10 April 2009

No cussin'

The difference in vernacular language between here and New Mexico is a gap beyond measure. At any coffee house in Santa Fe, the number of four letter words (OK, some have more letters...) bandied about without any restraint is a sad reflection on modern society - and also the lack of the person's ability to more thoroughly express themselves via higher level vocabulary. The situation becomes far worse in certain ethnic groups where the normal conversational level includes four letter words at the rate of every third or fourth word (not an exaggeration).

I have yet to hear any profanity in Floyd town or county. Period. Not on the street, not in a business. The level of civility here is high. Oh, and there is a law against profanity in public - and it is enforced. Attached for you examination is the recent court report for Floyd, wherein the astute reader will note THREE prosecutions for profane language. Just click on the image to enlarge it enough for easy reading. On the other hand, twice my ears have rung when someone has excoriated another person using a vocabulary that would have made William F. Buckley jealous... and apparently for good cause, not random effect.

Yesterday found your correspondent at the Blue Ridge Cafe for an early breakfast. It was difficult to not overhear the conversation at the next table between three men, one of whom was a teacher who had recently moved to Floyd, and two men, perhaps father and son, who were pretty clearly locals, as determined by dress and speech. The older gentleman was white haired and perhaps 70 or older; his son, maybe 40. Both might have been farmers. The topic of discussion at one point was Frank Lloyd Wright's home designs and their livability versus visual appeal. Having known hundreds of farmers in my life, I can't say that more than one or two percent would ever have even heard the name, no less be able to carry on an intellectual dissection of his works. Surely not every farmer in Floyd shared the education of these two men but they provide just one more reason why I love being here so much.

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