Adult? Language

Adult? LanguageI must have missed the memo so can someone tell me when what once was, and still is for me, vulgar and even obscene language evolved to become adult language?

I am an adult too

I have been an adult for many years myself and I choose to not use what is now commonly categorized as adult language. Does that mean I no longer qualify to be an adult? Am I being childish?

Since I have chosen to publish this blog I guess I am wondering if there is anyone else out there who feels the same way I do or am I just really peculiar or weird or the exception to the rule. I don’t mind being an exception and actually make an effort in this direction most of the time but things like this that just become “normal” and accepted because everyone is doing it often cause me to think…and sometimes write.

Offensive to me

I find it offensive. I am not talking about the language that is now supposedly “adult” but the implication by that label that all or most adults speak that way so it must now be called “adult language.” I do not accept that premise and believe it is rather childish and shows a lack of vocabulary or a choice to not use their vocabulary by the speaker.

I do understand that being offended is my choice as it is for anyone and is based on their beliefs and understanding. Like most things in life there are exceptions to this when someone is making a conscious effort to offend someone but that is not what I am talking about here.

I have no problem with the people who choose to use this “adult language” other than just my general dislike of the language.  Until the freedom of speech is taken away from us, we all do still have free speech in this country. Everyone has the right to use the language they choose to use. That doesn’t mean I have to like the language anyone else uses or they have to like the words I choose to use. As long as we are not harming, threatening harm, or impeding on any of our other God-given rights we are still free to choose.

On a side note, this freedom, along with many of our other freedoms, are being eroded every day but that is another subject for another day.

The type of language anyone uses is still a choice that any individual can and does make every day.

Repetition does not make it so…or does it?

I find it offensive that language that was once vulgar and uncommon as everyday language has now become categorized and accepted as “adult”. I am an adult and that label offends me as it should any other adult who shares my perspective. According to Merriam-Webster adult means “fully developed and mature”. It does go on to say “dealing with explicitly sexual material” and uses adult book stores and adult movies as examples. I do understand that words in use do become colloquialized and evolve to have new meanings. Google was once just a noun, a name of a search engine, and now it is a verb too. Google it if you don’t believe me.

I guess I am just old-fashioned but I believe that many adult movies and adult books do not contain explicitly sexual material so is categorizing them as adult, in the same group as those that do contain explicitly sexual material really the best description or the best use of the language?

Confused

I was registering for a bulletin board site just yesterday and part of the rules for this board stated, “By agreeing to these rules, you warrant that you will not post any messages that are obscene, vulgar, sexually-oriented, hateful, threatening, or otherwise violative of any laws.”

Why didn’t they just say, “Do not use ‘adult’ language.”? I am confused.

Questions

I don’t propose to have any or all “the” answers but I do have a lot of questions and this is just one of many. This is nothing new for me. I get these questions in my head all the time. I am just writing some of them down now. My hope is that some of these questions might make you, the reader, think or look at a subject from a different perspective too. Another hope is that I can learn something new too as there is always more to learn.

Any Thoughts?

If you have a thought on the subject I would love to hear it. Let me know in the comments. Please do use adult language in your comments and do not post any messages that are obscene, vulgar, sexually-oriented, hateful, or threatening. While freedom of speech is still allowed in our country it is up to the blogger as to what is allowed on his or her site and if you have read this far you know what that means for this blog.

Until next time…

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Awesome!

That word is often used to describe everything from your most recent meal to the creator of the universe. That covers a lot of ground.

I have had issues with using that word for some time ever since hearing the song “Awesome God” written and released first by Rich Mullins and then covered or released by every other contemporary Christian artist on the planet, or at least it seemed that way.

Here is the issue as I viewed it. If “Our God is an awesome God” as the song states, then anything or any other person described with the word awesome I was now comparing to God. It made sense to me and I even taught, or tried to teach, my children the same thing, to be judicious in the use of the word awesome.

I do think the word is over-used which negates its effectiveness as an adjective that really means anything. If everything is awesome then awesome becomes average and the word does not really maintain its original meaning.

I was really giving the word awesome too much weight or credit. When you really think about it there is no word we, as humans, can create or use that will adequately describe God. To think that we can come up with such a word is giving ourselves way too much credit.

God is God. (period)

What has caused me to rethink my legalistic view and use of awesome is a book I just finished reading. The book is Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that MattersOn the cover of this book is a toggle switch with Average on one side and awesome on the other. You can see this in the image below, the sidebar or at the link above.

START Cover

How did I get to read a book before it was released?

A little background is necessary here to catch you up on how I came to have the privilege of reading this book as it is not due to be released until Monday.

I have been a Jon Acuff fan since listening to his audio book Stuff Christians Like on a road trip to Tuscaloosa a couple of years ago. I was in tears due to laughing so much. Since then I have also listened to the audio version of Quitter. My wife and daughter went to the inaugural Quitter Conference in Nashville and I think that did play a part in my daughter changing jobs and getting her dream job at Walt Disney World.

I followed Jon on twitterFacebook and his blog and have seen his stature as an author, speaker, and a genuine “good guy” continue to rise. Due to those connections I was asked to join the START Book Launch Team. After contemplating that request for about half a second I responded and was selected to be a member of this team. That is how I was given the opportunity to read this book before the official release date and I am grateful for that opportunity. It has allowed me to connect with many other Jon Acuff fans and bloggers similar to me.

Everybody has them

You will learn or be reminded that fear and doubt are common hurdles that everyone faces when they decide to start working on their dream. Jon describes how they work together to foil your plans and what you can do to jump those hurdles or just knock them down and walk over them. In his words he exhorts you to “punch fear in the face.”

He uses his own brand of humor, which, apparently is a lot like mine because I really enjoy it. Where else will you read about wiffleball CSI, Ferretopia, corncob pipe whittling, and being a presentist? I am confident the only place you will find these mentioned is in START. Those words have no suggestions in my spell checker either.

It IS up to YOU

Jon’s premise that he supports very well is that there are five stages every awesome life goes through but the timing of when one goes through these stages has changed and no longer need to be defined by one’s age. The timing is defined by you and the choices you make.  These stages are learning, editing, mastering, harvesting, and guiding. You will learn what these stages include and how to determine exactly what stage you are in now and what you need to do in order to move to the next stage for you.

“The greatest way to ensure you fail at something new is to attempt to be an expert at it on day one.”

That statement has encouraged me in writing this blog. I know it is a long way from being awesome, but I started this blog in order to practice and improve my writing skills and the fact that I am continuing is awesome for me.

Help others

So, I have lightened up on myself and my legalistic view of awesome and have a new perspective on what that word means to me. If you are reading this and would like to  explore finding your own awesome and make an intentional change from the average path you are on, if that applies to you, then make a very small investment in your future that just might help set you on your own path to awesome.

If this does help even one person then I have followed another of the principles of START that says,

“If you want help for your dream, start by helping someone else with their dream. If you want support for your hope, start by giving support to someone else’s hope. If you want encouragement as you work on your calling, start by encouraging other people. Giving support is often the best way to get it.”

I will be giving you help, support, and encouragement as well as Jon with the sale of one more book.

Bold, or maybe not so bold prediction

That last principle reminds me of one I learned from Zig Ziglar which says, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” I mention that here because I think Jon Acuff is worthy of being mentioned as being in the same mold as Zig Ziglar. I know there will never be another Zig Ziglar but Jon reminds me of Zig in many different ways such as his writing, sense of humor, and character. I believe he is on course to helping many many people in his career with his books and speaking just as Zig did. In fact I expect that to happen so remember you heard it here first.

I urge you to begin your journey to awesome today. Get START to help you punch fear in the face and flip that switch from average to awesome.

In case I didn’t make it clear above let me state it plainly here, I think START is awesome!

Until next time…

Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 04/21/2013

The Masters…A Tradition Now Like Many Others

Whether you are a golfer or golf fan if you watch TV in March and early April every year you have probably seen commercial for The Masters, the first of the 4 major professional golf tournaments every year hosted and played at The Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. The tag line CBS uses for these ads is, “The Masters, a tradition unlike any other.”

Golf, A Game Like No Other

I have been a golfer and continue to be a fan of golf, the game and many of those who play it. I marvel at the skills they display and the game of golf itself is like no other. The tournaments are contested on different courses each week and the professional golfers depend on their own skills, work ethic, character, and mental toughness. Golfers pay close attention to the rules of the game and often call penalties on themselves even when no one else might have seen the infraction. They also hold their playing partners to the highest standard and can call attention to a rule infraction by their playing partners in order to protect the field. All of these factors determine how successful any golfer is or is not on the PGA Tour. Those are some of the primary reasons I love the game, the golfer is dependent on himself for success or failure and himself or herself alone and the character normally displayed is not common any more in today’s society.

A Tradition For Me

The Masters every April has always been my favorite tournament of the year and it has been a tradition for me to watch The Masters on Sunday afternoon every year for the past 40 years. I have not missed very many. Ask my family. Our children have grown up watching it and we have been there to practice rounds a couple of times. Augusta National is a beautiful place, one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Look back at Abstract or just a different perspective? if you want to see more thoughts on Augusta National.

That is another reason I love golf. It is played on some of the most beautiful places in the world. Augusta National is the top of that list for me and millions of others. The Masters always marks the official beginning of spring for me. I think I can speak intelligently about the subject as I am somewhat familiar with it.

All that to say, what I am about to say about what The Masters did today is hard for me to say but it has so affected me I cannot not say it.

Bobby Jones and The Masters

Bobby Jones along with Clifford Roberts founded The Masters and was known for his integrity while playing the game and in his life after retiring from competitive golf at the age of 28. He was an amateur and played the game because he loved the game. He once saw his ball move, after addressing it, a rules violation, and called a penalty on himself. No one else saw the infraction and even the official recommended he not call the penalty because no one else had seen it. He did call the penalty on himself because he said he would know he saw it move and it was an infraction. This happened during The U.S. Open, another of the four major tournaments each year, and that one stroke caused him to tie for the tournament lead at the end of regulation and he eventually lost the tournament in a playoff.

There are many other instances such as this throughout the history of golf and this integrity of the game is one of the reasons I love it and sets golf apart from many other sports I believe.

Fast Forward to Today, April 13, 2013

Yesterday, during the second round of The Masters, Tiger Woods, one of the best golfers of all time, committed an infraction on the 15th hole. This was seen by millions of people and was clearly a violation of the rule. He made an illegal drop in his words, “I went back to where I played it from,” Woods said, “but I went 2 yards further back and I took, tried to take 2 yards off the shot of what I felt I hit.”  Rule 26-1 is the rule in question. Since he signed his scorecard for a 6 on this hole instead of a 7 he signed an incorrect scorecard and should be disqualified.

The Masters Rules committee said they saw the drop and did not think it was a rule violation, a sad commentary on the rules committee, and did not mention this to Tiger then or when he finished his round before he signed his scorecard. Apparently a television viewer or viewers called in to say Tiger had violated the rules so they then decided to review the issue.

It is the player’s responsibility to know the rules of the game and abide by the rules. If they have a question about any of the rules there is always an official either with their group or one can be summoned to answer any question they have about a rule or situation. Tiger did not ask for help from an official. It is irrelevant whether Tiger thought he was breaking a rule or not. Ignorance of the rule does not imply you do not have to abide by it. If that was the case then all golfers would just plead ignorance when a rule violation was in question.

Review Not Handled Like All Others

Normally, when there is a question about a rule, an official is asked to make a ruling, the ruling is made and play continues. This is normally done before the player signs his scorecard. This did not happen Friday with this situation. Instead, the rules committee apparently had to think about the implications of this issue overnight as they did not summon Tiger to discuss this until Saturday morning. This is one of the reasons I am disappointed with The Masters. They have always been above reproach when it comes to their tradition and the rules of the game in keeping with the spirit of the founder of the tournament Bobby Jones.

Tiger Woods had several hours after this meeting with the rules committee to consider doing the honorable and right thing by disqualifying himself but chose not to. He could have gained much respect and many new fans and possibly more self-respect if he had and would not have his career marked with this asterisk and have “the Tiger rule” follow him around the rest of his career. I did not really expect him to do this but was hoping he might surprise me and the rest of the golfing world.

A Stroke of Preference

This mystique and standard was breached today with this ruling in much the same manner as Kobe Bryant or LeBron James do not get called for fouls that other, non-marquee players do get called for in basketball. Special treatment for Tiger Woods was given today as I have no doubt that if this was any other participant in the tournament this week disqualification would have been the result and it would have been handled Friday night and not Saturday morning. The reasons that seem obvious to me are TV rating and dollars. I never thought The Masters would lower itself to this level but since they have their tag line for me will be, “The Masters, a tradition like many others” and that is sad for me.

Breaking A 40 Year Tradition is Hard

So I will be breaking a 40 year tradition for me tomorrow afternoon. I will not be watching The Masters while Tiger Woods is still playing as I do not want my TV to be counted among the numbers that make up the ratings for the telecast and I want my integrity to remain intact. I cannot condemn their actions and then watch anyway. That would be hypocritical. I know my boycott will not make any difference to CBS or The Masters but it will make a difference for me. It will be hard, as breaking any tradition that has lasted 40 years would be.

After he is done I will probably watch the end of the tournament. I can’t say for sure right now what I will do next year. I do know Augusta National is still one of the most beautiful places on earth and I would like to visit again. I have a daughter and son-in-law who live in Augusta so I have another reason to visit as well. However, as with people, any time credibility is lost it is hard for it to be regained, if it ever is, and it does take time. That will be true of The Masters for me. They no longer hold the highest level of honor and credibility they did Thursday for me. I hope that does return but it will take some time if it does.

Until then, The Masters has now become a tradition like many others, a sad day for golf.

Maybe I will watch, Bobby Jones, A Stroke of Genius to remind me of the integrity of the man who started this tournament. Maybe The Masters Rules Committee and Tiger Woods should re-watch this too.

Those are my thoughts on the subject. I would love to hear yours in the comments.

Until next time…

Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 04/13/2013