Apparently, 25 is old enough to be saying ‘back in my day’. In fact I’ve probably been saying that for a good few years which is enough to make anyone feel old. But if I’m going to reminisce, I want to share my memories with you.
I wasn’t a cool kid. When my school chums were watching Friends on Channel 4 I was over on the Beeb watching Ready Steady Cook, Home Front, Gardeners’ World and Changing Rooms. Oh yeah… Homebody / Housewife me was well and truely rooted by the age of about 8.
What really stands out in my memory though is the reveal on Changing Rooms. For those of you who are too young to remember or were too cool to watch let me summarise the show for you:
Two pairs of neighbours who wanted a room decorating would swap houses, be given an interior designer, a budget and a weekend to make over their neighbours room.
If you were lucky, your neighbours got Linda Barker and you were most likely to get a nice enough job with nothing too ‘out there’.
If you were unlucky, your neighbours were teamed up with Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen and you were in with a chance of black walls, red furniture and Georgian chandeliers. *
At the end of the two days the couples would be blindfolded and the delightful Carol Smiley would do the big reveal.
Quite understandably, when the unsuspecting people removed the aforementioned blindfolded they would utter the phrase so common today it has it’s own acronym: Oh. My. God. Nowadays you’d probably just hear people saying OMG. Or maybe OMFG because swearing is much more common parlance than in the 90s in my experience.
And this is what stands out in my memory. They used to bleep the word God. I distinctly remember when they stopped doing it. It was strange. And I think this is where the slippery slope started.
I’m not particularly against swearing, although I do think the vast expanse of vocabulary out there is underutilised in favour of ten or so ‘stand-bys’. I am against every other word being a vulagarity; it makes you sound lazy and stupid. And I am against swearing in front of young children. The world is nasty enough as it it, let’s try and let them enjoy the nice bits for as long as possible shall we?
Today, films carefully choose when to drop their only F-Bomb so as to sneak into the coveted 12A rating. Any more than that and suddenly you slash your potential audience by 15 years. But that’s the thing. Anyone can watch a 12A providing there’s an adult with them. So that means anyone can hear the F-Word. When I was a kid, you couldn’t use the word God before the watershed.
I’m not trying to make a point about the normalisation of swearing and it’s effects on society and culture. I could, but I’m not. I’m merely pointing out that at the grand old age of 25, some things really have changed enough to merit a ‘back in my day’ conversation.
Toddle pip, Charlotte x
* I am doing Laurence a dis-service here. He only did black walls once to my memory. But he was a bit flamboyant for some people’s tastes.