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The Adele Adkins effect: From coarse to callous

Tuesday, 5 July, 2016

If TIME had been of a mind to indulge itself in a little wordplay, it could have opted for “Coarse” instead of “Course” in its 27 June headline, but it didn’t so Ashley Hoffman’s story about the popular English singer was topped with: “Of Course Adele Couldn’t Stop Cursing During Her Glastonbury Set“. What did it sound like? Well, look and listen: Adele swearing at the Glastonbury Festival 2016.

Does it matter if people swear in public? A cursory look at social media reaction to the reaction to Adele’s swearing shows that those who object mildly are tarred with the brush of reactionary. It’s cool to curse now. But would the same fans of the f-word think it cool if teachers began using it in the classroom? Would they like doctors to add it to their bedside manners? The Welsh singer-songwriter Charlotte Church would not be upset, if her tweet yesterday in response to the retirement announcement of UKIP leader Nigel Farage is anything to go by:

Having witnessed first-hand the corrosive, brutalizing effects of persistent swearing, I am convinced that a coarse society will lead to a callous society. Adele Adkins and Charlotte Church might not be thrilled with that outcome.


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