Saturday, August 28, 2010

Kids say the darndest...

Digression! There's been a little bit of controversy here in Connecticut over some little bratty kid saying some pretty outlandish stuff on an internet video. The neighbor who allegedly prompted the kid, much to the dismay of his parents, to swear was actually arrested. If you tell a kid to swear, he does, and you post it on YouTube, have you broken a law? Apparently in Bridgeport, CT you have. Haven't there been several movies, mostly completely hilarious ones, featuring kids saying horrible stuff? Just like horror movies are creepier with a haunted little brat, curses are just funnier coming from little kids.

I know this is true because of the insane amount of times I've heard parents chastise each other, themselves, and others for laughing at a kid who drops an "F" bomb. Wouldn't want to "encourage" then. We swear and then tell them not to. Just like spanking a kid for hitting. And even if we stop them from swearing as children, aren't we just merely delaying the inevitable. I can count on one hand the amount of adults I know that don't swear. I can probably count on one finger the number of teens. We just swear. That's what we do. It's like farting and burping. We all do it. We can't help it. Yet we're supposed to not do it in public or in certain situations. Why, when we all know it's perfectly natural, can't we just let them rip? Is it just because they're funny? And why are they so funny anyway?

So we hold in swears in certain situations, though we all know we all swear. It's like we have this social contract to make our lives more difficult just for the sake of doing it. Did you know that studies have shown that people that swear after being injured experience less pain than those that don't? Not just because they're venting. The other people still screamed and carried on; they just used "appropriate" words. Something about using the forbidden words just numbed that pain. Yet we still hold them in in front of kids as if they don't know what we're thinking.

Case in point: I was in the grocery story a couple years ago, making Kira about 3ish at the time. I hit my knee on the cart and began to vent. I said, "Son of a..." I stopped myself like a good dad despite the pain. I sacrificed feeling less pain for the good of her virgin ears. What did she say? She smiled, knowing that other people getting hurt is funny, too, and screamed, "Say bitch, daddy! Say bitch!" How cute. This is the same little girl who at a younger age told my wife to "go suck yourself" and screamed "fuckin' fuck!" when bad things happened at around the same age. Remind me why we teach them to speak.

A year or so ago, my son was considered speech delayed. We had a lady come every so often to work with him to catch him up. Why? So now he can yell at his sister and tell her to "get in your room and don't come out" and "damn it." Great. My parents used to prompt my brother to say "fuck." At school I'm supposed to write up high schoolers that swear, yet we read and study works of literature and watch movies that include curses. What are we so a-fucking-fraid of! They're just words, people!

I'd love to know why we decided certain words are bad and others are good. Is shit worse than crap? Seriously? What makes shit worse than crap? When I examine my feces after I take a dump, is there a way to determine if I've just squeezed out crap or shit? Is it in the color? The texture? The smell? If I could tell the difference, would there be something somehow more naughty about the shit than the crap? Come to think of it, "feces" and "take a dump" actually sound more crude than "shit" to my ears. Are they just naughty ears?

I can't count the number of times that a female has told me that they hate the word "vagina" and would rather just say "pussy." I'm not lying. That's what they say. Of course, for some reason the word that shall not be repeated (c-u-next-Tuesday) is always the worst of all female crotch descriptors. What makes it different? It's in The Canterbury Tales that we teach to kids, by the way. Did Chaucer's mommy put soap in his mouth? Why are we so uptight about pretending that certain words are worse than others. Give me a fucking break.

So don't fucking tell me there's anything wrong with a couple shit-eating curse words being tossed into a cock-sucking sentence. Stop being pussies, and in the words of my daughter, "go suck yourself."

PS--to the dude in Bridgeport prompting strange neighbor kids to swear to put it on YouTube--GET A LIFE YOU SICK FUCK!


  1. You know what bugs me? When a little kid (or his Mommy or Daddy, especially) say "fudge," and people think that's so cuddly and adorable. If you're going to teach your kid to say "oh fudge," you may as well teach him to say FUCK. If you didn't know, FUDGE means FUCK when you say it that way. If we were telepathic, like whales and dolphins, even if our calf squealed "fudge" our cetacean brains would hear FUCK. In fact, when I hear a kid say "fudge," my brain not only hears FUCK, but the teacher/mentor part of me wants to say, "It's pronounced FUCK."

    Great post.

  2. I wonder if, late at night, after a long, hard day with the kids, Daddy cuddles up close to Mommy and whispers a breathy "let's fudge, baby" in her ear.

  3. On the one hand I can see your point. Lots of people swear. I'm not actually one of them, at least not in normal conversation, and none of my kids has ever been prone to swearing either. Neither Hubby nor I swear that much.

    I like to reserve my swearing for especially appropriate use such as when I'm driving down the ND highway in the pitch black of night and all of a sudden there's a deer in the middle of road. That's when I yell SHIT! The kids now call "shit" "the deer word." I also agree with you that swearing is a great way to mitigate pain. Mythbusters proved it.

    But on the other hand doesn't overusing swear words minimize their expressiveness? or their shock value? The dude you hear who uses "fuck" as much as valley girls used "like" is trying to shock his audience when really he's just numbing them to the value of the word. I wanna tell him, "less is more, dude, less is more!"

    My mom used to always tell me that people who swore constantly were only exposing their tiny vocabulary and thus their tiny intellect. I don't know if that's necessarily true, but I've never really felt the need to use swear words to enhance my communication. I just like to keep them in reserve for when they'll add the perfect touch!

  4. I don't think I know anyone who consciously overuses curses. I think it's an upbringing thing. Like picking up an accent. Some people in some areas use language differently. Some families use it differently. I know my uncle came back from Vietnam swearing up a storm and never stopped. There's a reason why they say "cuss like a sailor." I mean, go to a Mets game and listen to the talk in the cheap seats. I mean, any self-respecting New Yorker is going to swear. You learn what you hear, I guess. I think there might be a social expectation that those who swear more are less intelligent, but I see it as a socio-economic thing. I grew up in a poor family that swore a lot, and no matter how high my IQ is, and no matter how much education I get, I still use those words. Now, you've seen me in action. I'm not saying I swear left and right, but I just think we put a huge stigma on words that really doesn't make sense in a purely philosophical sense. I know how things ARE, but I talking about the ought. There's a lot of things that are the way they are but don't make sense. Like why one word is bad and another isn't. It's an interesting sociological concept to examine. Sociologically speaking, societies give more words to the things that are most important to them. Think of all the ways we say "sex" and "boobs" and "money" and you know what's important to us. I guess that goes for feces, too.

  5. I understand what you're saying. It is what it is but just because something is, does that mean it should be?

    You talk about people putting a stigma on words that doesn't make sense in a philosophical sense, but there's a reason for that stigma. There's an organization to language...words all serve a functional and emotional purpose and those words that have been designated as "swear" words have that stigma because they serve a certain cultural purpose. They shock. They signify severity. They draw attention. If they're overused or become common, they lose their value. That's why I wonder if that dude who says fuck every other word understands that instead of being rebellious he's really just diminishing the value of the very word he's using to prove he's such a bad boy. It's funny. Like when you say the same word over and over until it sounds like gibberish and has no meaning? Same thing. Desensitization.


  6. Well, that means if people are offended by a word, they should encourage it's use, rendering it powerless. I just don't see a whole bunch of people sitting down and thinking out that they are going to swear just to upset and provoke. It's more a cultural thing. If you're raised and grow up around it, you do it. I just think it's weird that at some point, somebody deemed which would be "bad words." How did that happen. The first time the first dude muttered the word "shit," it couldn't have been bad. Society decided that it was bad somehow. Why? Who knows. Same thing with cannibalism. If you were born in a society that thought the only way to show your appreciation of a loved one who died was to consume his or her flesh, NOT being a cannibal would be immoral, and you'd never know any better. Hmmmm...

  7. Yep - that arbitrary standard is a kicker. How much sense does it make that online Pogo Scrabble accepts "crap" but not "shit"? and maybe weirder - that Webster's 7th rejects "cunt" but is very forthright about about "cunnilingus." Which leads us down the slippery slope of slang vs accepted usage - an evolving standard for sure. In the 70s "suck" was as likely to get the class clown booted into the principal's office as "fuck." Now "suck" is mainstream and "fuck" is on it's way there. But even use a legitimate form of the n-word these days and you're toast.

    The ethic should consider audience more than absolute appropriateness vs inappropriateness. Would your uncle swear up a storm in front of an dear great aunt? And who knows what dear great auntie might been whispering to her quilting bee peers over the latest buzz on Bristol and Levi - or her own family scandals? It's almost like how scantily someone would be willing to dress in front of what company. There should be some decision-making process in the choice. And that's where the role of teacher/parent comes in.
    I would have helped post bail for George Carlin if asked to in the 70s when his 7 word list of words you can't say on TV - broadcast over the radio - got him thrown in the clinker. But let a punk in my night school class try to delineate the list - in my face - and I'd have a security guard at my door quicker than you can say "piss", "motherfucker", and "tits" - the three words from Carlin's list that haven't been posted on this blog yet.
    I'm with Margaret. Save those juicy words for extreme circumstances. Otherwise, What will you have do to let off steam when all hell breaks loose? Something more vicious?

  8. Yeah, it does get a little annoying when it's every other word, but then I wonder why that is. It's repetition of anything that much gets annoying. So I did a little research, and I think it's that the curse words have come to mean sooooooo many different things. They're so versatile, you can make them mean anything; therefore, you can REALLY over use them.

  9. abso-fucking-lutely my friend.