I read this morning that the BBC received 400 complaints about swearing during the Live 8 broadcast at the weekend. Apparently, to put this in context, they receive 500 complaints if Eastenders starts five minutes late, so I suppose that makes it okay. Maybe I’m a prudish 34 year old, but I don’t like to hear swearing before the 21:00 watershed. After that, anything goes as far as I am concerned; I may not like it, but I accept it. I moderate my language according to my audience; if I am with friends, I will occasionally use colourful language: I will not at home in front of my children. Maybe that makes me a hypocrite, but I think that the ability to modify your behaviour according to your audience is just common courtesy.
I understand the argument of smashing the taboo of swearing, and if we, as a society are prepared to accept that, I’ll go along with it. When I know, with confidence, that my daughters can go into any public building and swear without anyone batting an eyelid, I’ll accept it. As it is, my 7 year old and 3 year old heard the F*** word four times during a concert I wanted them to see. If they now go on to repeat that word quite innocently in school or nursery, I expect they would be reprimanded – hardly fair on them. We still live in a society where they will be shunned for such behaviour and will no longer be considered as innocent little kids.
I look forward then to the ‘anything goes’ approach on the BBC in the near future and hearing the phrase ‘w*nky b*ll@ck c*nt f*ck’ on Saturday morning televison. Until then, can we have the 4 second delay back on all live broadcasts. Thanks.