Posts Tagged ‘ swearing ’

Obscene Words Our Kids Can’t Use… Even If We Used To

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

21 months.

You can no longer say the “m-word” on TV.

No, green slime will not fall on your head if you do, but the censors will bleep the word out, even on Comedy Central: It’s “little people” now.

But when I was a kid in the Eighties, there was no chance of being reprimanded or corrected if you used the “m-word.”

Similarly, the “r-word” is dangerous to use as well. I remember back in 2008 when Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder drew controversy and even inspired a petition that was circulated through Facebook encouraging people not to see the movie because of the way it portrayed those with special needs.

It’s wallpapered in our brains as today’s parents of young children to know that one of the worst things to be in our society is a bigot; any type of person who looks down on or makes fun of other people for being different.

(To be honest, I’m actually a tad paranoid to even be covering this topic today for fear of being misunderstood or misquoted as one myself. What if I ironically make myself look like the kind of bully I am speaking against here?)

And that brings us to another especially unacceptable and obscene term; the “f-word.”

No, the other “f-word,” as well as the “q-word.” These days, when one of your friends from high school officially “comes out of the closet” on Facebook in a status update, you can expect to see a flood of “likes” and “hugs” and “You go girl!” comments, definitely not criticism or name-calling.

As if I needed to say it, I’m glad to see these words become demonized. I like knowing our society is reaching such a state of “bullying awareness.”

What I am seeing about our Millennial generation (born from 1980 to 2000) and our concept of vulgarity is that we’re more offended by slurs directed at minorities of every kind in society; as opposed to cursing and cussing in general.

Interestingly, we’re much less offended by the classic extreme offenders, like “g.d.” or “a-hole” or even the original f-word. In fact, it’s not even a big deal anymore to hear those words spoken on cable TV from time to time.

We’ve heard them so many times that I’m wondering if they actually are profane anymore or if we just pretend they are because it’s what we’re used to thinking.

Here’s what I know. I have a responsibility to teach my son what is and is not appropriate to say, largely based on which words I do and do not say.

It’s not up to the rating of a movie or a TV show, or which words the censors bleep out, or even which words that society deems as offensive for whatever reason.

Since a lot of my son’s future vocabulary is indeed up to me, I will guide him and strive to be the example he needs to see and hear.

I will be that person in my son’s life; to teach him not only how not to hurt others with his words, but also, how to build people up with his words, especially to those who need it the most.

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