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I Should Have My Mouth Washed Out With Soap

cursing

Do you use curse words?

I was raised very religious, though my parents weren’t religious at all (loooong story), and my dad was very adamant in the language we used at home. Curse words were in no way, shape, or form allowed out of our mouths. I don’t know what my dad would have done had I used a curse word, but the hint of punishment was enough for my rule-following self.

I’m not just talking about the f-word or the b-word or the sh-word. We WERE NOT ALLOWED to say fart. “I farted” was NOT FUNNY. At least not to my parents. If we farted, we had to say, “Excuse me. I committed a faux pas.”

To this day, I still think farting is funny.

When I was religious, it came as a shock to me that some people thought “bastard” was a bad word. Why is bastard such a bad word? To me, it means a jerk, and Dictionary.com shows the slang meaning as:

Slang. a) a vicious, despicable, or thoroughly disliked person: Some bastard slashed the tires on my car.
b) a person, esp. a man: The poor bastard broke his leg.

Yet I was shushed and reprimanded by many a person when “bastard” slipped through my lips. Why would calling someone a bastard be worse than calling them a jerk?

I really really try not to curse. I don’t think it’s appropriate in most instances, and certainly not in mixed company. But I don’t mind if other people do it, and I have this friend who CURSES LIKE A SAILOR and it cracks me up, because she can switch off the bad language like a light switch. She can be charming and deferential, or she can be crass. Her crass-ness is priceless, though.

BUT MY KIDS! What will I teach my kids?! I know parents who won’t let their kids use the words dumb or stupid, but how do I censor MYSELF? How do you figure out which words your three-year-old can or can’t say? What words do you teach your child to use when they’re angry? Is *fart* such a bad word? What about *toot*? What about *stupid*? Aren’t there times that using the word stupid is appropriate? Why do we not teach our children that there are things/people/behavior that are stupid? Or do we not want our children to use words that seem too adult for their little mouths?

HOW DO YOU FIGURE THIS OUT?

After writing this, I found a post where many parents (I assume) weighed in on the word stupid. I don’t think that stupid is a bad word…it’s all in the way your kid uses it, right? Scribbit posted her opinion on children using the word stupid, and she voices what I believed in my gut but couldn’t quite get it to sound right when I wrote it down. Since I don’t have kids (and I’m not pregnant!), I’m not saying how I would raise my own kids, only that I’m thinking about it now and wondering how other people handle this.

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