I’ve always prided myself on the fact that apart from the odd moment when it’s used in context, swearing has never featured in my Dispatchesposts. That doesn’t mean I am adverse to the use of what so many paragons of virtue (aka Daily Mail readers) call ‘colourful language’. Hold a conversation with me and I’m likely to add a liberal smattering of effs and blinds for effect. However, when it comes to writing, I’ve always found that the use of profanity does more to limit the ebb and flow of discourse rather than enhance it. It comes across as crass and poorly thought out, demonstrating neither wit nor charm.
So when I receive the occasional comment from a reader spewing with bile and rage as one Liverpool fan did after last week’s obituary, I veer on the precipice of censorship. Not because I’m a pompous moral guardian but because I don’t understand the need to resort to the use of that kind of vocabulary just because you don’t agree with a particular point of view. As it happens, I didn’t delete the comment and the good readers of Dispatches gave the self-styled ‘protector’ of the Liverpool cause short-shrift.