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Old 01-07-2010, 04:35 AM   #21 (permalink)
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My question to you is, if you know that someone at a meeting would be offended by vulgarity, is it cool to go ahead and say something to cause offense?

AA is not a bar scene........a long ways from it!
When I go to a meeting I do not go with a plan - that is to say I have not determined in advance if I will share or not. If I choose to share it is because I have something I feel I need to say or something I feel needs to be said. I don't concern myself with how every person in the room may take it. I am not responsible for other people's feelings, resentments or thoughts. Also, like I mentioned before, it is very common in our area, and it's usually the ladies that do it.
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Old 01-07-2010, 02:05 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I don't concern myself with how every person in the room may take it. I am not responsible for other people's feelings .

If I felt this way, I would have to do a daily personal inventory and see if possibly I was being somewhat selfcentered.........This is just my opinion of myself and the possible situation. No reference to you in my response.

thanks for letting me share..........toad
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Old 01-08-2010, 05:46 AM   #23 (permalink)
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If I felt this way, I would have to do a daily personal inventory and see if possibly I was being somewhat selfcentered.........This is just my opinion of myself and the possible situation. No reference to you in my response.

thanks for letting me share..........toad
Have you ever heard of codependency? No offense intended, but you may want to read up on it. I know I am responsible for me. I cannot control, nor should I even try to control, what goes on in someone else's head. If someone wants to criticize the speech of others they may want to consider being less critical, less judgmental and more tolerant - and maybe stop looking for opportunities to be offended. It sounds like the self-centeredness would come in with the person who believes that everyone else should talk in a way that does not offend them.
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:55 PM   #24 (permalink)
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It sounds like the self-centeredness would come in with the person who believes that everyone else should talk in a way that does not offend them.
You have missed the point. ........ the question was is it okay to use vulgarity knowing that it would offend?

Do we have a right to hurt someone at the expense of our own sharing?

Here is a quote from the Big Book.....explain to me where it might fit into offending someone with vulgarity.....

"Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us." Page 77
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:34 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I get the point. I just don't agree with you. I don't have a right to tell someone else what they can or cannot say at an AA meeting - or anywhere else for that matter. Nor am I able to control their thoughts, feelings or resentments. Also, no one has the right to tell me what I can or cannot say at meetings. We each are responsible for our own behavior - and only our own.

Now I could choose to be really self-centered and assume that I have the right to tell others what they can or cannot say, and if they choose to say something that I've arbitrarily declared to be offensive then I could judge them, criticize them or even talk about them behind their back. If I were in that frame of mind I suppose I would then feel like I was very rightous and better than the person who dared to say a word that I had declared to be offensive.

One person in the meeting has no power, or right, to decide what everyone else can or cannot say. If you and I were in a meeting and I knew you were offended by a certain word I would figure you probably were looking to be offended and if I didn't offend you then someone else would. I would also hope that you would be willing to look at yourself and perhaps realize that it is your problem - not mine or the others in the room. AA does not have a banned word list. Nor do we allow those who want to assume the role of a moral compass to dictate what words are objectionable.

I suppose every meeting I've ever been to, AA or otherwise, someone has said something I wasn't crazy about, but that's life. We don't get to make the rules for others.

I am sorry that you get offended at meetings, but I do think the problem is not in what others are saying, but how you are allowing it to affect you.
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:45 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I get the point. I just don't agree with you. I don't have a right to tell someone else what they can or cannot say at an AA meeting - or anywhere else for that matter. Nor am I able to control their thoughts, feelings or resentments. Also, no one has the right to tell me what I can or cannot say at meetings. We each are responsible for our own behavior - and only our own.

Now I could choose to be really self-centered and assume that I have the right to tell others what they can or cannot say, and if they choose to say something that I've arbitrarily declared to be offensive then I could judge them, criticize them or even talk about them behind their back. If I were in that frame of mind I suppose I would then feel like I was very rightous and better than the person who dared to say a word that I had declared to be offensive.

One person in the meeting has no power, or right, to decide what everyone else can or cannot say. If you and I were in a meeting and I knew you were offended by a certain word I would figure you probably were looking to be offended and if I didn't offend you then someone else would. I would also hope that you would be willing to look at yourself and perhaps realize that it is your problem - not mine or the others in the room. AA does not have a banned word list. Nor do we allow those who want to assume the role of a moral compass to dictate what words are objectionable.



I am sorry that you get offended at meetings, but I do think the problem is not in what others are saying, but how you are allowing it to affect you.
You continue to miss the point of the thread....

You wrote: " I just don't agree with you. I don't have a right to tell someone else what they can or cannot say at an AA meeting"

This is not about telling someone what they can or cannot say...it is about someone offending another person knowing that they are causing an offense.

I am not offended at meetings by vulgarity, I don't like it when I see someone cause an offense knowing it could have been avoided.

I am not offended by anything that you have said......you just missed the whole point of the thread.

How about a response about the quote from the big book....how would it fit into offending someone on purpose??
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:26 AM   #27 (permalink)
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You keep saying I'm missing the point of the thread. Here is what you originally said to begin this thread.

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Got a guy at a meeting I attend who uses the MF word knowing that it will offend some of the older ladies (my opinion). I think he likes to watch them squirm with uneasyness (also my opinion). I want to thump him (spiritually speaking). Any opinions about vulgarity?
You said (in your opinion) this guy uses the MF word knowing it will offend some of the older ladies (in your opinion). Then you say (in your opinion) he likes to watch them squirm. Then you ask for opinions about vulgarity.

So it appears that the original point of the thread is that your opinions of this guy has affected you to the point that you felt a need to discuss vulgarity and other people's opinions about vulgarity. Have I not been addressing that issue?

I am not impressed with a person who intentionally does something to hurt another. That does not, however, mean that I think little old ladies at the meetings are more important than little old men, or big young men and women, etc. Everyone is important.

You also are now mentioning a Big Book quote that apparently has nothing to do with the original topic.

The bottom line is that AA meetings are very often filled with all sorts of words coming from all kinds of people at varying stages of recovery. Is it really a surprise that profanity is used? Is it really a problem, or is it just that we all want to make everyone else over to be just like us?
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:47 AM   #28 (permalink)
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This thread has become pretty interesting

Sober, I think I read the initial premise of the thread a little differently than you did. That's not to say either of us is wrong, per se -- it's just the interpretation.

I have always noted there are multiple purposes for profane language. Sometimes it is used to punctuate a subject and give it more impact. Sometimes a general looseness with profanity indicates that the speaker feels very strongly about a subject. And sometimes, it is used purely for the purpose of causing offense. I can usually tell when this is the case, and I think this is what Toad was originally talking about.

I have to say I agree with Toad on that... If one feels the need to use vulgar language purely for the purpose of causing offense, then it is the speaker, not the audience, that has a problem.

I have to directly respond to you calling Toad a codie because he lets this get to him.... Wow, that was creative. Made me LOL... Keep in mind that when your attacks become ridiculous you might be on your way to losing the argument

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Old 01-09-2010, 09:46 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Good stuff, I decided after hanging around the rooms for a couple of years that I did not want to cuss while sharing in meetings. I felt that it made me sound ignorant. It was a personal choice, another one of those standards that I have no right holding others too.

I am reminded of this passage from page 417 of the BB.

" And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, or situation - some fact of my life - unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God's world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober ; unless I
accept life on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes."
I liked what you shared. I too would rather see myself carrying an inspiring message reaching everyone rather than being caught in my delusions of grandeur. I imagine myself being one of those grand old-timers demonstrating love and tolerance while graciously sharing enormous wisdom at just the right time.

Just for Today I will continue to strive to be that person and lead by example.

Secondly, I am reminded of some lines from NA's It Works: How and Why p.63

Take a defect such as self-righteousness, for example, and imagine it in its normal, uninflated state—confident belief in one’s own values. Strong, confident, and well-rounded people have formed values and principles to live by and believe deeply in their rightness. Such people live what they believe and share those beliefs with others in a non-critical way when asked. Confidence in our beliefs is essential. Without it, we would be wishy-washy, unsure of our decisions, and probably somewhat immature in our dealings with the world.

(however)

Confident belief becomes ugly self-righteousness when we insist that others live by our values. Attempting to enforce our insistence by manipulating or exploiting others makes this defect even uglier.


Initially this whole thread was wrapped around supposition – as if I really KNOW this behavior is on purpose, maybe it is, but let's not go there. Next, who's to say that our self-righteousness isn't just as ugly or even uglier than his profanity?

This is why I liked the quote from Paul O. above, maybe learning acceptance of where this guy is (even if only an agitator) is merely an ingredient in the recipe God has in store for us that day.

What does the Big Book say about those who are spiritually sick? That “we ask God to grant us the same pity, patience, and tolerance as we would cheerfully grant a sick friend” does it not? Is love and tolerance our code or …? Could not troublesome members be our primary teachers of patience and tolerance? Now… what would the Master do?

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Old 01-09-2010, 01:41 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I have to directly respond to you calling Toad a codie because he lets this get to him.... Wow, that was creative. Made me LOL... Keep in mind that when your attacks become ridiculous you might be on your way to losing the argument

-Goat
For the record, I did not call Toad anything. As to my reference to codependence what I said was...

"Have you ever heard of codependency? No offense intended, but you may want to read up on it. I know I am responsible for me. I cannot control, nor should I even try to control, what goes on in someone else's head. If someone wants to criticize the speech of others they may want to consider being less critical, less judgmental and more tolerant - and maybe stop looking for opportunities to be offended. It sounds like the self-centeredness would come in with the person who believes that everyone else should talk in a way that does not offend them."

I know about codependency because, like most alcoholics, I am very much codependent myself. That is not an insult; just a suggestion to be considered - or not. If you think being called a codependent is an insult then you may want to read up on it. I think any alcoholic would benefit from learning more about it. It's us, whether we want to admit it or not.

Also, I certainly was not attacking Toad. We are just discussing a topic that we both have an opinion on.

Other than your comment on that, Goat, I agree with the rest of what you said.
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:15 PM   #31 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=Sober25;2481530]

The bottom line is that AA meetings are very often filled with all sorts of words coming from all kinds of people at varying stages of recovery.[QUOTE]

I appreciate your input Sober25.........no problem here.

Different strokes for different folks...........
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:35 AM   #32 (permalink)
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I appreciate your input Sober25.........no problem here.
Same here. Have a great week.
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:39 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Talking

Oh darn --- everyone seems to have calmed down.......... )o: Mebbe I kin help.............LOLOL

First off, I'd like to point out that 'offense'/'offensive' and 'vulgar'/'vulgarity' are all subjective terms. Odds are that if I open my mouth to share with a group of folks, I'm probably going to say something to which someone will take offense. The only way to guarantee that nobody takes offense at anything I say would be for me to say................NOTHING ............. LOLOL

....and secondly/finally.....NOTHING anybody says can offend anyone. A person may 'take offense' (but nobody can make them take offense). It's all on the receiver end; whether he or sehe takes offense or not.

Okey-dokey guys 'n gals, there's something y'all kin chew on (and spit out, if )........LOLOOL Hope y'all are well, have a good weekend and are not offended by anything I've said here (whoops, (I meant I hoped nobody took offense at anything I've written here.....LOLOL).


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Old 01-22-2010, 10:36 PM   #34 (permalink)
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NOTHING anybody says can offend anyone.


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thanks for sharing...........I love you and there's not a damn thing you can do about it......put that in your pipe and smoke it.
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:26 AM   #35 (permalink)
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thanks for sharing...........I love you and there's not a damn thing you can do about it......put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Hey now......in my daily inventory I came to the realization that I should not have said "pipe and smoke it" ...... It should have been more in the line of "Think on this."................sorry
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:37 PM   #36 (permalink)
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IMHO if the ladies are offended and he knows and keep doing it, then they can either go outside while he speaks, go to some other meeting, or maybe they think of something else or wear earplugs or get angry momentarily then let it go... but its not the OP's problem, he doesn't get offended.

Also in those meetings you need to take what you need and leave the rest, I recall being offended by how others spoke (I was the only woman) and got used to it, however if I felt someone had something personal against me I would leave the room, at least in the AA meetings I went they all came in and out all the time. Problem solved...
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:57 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Did the group have a group conscience meeting that addressed the usage of vulgarity? That may be the first step.

Is this meeting held at a church? Most of the AA meetings around here are held at churches. Most of the AA groups read in the opening introduction to be mindful of language out of respect for the church hosting the meeting.

In one group in particular, a church representative happened to be working late in an office down the hall from the meeting, and heard a vulgar comment from a speaker. The church took issue with this and issued an ultimatum to the AA group: Respect our church or you're outta here. In my opinion, the church had every right to demand that the sanctity of their property is respected.

We also have an Alano Club in our area (not at a church). The club has a sign on the wall asking members to abstain from vulgarity, as it detracts from the message.

I see nothing wrong with asking someone (privately) to be respectful of those around them. The Big Book (1st edition) says, "Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us." Intentionally making people uncomfortable violates that purpose.

Much like the goth teenager who dyed his hair blue, has 30 piercings on his face, smears black makeup over his eyes in the name of "SELF EXPRESSION", vulgarity is used as a verbal form of self-expression.

One of AA's traditions reminds us to "Place principles before personalities."

Does vulgarity violate this AA tradition? That is for the group conscience to decide.
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Old 05-02-2010, 05:33 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Experience, strength and hope...........but if one has limited english word abilities....then they need to read.....the big book.......
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Old 05-04-2010, 02:36 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Hah! Great thread.

Vulgarity is something I have been working on for awhile so it was with much enthusiasm that I viewed all of your comments!

I agree that there are different reasons for using such language, like Goat said. We have the type(s) here in Montana that like to see if they can get a rise outta ya. And, we also have the type that cusses out of "bad habit".

You see, some of us are still in the rebellion stage of our lives. I was raised very, extremely formal (strict). My mother, bless her heart was very much a lady. My father expected me to be just like her. And, I tried. For eighteen years, I tried. But, my father was an ex-Marine. My five brothers also joined the Armed Services. Their regular conversational language was crude at times. (But hilarious, at times!)

Now who do you think I chose to be like? A woman who slaved all day to take care of the family, not getting much recognition for her efforts, let-alone appreciation? (She eventually gave up her very LIFE for the cause!) Or, would I rather be like a person who did what they wanted WHEN they wanted? My dad was serious some of the time because of what he went through as a small child, but most of the time, he was a fun-loving person who got to play and do just what he wanted WHEN he wanted!

After I "threw in the towel" during my college years, I rebelled against everything they taught me as a child. My mother passed away in 1980. One time, an older brother talked to me around 1986 and said: "Mom must be doing cartwheels in her grave!" Hah! I loved that. Living the life I led, I took that as a compliment, whether he meant it that way or not!



There are laid back A.A. groups and there are snobbish ones. Just like any other place, if we don't like the atmosphere, for heaven's sake, we don't have to stay OR return!

PS= I try not to offend. EVER! Lots of my best friends are strict, religious people. I would never cuss on purpose, but sometimes it DOES slip out if I am trying to emphasize a point. When that happens, I apologize. Not for me, but for how much respect I have for them and our friendship.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:21 PM   #40 (permalink)
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PS= I try not to offend. EVER! Lots of my best friends are strict, religious people. I would never cuss on purpose, but sometimes it DOES slip out if I am trying to emphasize a point. When that happens, I apologize. Not for me, but for how much respect I have for them and our friendship.
Good stuff tabfan.........most of us are not strangers to vulgarity, but it ain't about us, it's about "respect."
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