on bad words.

My 12 year old hit his hand on something the other day and let out a “damn it!”. I thought to myself for a moment then decided to pretend not to notice that, nor the way he looked at me wondering if I heard.

Later he asks me in the car, “Mom is it such a big deal if I say ‘damn it’? ”

“Not really. Just don’t tell anyone I said that.”

He laughed. And then I told him it’s a hard habit to break and he’d feel pretty stupid if he said it in front of the Rabbi or one of his friend’s parents, so he better think hard about it before he picks it up as a habit.

He’s such a mild-manner, people pleasing kinda guy, that it shouldn’t matter. But I know some people are uppity about the subject.

I just don’t get why curse words are such a big deal. I curse like a sailor. It ain’t exactly becoming, I admit. But I save it for the times when I don’t feel very becoming. It’s not like I go around throwing an f-bomb out there in ever day conversation. Okay, sometimes I do. But not like every sentence. Alas, I realize this isn’t really good social etiquette, so like picking my nose, I leave it for more semi-private moments. (Like you don’t pick your nose!)

Maybe it’s just something I hold on to from my past. Something I don’t want to let go of. The freedom of letting out a nice “bloody effing hell” now and again is just something I don’t think I can replace. Like a good cry, it just vents the system.

I posted something on my facebook the other day quoting the ever-great Dave Grohl–one of my favourite musicians for a plethora of reasons–and someone got all uptight because he using “foul language”. You know, to each their own. I didn’t apologize for posting it either, but I didn’t defend it. It just is. Honesty if you take issue with his cursing, the likelihood of you have any interest in his words is pretty nil to begin with.

My husband let a four letter word roll outta of his mouth like nothing the other day. I looked at him bug-eyed. “Now why do you wanna go around saying words like that?” (and I added “pretty boy” in my mind, because though he’s rugged with his long beard and manly hands, he’s always got a little bit of pretty boy in the twinkling of his eyes and the wrinkles around his mouth when he smiles.)

“You say it!”

“Yeah, but you’re better than me! You can’t curse!”


“I love that you don’t curse. It’s a good influence on me. Gives me something to strive for. When I curse it’s no big deal–people expect it. But when you curse it hurts my ears.”

“Isn’t that a double standard?”

Of course it is.


One thought on “on bad words.

  1. Bravo. I’ve been in the construction industry my whole life, and have many friends in white collar professions. The two worlds have always seemed to have languages all their own, and I have taken great pains to shield one world from the other at any gatherings. For the most part, when I was off the “job”, I had a fairly clean, socially acceptable vocabulary.

    Then I had kids…

    I used to censor myself around them. Frequently.

    “What the —!?!?” “What are you —- doing?!?” “Holy —!!”

    Alas, I found that my children just giggled at me…because I sounded like an idiot…

    Then one day, I just LET LOOSE. By that, I mean I would have embarrassed your “sailor”.

    The strangest thing happened. The children BEHAVED for a short time. I suppose seeing how far they had pushed me might have scared some sense into them for a little while…

    What most amuses me, however, is how my kids seem to KNOW that if I don’t say the “word” unless I’m extremely angry (usually with them), it’s NOT a word they can say…


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