We have all seen the signs addressing how we want people to behave. “No Shirts, No Shoes, No Sales”. Or “No Loitering”. Perhaps, in some cities, “No Spitting”. They pretty much work, as driven by policing activities. Here is a new one, as posted throughout Maryland’s most popular beach destination, Ocean City: “No Profanity Please”.
We probably have gotten to that stage in our interaction and dialogue. In my generation growing up, swearing only occurred with my peer male group, never with our parents or the girls we knew. We wanted to be cool with the guys! Then, thanks to the military (The Vietnam era) we further expanded our vocabulary and colorful observations. But, most of us still kept the swear words for private audiences rather than the general public.
Wow, has that changed. Just listen to the conversation of the average teenager. With profanities generously sprinkled throughout their conversations and the use of a well-known swear word, which has the flexibility to be a noun, verb, and adjective or just an exclamation. I use to tell my oldest son, who is very literate, that he was just being lazy with his profane descriptives. No matter, that is how they all talk. My boys can count on two hands the number of times they have heard me swear (mostly, due to golf shortcomings).
So, now we have a major seashore destination, who supposedly borrowed the idea from Virginia Beach, VA (another tourist spot), trying to make their locale more family friendly with black and white signs down the boardwalk and beyond, promoting “No Profanity Please”. The Mayor, Rich Meeham, says the message speaks for itself, “We just want to remind everyone that even when they're on vacation, they need to be courteous to others”. It was earlier disclosed that a recent survey showed Maryland as the second most foul-mouthed state in the US. You wonder how that survey was compiled – no doubt with a number of expletives.
This is a tough language nut to crack, especially with seashore mishaps, like a snow cone lost in the sand, or music too loud from a neighboring beach towel, or sand granules in the swim suit – the list goes on, along with explosive exhortations, perhaps not suitably censored. However, civility starts at home! “Honey, where is the -aloe for this sunburn!”
John Hendrie is the author of the LRA blog 'A Guy Walks In'. LRA is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability. We have built a range of quality assurance, mystery shopping, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so.
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