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Miscellany

The Well-Tempered F-Word

Profanity, angry and otherwise: Is there a time and a place for everything, even if it starts with F? iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Let us unpack the diverse set of issues that have bloomed in the wake of yesterday's story about young McKay Hatch and his crusade against profanity.

Bullying is terrible. Sending $2000 worth of pizza to a kid's house is terrible. Overnight phone calls are awful, death threats are criminal, and trying to get people to join a club and behave differently is not the same thing as censorship. In social settings, people who unleash a string of infuriated profanity at the slightest provocation are profoundly unsettling — though I'd argue that's more because of the fury than because of the profanity.