ARMED FORCES: S-s-s-s-s-s Damn!

In July 1776, General George Washington isued an order banning profanity* in the Continental Armies. He wrote: "That unmeaning and abominable custom —swearing." Last week in Tokyo, an Army chaplain, Lieut. Colonel Lisle Bartholomew, set out to discourage profanity in the 25th Infantry Division by reminding its soldiers that General Washington's order had never been rescinded. Perhaps mindful that it had seldom been obeyed either, he ended up by sanctioning one four-letter word: "A healthy damn," he said, "will tend to let off steam [but] the others . . . are to be detested."

* Washington himself could curse too...

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