Open Letter

To Gordon Ramsay,

I was reading some of your most famous quotes, and one that really stuck out to me was the quote about swearing. Now I strongly disagree with this statement that you made and I feel I can convince you, as well, that you are totally wrong. You said, “Swearing is industry language. For as long as we’re alive it’s not going to change…” and you went on to say (this is the part I most disagree with), “…You’ve got to be boisterous to get results.” In this context, the word “results” seems to refer to the things that you want to happened. You are trying to say that cursing is necessary if you want things to get done. However, it could have the exact opposite effect. Now you cannot honestly be serious with that statement. Do you think this is how you get results? It does not seem to work at all when you get, as you say, “boisterous” in your television shows such as “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Kitchen Nightmares.” This is the perfect example of what I am referring to:

First of all, I want you to understand some important information about cursing as well as I do.

Cursing has become acceptable. I personally do not believe cursing is acceptable in any way shape or form. However, it does not bother me as much as it should to hear profanity because it is so common today. Many accept cursing as a social norm. We can see the acceptance of cursing through the television industry. For example, HBO’s Deadwood, shown on television, had the reputation for boisterous dialogue. It was nearly impossible to keep count of the number of f-bombs dropped in each episode. It was really an absurd amount of f-bombs that they took it as a challenge to count and see how many there were in each episode. It totaled out to 2980 f-bombs in the entire series, which meant that there was an average of 1.43 f-bombs per minute!

Another show on television that portrays how much society excepts cursing is South Park. The dedicated an entire episode to a certain word that describes animal waste…I think you can figure the word out. In this episode, they attempted to say the word as many times as possible. They ended up saying it 162 times! When this episode is watch, it is really ridiculous and unnecessary at how much they used  that word. The questions remain that if society finds it acceptable to be using these words on national television, how much more would society find it acceptable to use these words out in public? When is cursing really acceptable? Would a teen use profanity in front of his parents? Would an elementary school teacher use it in her classroom full of students in the 1st grade? I definitely would answer no to these questions.

What a child learns in the household will be taken out of the doors and into the public. If a child learns to curse and it is found acceptable in his/her house, then he/she will think it is fit to use profanity anywhere they he/she goes. According to the book Join the F***ing Club, experts say, “…In popular culture, swear words make people feel as though they are a part of a select club.” So sentence from the book shows how people like to succumb to the norms of society by simply accepting swearing as a way to fit in. Cursing or using abusive words use to be considered as disrespect of elders and disdain of moral and ethical values. However, in the present culture, many children learns swear words as early as he/she learns to talk. It seems that our old social and ethical values have been buried deep down and cursing has emerged as a “cool” and “modern” thing to do. Even if a child is taught differently, he/she will eventually give in to the pressure of friends and would adopt a habit of cursing to, as I mentioned already, fit in with society. The modern generation seems to have a complete disregard for old social traditions that considered cursing as a habit. Instead of the good model child, this is how today’s children are acting (watch until you have heard enough):

Cursing is not a taboo. It is important to know that there are many taboos in America. Among these taboos are things such as polygamy, abortion, pedophilia, and incest. Now all of these things listed here are frowned upon by society. However, cursing is not on this list of taboos! It should be included in this list of taboos, but why is it not? Cursing is far from the label of being a “taboo.” Take for instance a job interview that was put documented in the article I Kiss My Mother With This Mouth, written by Bethany Anderson. The interviewer asked the question, “…Do you cuss a lot? Because we like to cuss a lot around here.” The interviewee unleashed a profanity filled sentence that if uttered in public would have gotten her arrested. Then she continued to demonstrate her so-called “skill” for possibly 10 minutes. After she had run out of words to use, the interviewer looked at her and said, “You’re hired.” From this example, it is not difficult to see how far away from taboo cursing is in America.

Curse words can be categorized in the same category as racial slurs. In America, curse words are paradoxical because saying them in almost every other culture is taboo, however people use them daily in our culture. It is really a strange thing that has happened to words. Back in the day (before the 1950s mostly) racial slurs were widely used and accepted in society. Words such as the n-word and other words in which certain races branded other races were used regularly and were considered normal in those days. Cursing was not used nearly as much as it is today. As time progressed, the position of racial slurs and curse words has slowly been switched. Now the racial slurs are the taboo and the curse words are the norm.

Cursing shows bad manners. An expert on manners, Modern Manners Guy, says, “Using profanity, no matter what is said or where it is used, is decidedly not mannerly.” What kind of impact our words are having on others? Using curse words can make you feel powerful, but this kind of language is defensive and belligerent. And if you use profanity to make someone feel bad, you are completely missing the point of manners in the first place. Manners are about putting someone before yourself and making him/her feel important or appreciated. Swearing at someone will usually have the opposite effect. Swearing can also make others think you have a very simple vocabulary and you are more likely to lose any respect and admiration from them you once had. Do not say you never knew anything about manners Ramsay, because everyone was taught a least a little something about manners. Am I wrong?

Cursing shows a lack of intelligence/education. Being able to express yourself should not involve using profanity. If you want to express yourself you should be educated enough to use common sense and logical facts in order to express what you are trying to say. By using profanity and abusive language, you are in effect showing your inability to present a reasonable viewpoint. Some try to make the point that it enhances their sentences. People that use these words like the f-word or the s-word every 3 or four words are actually not doing anything to enhance their sentence. Rather, they made themselves look like a dimwitted human being. I think the statement that you made could even be deemed as anti-intellectualism because being an intellectual means that you use your brain to think in logical ways. Anti-intellectualism promotes the complete opposite. Not being able to put your thoughts into words makes you seem as dumb as one can possibly be. This cartoon character demonstrates what I mean perfectly:

No doubt the coach looks like a total ass (pardon my French). I felt like this was a perfect video to show you, Mr. Ramsay, because this is how you look, and most of the time worse, on national television. Just like that screaming angry coach looks, you have a way that makes him look like an angel.

Mr. Ramsay, you are definitely much too smart to be using this tone and all these animated words that you use. With all of your experience about food, you should seem like such a genius. Instead you also come off as an ass on national television.

Now that you know some of the important issues, you have more an understanding as to where I am coming from, right?

Now going back to your quote, you said, “…You’ve got to be boisterous to get results.” What does boisterous mean? According to an online dictionary, boisterous means, “Loud, noisy, and lacking in restraint or discipline.” Being loud and noisy does sometimes get results, I have to agree with you on that. I found from personal experience, that one who expresses oneself in a loud and noisy matter, it grabs the attention of the audience. The best example I can think of is when a coach yells at his players to do something correctly. When a coach gets loud, the players are more attentive to listen to him because he has more of a demanding tone. However when you put in the lack of restraint or discipline, it works to the opposite effect. When I coach is loud, noisy, and lacking discipline, players are most likely to start hating that coach. When players hear negative cursing words addressed towards them in a loud manner, they get bogged down with negative energy and emotions. I know this because when I was a basketball player and I had a coach who did not seem to care about our feelings, it was because of the language that he used. Negative words/profanity can damage many in ways that unimaginable.

Hell’s Kitchen” is going to have another season in which you, “Chef Ramsay,” have to put 18 competitors through rigorous challenges to see who has the skill and passion to win a life-changing prize. This is a huge thing to be a part of and you have the ability to possibly end the actual best cooks career. If you think about it, the way you do your job, yelling, cursing, and screaming in people’s faces does not allow you to be able to pick the best cook. If anything, you may be agitating the best cook to a point where he/she is unable to cook to his/her highest ability. You see your boisterous attitude could cause the best cook to leave the competition, and the contest would not be true to its purpose of having the most skilled cook win a LIFE-CHANGING prize.

So the quote you have said could not have been more wrong. Using curse words to try to put emphasis on whatever phrase is being said may seem to work, but it has a negative effect on it. Being boisterous  does not help achieve results, but rather it makes people feel undetermined to do what it is they you want them to get done.  While you continue to use boisterous words in your on national television and wonder why nobody wants to listen to you, I want you to refer to this letter I have written you.


Andre Tart


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