Let’s discuss words today. Not foreign words, or grammatically correct words, or even swear words. Instead, let’s discuss words that are just wrong. In our family, we don’t use swear words…at least no one but me uses swear words and the reactions are so over-the-top dramatic that it is only on very rare occasions that I use even the most mild of profanities. We also work really hard not to use words like crap, stupid, dumb, shut-up, and hate. But there are a couple of words that I’m embarrassed to admit we all use on a daily basis. The words gay and retarded are the current swear words of choice in our home, as in “That test was so retarded” or “My hair looks so gay today.” We don’t mean either word to be offensive to people who are retarded or gay, but there is a definite negative tone to the way we use those words.
I know I’m not alone, but I’m an adult with a BA in English who should have a more expansive and eloquent vocabulary. However, I spend the majority of my time these days with teenagers…at home, at work, at church, so I suppose it is inevitable that I’m going to subconsciously pick up on some of their language. Luckily, Joe is here to remind me, and our girls, to clean up our language…I think his favorite and most used phrase is “We don’t say the word crap.” But even he succumbs to these two words occasionally.
After reading this article a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been rethinking my use of the R-word a lot. Then I watched this video, (I don’t agree with everything he says, but I completely agree with his point) and realized that my use of the G-word has got to go, too. So, we are adding these two words to the list of banned words in our home. It might take some time, but we’re going to post a list of alternatives and remind each other to use one of those instead. Wish us luck, please.
And now I’m curious, do you have any words that are banned in your home? What do you think about the current use of the R-word and the G-word?