James Rozoff said in one of his books – ‘Vulgarity is like a fine wine: it should only be uncorked on a special occasion, and then only shared with the right group of people.’ But today vulgarity in language is catching up very fast at every occasion.
While on a regular evening stroll with my friend some days back, I happened to pass by a small open space where some children were playing and frolicking. Walking along, my eyes caught two little kids – a boy about 6 and a girl about 8 having a verbal duel. They were brother and sister to each other as I later came to know. Suddenly, the boy gave a push to his sister uttering these nasty words - “Sali ma…lo…” The little girl somehow avoided the bad fall and ran away crying out for her mom. Shocked to hear those nasty words from the little kid who was just six, I stood there motionless for some moments. After a few seconds, I scolded the child- ‘Not good manner. How can you say those nasty words?” Scared, the boy ran away but not before he had announced –‘uncle, mere papa bhi mummi ko aisaa hi bolte hain jab donon ladte hain.”
This is how, of late, the elements of vulgarity, profanity and sexism have been creeping into the language of our common chat or conversation and from there has been percolating down to the budding citizens ie children. With not an iota of doubt, the boy had picked up the language from his elders. He even didn’t know the meaning of the words he had used. The language one talks in gives an ample impression of one’s personality. But You may easily come across two gentlemanly dressed up people who greet each other by saying- aur bhai ma .ch… kyaa haal hai tere or they may respond saying- theek hun bhai pein….ch. Another testimony to vulgarism and sexism in common language can be seen scribbled down on the walls of public toilets. There are many who are creative and crafty enough to form salacious couplets. Some even find opportunity to sneak into the ladies’ toilets and leave the impressions of their craftsmanship there too. You may also come across this linguistic profanity in schools also where the children use expletives without being conscious of its meanings. Even teachers at times find themselves helpless to do away with these expletives as it has become their parlance. Not to quote a single example, salacious dialogues and songs of Hindi movies are now tradition and act as crowd pullers.
When kids get this kind of language being spoken, scripted and dialogued, obviously they also adopt it, rather imbibe it. Though kids are small, but they have long ears. They are very attentive to the words being exchanged by their elders in different situations. They speak what they listen. Thus the vulgar or aggressive language spreads like bad cold. Not to know any language is not that bad as to know and follow the bad language. It is the expressive of crude and distorted menatality.