“He does not utter profanities except in situations in which it is entirely forgivable, such as the sinking of his yacht.” (Robb Report, page 160, September 2002)
In general, a gentleman does not curse. This may seem like a very simple and obvious thing, but, as crude language has become fashionable and routine in every aspect of life and entertainment, it is one thing that truly distinguishes the gentleman. Profane language now seems to be heard everywhere – from children, in TV and movies, on the radio, in the park, and certainly on the golf course. Would Mr. Darcy or Hank Rearden have talked like that?
Foul language is offensive, or should be, to ladies and other gentleman, and is inappropriate in the company of children. Restraint and self-control is the hallmark of gentlemanly behavior, and cursing shows the absence of restraint. It’s also a crude use of language; anger and rage, disappointment and every other emotion can, with a little discipline, be conveyed in much more elegant ways. If directed at others, cursing is abusive, and a gentleman is never abusive.
In general, the best substitute for cursing is not some silly mock expletive (gosh darn it, fricking, etc.) but silence. If your mouth isn’t moving, your brain may have a better chance to assess the situation, and remain in control.
There are a few situations where foul language is permitted:
- Your financial advisor, and all your funds, are missing, but he has been seen heading for the islands.
- When your epic novel is accidentally erased, with no backup.
- Seeing the love of your life emerging from Julio’s house, when the bitch said she was out of town.
But even in these situations, while admittedly trying, a brief outburst will serve the purpose before returning to a manly and stoic demeanor.