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Modern Parenthood

Sorority e-mail writer, N.D. news anchorman: They needed mom's swear jar

The sorority e-mail writer and a news anchorman from North Dakota learned swearing just once could have you losing for life. Bring out the swear jar, parents. 

By Lisa SuhayGuest Blogger / April 26, 2013

After a Delta Gamma sorority girl and a news anchorman resigned from their jobs due to their mouths getting them in trouble, tell your kids it pays to mind their language. Here, a Greek system recruitment sign are posted on the University of North Carolina's Charlotte campus, Sept. 5.

Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor


A profanity-laced e-mail by a sorority sister gets her reputation from Alpha to persona-non-Gamma right after a news anchorman for a North Dakota television station was fired for opening his first-ever broadcast with obscenities. It’s time to find a cure for sailor’s mouth before our kids become the next to lose face and future over a slip of the lip that sinks their professional ship.

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Lisa Suhay, who has four sons at home in Norfolk, Va., is a children’s book author and founder of the Norfolk (Va.) Initiative for Chess Excellence (NICE) , a nonprofit organization serving at-risk youth via mentoring and teaching the game of chess for critical thinking and life strategies.

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A Delta Gamma sister at the University of Maryland is “resigning” from her sorority after her F-bomb rant in e-mail sparked a viral, media-frenzy. Last week the headlines were all about A.J. Clemente, new weekend news anchorman for Bismarck, N.D., television station KFYR when, as his co-anchor was making the introduction on air he failed to realize his microphone was live as he dropped some choice obscenities.

Sadly, I can imagine the shock and awe their parents felt upon seeing their kids on the news for foul-mouthed fails. I wonder if the parents swore roundly when they first heard about the incidents?

I can say with all honesty that if I were in their positions I would have struggled mightily not to let fly with a few expletives.

I don’t drink, smoke, do any sort of drug and have even given up coffee and Red Bull, but swearing is still, despite all efforts, my Achillies heel. I blame it on my former New York Times, New Jersey section editor who used the F-bomb as every part of speech and punctuation as well.

When I first began working for the Times as a stringer, about 15 years ago, I didn’t need to delete expletives from my speech, let alone e-mails because I just plain didn’t use them. However, after several years of multiple daily phone calls with my section editor, I became so desensitized to the word that I began to use it with regularity.

That came to an abrupt halt when I was out on assignment one day and my mother came to our house to babysit the boys while I was out doing an interview. When I returned home mom told me, “A man called claiming to be from The New York Times. He expects you to call him back. I told him I’d see about that.”


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