Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Cussing Child and Parent

Blog-14 - for Language. You know who you are - stay away.

Avery crawled into the back of the Jeep as we were about to leave for the grocery store.

"Avery, you're going to have to get in a seat," said Laura.

"Dammit," she sighed.

. . . . .

Who the hell did she pick up that kind of language from?

I suppose I could blame it on the preschool kids. Only I'm her preschool, and she and her brother are the kids. "Maybe the neighborhood kids?" Uh, again, the only neighborhood kids are her sisters and brother. And I haven't heard Elmo swearing lately (though I wouldn't put it past the little bastard).

I suppose that leaves her mother.

. . . . .

I grew up in a culture where swearing was ... well, if you swore it was likely that you were going to hell. It wasn't a definite thing, mind you, your being hellbound, but it was a likely thing.

And now, at 36, I find myself not having too many problems with cussing. I enjoy language - even that kind of language. I find it refreshingly straightforward, and satisfyingly appropriate at times. Even literary, to be snobbish about it.

I do have some qualifications, though. And the following is where I draw my lines: (1) I cringe when someone misuses our Lord's name. (2) Coarse joking and language have no place in my life. I don't want to be around it. That does not mean that talking about some poor shmuck getting kicked in the balls isn't hilarious - because it is (even when that poor shmuck happens to be me, given enough time between the incident and the retelling). There's nothing funnier to a man than seeing another man getting dropped like a sack of potatoes - thus the popularity of America's Funniest Videos. But I'd rather people not talk about it in front of my daughters. What I mean by coarse is really lewd or sexual humor - humor that objectifies and degrades. Humor that objectifies and degrades is inappropriate even when it isn't lewd (Racial jokes told by prejudiced people, for instance). I don't like it. (3) There is a time and place for swearing. That place is not normally at work or school. That place is not in front of those who find it offensive. And that place is not in front of children.

Otherwise, it's hella fun.

Yes, I swear sometimes. And, apparently, I swear sometimes in front of the children.

I need to better discipline my tongue.



Jared Coleman said...

Hehehe... I cracked up on this one. I completely sympathize! :-)

Dan said...

Damn, you're funny!

ScottB said...

Damn skippy.

Scott Lyons said...

Ah, my cussing brothers. We'll need to congregate for a beer sometime.