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I have been known to swear.

I have a close friend, very bright; over a beer, especially if the subject is Rovers’ fortunes (or lack of them), he can make the air turn blue.

There’s an ‘F’ word in every sentence, sometimes between every other word.

But all that’s between mates, consenting adults, in the privacy of a corner of the pub.

In every other situation, he’s impeccably polite, and well-spoken.

Words really matter.

One of the most ludicrous of proverbs is “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Of course, words themselves can’t inflict physical harm, but words for sure can hurt.

It’s through language that we all convey meaning – not only what we think, but what we feel, about ourselves, and about others.

So three cheers for Sir David Jason, star of Only Fools and Horses, who complained this week about the lowering of standards on TV.

“Take the ‘F’ word. It’s become commonplace [on television]” he said. “Language has implications and it’s offensive if it’s meant to denigrate something or someone.”

Sir David is right. I’m constantly amazed how on television the ‘F’ word, and worse, are used so frequently.

It’s as though the programme-makers have lost their imagination, and have decided instead that they can hold their audience by language which has a place only at the back of a pub.

And why does a programme like the One Show think that anyone will be impressed by the latest drivel from Jeremy Clarkson?

The latest example, last week, was his boorish nonsense about executing public sector strikers in front of the their families.

A joke? – come off it – it was just a self-indulgent rant.

The big surprise to me is why those in charge of the BBC, ITV, and the other TV channels allow this stuff.

I know many of them.

Almost without exception, they are well-educated, well-behaved, and wouldn’t dream of swearing or smutty talk in public.

Why on earth do they think their viewers should be subjected to it?

It’s time they accepted their responsibilities, and stopped it.