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By Julia Allison

I’m not against expletives as a rule – they’re handy when putting together IKEA furniture or attempting to follow a Martha Stewart recipe or when your boyfriend finishes in less than 120 seconds.

But on live television?  In the morning?  When you haven’t been drinking, Danny-Devito-on-the-View style?  Ehhh … Not so much.

It’s not necessarily that Jane Fonda’s “cunt” or Diane Keaton’s “fucking” were such big deals in and of themselves.  Context is key, and theirs were innocuous – the former, to describe a play about, well, vaginas – the latter, to emphasize just how vibrant her personality really is (the real question is: if she had Diane Sawyer’s lips, would she have sworn with them?  Hmm.)

So the problem isn’t these two ladies or their particular swearing scenarios. The problem when OTHER people – in less appropriate situations – start throwing around four letter words in ad hominem attacks (or to spice up a boring fucking interview!).  Two words: downward spiral.  We don’t want tv denigrating into some barroom stream of invectives.  It’s one thing if Jane Fonda says “cunt.”  But Bill O’Reilly?  That’s hate speech.  Or his private fantasy.  Either way, it has no place on television.

And yeah, we’ve gotta protect the kidlets.  Even if you curse like a trader on Black Monday, you probably wouldn’t do it around your little ones.  Why?  Children don’t know how to correctly wield the power of expletives.  It’s like drinking.  Unless you’re taught properly (Only on special occasions!  In moderation or you’ll regret it the next morning!), you’ll binge.

Not to mention that if you swear too frequently, it loses all its power.  If we want expletives to really MEAN something, we need to preserve them.

“Save the swear words!”  Perhaps it could be Fonda’s new campaign.

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