

Think about Core Values a minute. How can you use the F-bomb with integrity or in actual service (to others) before self and with excel¬lence in all you do? Using it once contradicts all three.

Think about the Airman's Creed. What is so "faithful to a proud heritage, a tradition of honor and a legacy of valor" in cursing? It is well known our first Commander in Chief, General George Washington, did not allow it among his ranks. He said, "The foolish and wicked practice of profane curs¬ing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it." Granted, General Patton allowed it but didn't his lack of verbal constraint foreshadow an instance of lack of physical constraint? Pardon the pun, but our words "speak" of our self-control and "tell" of the lack thereof.

Finally, for those of you who are open to hearing spiritual reasons from America's richly meaningful Judeo-Christian heritage, consider this. Of the 600-plus commandments of God in the Bible, only ten are in the "Top Ten List" (the Ten Commandments) and even they are ranked in a particular order. In no less than third, God tells Moses, "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain."

As an Airman who all too often talks crudely, I struggle with this. James 3:8-10 puts the impossibility of perfection before us when he writes, "No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be." None of us "can tame the tongue" but rather than following this with "so why even try" he maintains God's standard -- "Cursing... should not be."

For the sake of Him who made the tongue and for every lesser reason, may we call each other to a higher degree of verbal honor.
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