“Good authors, too, who once knew better words now only use four-letter words writing prose… anything goes.” Cole Porter
Our lives will soon be more normal than they’ve been for a while. Each day brings news of relaxing of some restrictions, opening up of venues, stores and the ability to go about our lives without some of the constraints we’ve had the past fourteen months or so. We are all relived and happy, but I just realized we ALL must get ourselves ready to be out in public again.
Our professional/party manners haven’t had an outing for quite a while, and it’s taken a toll on our language. Many of us haven’t physically been around people (other than family members) for about a year and what is acceptable around our own kitchen table, the family room sofa or on the back porch isn’t acceptable in public. These behaviors weren’t appropriate before the Pandemic and won’t be after the Pandemic. We’ve let things slip and we know it. So how to clean up language that would make a drunken sailor blush? The first step is to listen to yourself!
Before the Pandemic, my language could often be termed “colorful,” depending on the circumstance, but I did not often blister anyone’s ears with my flights of four-letter words. But since the Pandemic lockdowns began, my past ladylike behavior went out the window. Up until this Lent, I was a Potty Mouth. I let ‘er rip and was often ashamed with what came out of my mouth, not realizing how far I had sunk until after I spoke. It didn’t help that we’ve been bingeing streamed shows with a vocabulary so colorful as to be cringeworthy.
One day earlier this year, quite by accident, I listened to my automatic description of how much snow was expected that day and gasped. I did not believe I just said that! I changed my behavior by listening; to what I said when I’m stressed, and when I am not stressed. It’s helped and I would say am back to my normal way of expressing myself—not terrible, with the occasional cuss word.
We will have to dress appropriately again soon; no Yoga pants, pajama bottoms and grungy jeans with Zoom-worthy tops. I’ve worn jeans or overalls with sweatshirts, sweaters and tee-shirts for fifteen months straight and can’t wait to get my usual wardrobe out. And my comfy slippers and gym shoes will no longer be my “go-tos;” I have so many cute and comfy shoes that I’ve wanted to wear but felt I should “save” them for when others can see them. Our everyday wardrobes may become a bit more casual than in the past, but my guess is most of us are so tired of sweatpants, we’ll dress more formally.
There will be plenty of behaviors we will have to change, re-arrange, and go back to when we get back to the rehearsal room. “Please” and “Thank you” should make an appearance in our rehearsal vocabulary again as should clear ways of explaining where we want to start—or end—in scores. We no longer have time to spend with flights of fancy about music, we have concerts to prepare for! At least, in person, we won’t have to deal with spotty internet connections, frozen screens and delayed speech. Zoom has been wonderful but it’s certainly not perfect!
Until next week, be well and be safe!
Please join me next week, Friday, June 11 at 10am (CDT) on ACDA’s Facebook page LIVE. I’ll be speaking with Sundra Flansburg about my Blog, Moderating for ChoralNet and maybe some questions from YOU, since we’ll be live! See you then.
I am taking my Choral Ethics Blogs to my chamber choir’s Facebook page for the foreseeable future. Please join me there this morning! https://www.facebook.com/themidwestmotetsociety/