Wholesome Words and Unwholesome Words

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Ray and I continued recording Exploring America and From Adam to Us from Tuesday morning through Friday night. When we recorded back in February, the studio was peaceful and quiet. This time it was abuzz with activity. Performers and technicians and interns were all over the place.

Woman singing at microphone, National Recording Studio, 1935. Courtesy Library of Congress.
Woman singing at microphone, National Recording Studio, 1935. Courtesy Library of Congress.

The first time we recorded, I was impressed by how neat and clean the interns keep the various spaces at the studio. This time I was impressed with how neat and clean the people were. Day after day we rubbed shoulders with one young adult after another plus a few older than young adult folks. Jeans abounded, of course, and hats stayed on some of the guys’ heads when they were indoors, but all in all these were a surprisingly clean-cut group of folks.

Not only were their appearances neat and clean, so was their speech. It was Friday before I heard the first word of profanity. It came from the mouth of someone I had had no contact with before. Profanity is always unnecessary, but this seemed especially so.

As I stood in the kitchenette in the lounge making myself a cup of tea, I overheard someone behind me talking about his quite aged grandfather, and he was complimenting him. However, he threw in a really awful word, saying it almost as if he were describing his grandfather as lucky or something, rather than the real meaning of the horrendous adjective he used.

Later that day in the presence of Ray, our young sound engineer Lee, and me, another young person said what to me is a still not good, but tamer word. I was impressed with Lee who told him to watch his mouth. After the young man (younger than Lee) left, Lee talked about how that kind of language has become so pervasive that he doesn’t think these young folks even realize what they are saying. It was then that I told Lee how impressed I had been with the good language I had heard all week before telling him in general about my one encounter earlier that day.

You have a wonderful opportunity to create a safe place for your children, a place where they don’t get so used to profanity that they don’t even know they are saying it.

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth,
but only such a word as is good for edification
according to the need of the moment,
so that it will give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29


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