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"You taught me language,

and my profit on't,

Is I know how to curse."

--Caliban, The Tempest

The best policy we've ever heard about cussing came from a man named Mark Twain. Once, during an interview for a job, he was asked if he ever cursed. His answer: Only for necessity, never for pleasure.

That's the best advice when it comes to turning the air blue. Only do so when it's needed. And it most definitely is needed at times. What are you going to say if a bear gets after you in the woods? Darn it all! won't do.

But at the same time, someone who curses every time his left foot hits the ground might not be taken seriously. What's Eddie Murphy supposed to say when he hits his thumb with a hammer? He's already used up the good words in normal conversation.

Words are powerful. Like guns, sometimes only the right ones will do. Like guns, some of them should never be taken out of the case. We give you Rashida Tlaib.

She's the newly elected congresswoman from Michigan who made all the (cable) news shows last week with her comments about President Trump. They were not charming. We're sure that you saw some of them, hopefully with several dashes, displayed on the screens over the weekend.

Her full quote was, "And when your son looks at you and says, 'Momma, look, you won. Bullies don't win.' And I said, 'Baby, they don't. Because we're gonna go in there, and we're gonna impeach the ... .'" That's where a family newspaper will break it.

(Here's hoping she didn't really say that in front of a kid. Here's hoping that's just modern-day political hyperbole.)

When even members of her own party suggested that kind of language wasn't exactly lady-like, Rashida Tlaib replied: "I will always speak truth to power."

That's fine and good. And proof that she can put together a sentence without a hyphenated curse word. But you can speak truth to power without being vulgar.

Rashida Tlaib is a member of Congress now. No matter what the president may say behind closed doors, or even while cameras are rolling, the best of our representatives will raise the level of public discourse, not lower it. Remember, only for necessity, never for pleasure. It's the best policy.

Editorial on 01/08/2019

Print Headline: Language, please


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Archived Comments

  • Seitan
    January 8, 2019 at 11:36 a.m.

    Packman, Our Lord on High. Oh Ye of the Supreme Knowledge. Are you suggesting that football players are not intelligent? Studies also show that among athletes, football players are among the most intelligent and most of them earn college degrees.

  • RBear
    January 8, 2019 at 11:56 a.m.

    Seitan just to let you know, Pack warmed the bench at the U of A in a prior life.

  • GeneralMac
    January 8, 2019 at 12:13 p.m.

    RBear.....the only bench you ever warmed was one in a gay bath house.

  • Jfish
    January 8, 2019 at 12:44 p.m.

    Seitan, let's see some citations for your studies. Surely rappers and sailors would be 1 and 2.

  • GeneralMac
    January 8, 2019 at 1:06 p.m.

    Seitan , defending profanity here, reminds me of a gay poster in Minnesota.

    Never had anything to add to a conversation but posted " profanity is fun " now and then to draw attention to himself.

  • PopMom
    January 8, 2019 at 1:27 p.m.


    If the Dems are so anti-semitic, then why are there 28 Jewish Democrats serving in the Senate and the House and only two Jewish Republicans?


    After the football players have taken a couple of hits to the head, they are less intelligent. (My father played pro in the CFL for a year.) Perhaps, this explains how Packman seems to fall for all of Trump's lies.


    I think that Packman went to UofA for an MBA and played football at some smaller school for college (so don't be too impressed with his athleticism).

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    January 8, 2019 at 2 p.m.

    Seitan were the studies of football players conducted by football players?


  • Seitan
    January 8, 2019 at 2:41 p.m.

    GM. Not sure why you are bringing all this gay stuff into this conversation, but if you support Trump, then you support chronic lying. And if you are in denial about this, please consider doing some research and respond with facts rather than attempted insults.

  • Packman
    January 8, 2019 at 3:29 p.m.

    Hey seitan - I make no such claim as to the intelligence of football players but applied critical thought to what you said. But I would never challenge your assertion that football players are among the most intelligent people on the planet, if for no other reason than they are really good cussers.
    Do you know if Rashida Tliab ever played right guard? I recall once having a minor spat that involved lots of really good cuss words with a right guard from a rival school whose mug closely resembled Tlaib's. Has Rashida always been a girl?
    Hey RBear - A couple of points of clarification. I didn't play for the U of A but completed grad school on campus at Fayetteville. I didn't play much my Freshman year but started about midway through the year as a Sophomore due to injury to a really good safety. Ended up starting there through senior year. And look, there's nothing wrong with warming the bench. Those guys make tremendous contributions in practice and are always one play away from becoming a starter.
    Hey PopSnob - Beats me. Perhaps those 28 Jewish D's have a terrible case of white guilt and have abandoned their heritage and any sense of right and wrong as a result. All I know is Rashida Tlaib is a anti-Semite and she's being cheered by the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Occasional Cortex.

  • Seitan
    January 8, 2019 at 3:48 p.m.

    Packman on High. Technically, it would appear that critical thinking skills have passed you by.