Thursday, October 25, 2007

The "F" word, and a Thursday link

I remember years ago I was at the Primary President's home having a presidency meeting when her young daughter came into the room and exclaimed: "Mom! Ryan just said the "F" word!" Calmly, yet with much dedication "mommy" left the room and headed down the hall.

During her absence, we still at the table were all doe eyed and wondering what the outcome of this declaration would be. After all, not only was she the Primary President, but the daddy in this home was a counselor in the Bishopric. We at the table were kind of inwardly happy knowing that this proved this family was not as 'perfect' as we all previously had presumed.

A few moments passed by and in walked my friend. Before she even sat down she had the following statement:

"Before anyone gets any grand ideas about the language in this house, the "F" word here is "FINE!". As in, "You need to do your homework" "FINE!", or "Go make your bed please." "FINE!". Ryan said "fine" and she didn't approve. O.k. let's finish this meeting."

And with that we knew, yup, they were perfect.

Now in my house there have been moments of salty language that went a bit further than the occasional "FINE!". That said, There were some words that just got more reprimand than others.

Thor absolutely used to come undone if anyone, including myself, replied with the ever popular, insult implying "DUH!". Seriously offended, he would just stop mid sentence and recoil, allowing the offender to back-step quickly enough to a safe place to begin their flimsy repentant excuse for the slip.

Another faux pas that would stimulate parental ire was the complacent word "whatever". This apathetic response was considered not only rude, but completely void of intelligence and comprehension.

A phrase that could almost tie but at times would be the winner in the "how to make the parental units angry" contest was "I don't know." or it's cousin "I don't care." Such apathy! In the history of our family there is one page that tells the story of #2 son who, upon given a choice of coats for the winter, and asked to choose which he preferred, replied: "I don't care." He was asked once again and even a third time, all with the same response. At that point the coats were placed back on the rack and there wasn't a coat purchased that year for said child. You don't care which coat you want, guess you don't need one badly enough. After having to wear an outgrown coat, the next year you can bet that kid had an opinion.

The ever popular "S" words. "Stupid" in reference to inanimate objects seemed to slither by without too much attention (other than a warning glare), however when said to or about someone it would unleash untold pointed fingers and negative attention, so much so that the offender wouldn't make the same mistake for a good two to three years.

"Suck" was another story. Unless one was talking about the use of a vacuum or straw this word got the adult attention immediately. And not just our own off spring, but anyone 5 years younger than the parental units, would reap the fury of using such a vulgar term. Almost always there would be some ridiculous excuse and explanation to this word's new super powers and how only old people thought it vulgar. These were moot points in our house. It got so bad that eventually our children just got used to saying that bad things "created a huge vacuum." and left it at that.

There is still debate going on over the use of the word "gay". Is this an emotion, a group of people, or an insult?

Now if you will recall, I am a dinosaur. I actually remember the day when "gay" meant happy, joyous, or some other spring-like emotion. I remember the words to children's songs that used "gay" quite a lot! "...when Grandpa comes, we're gay!" "..having a gay heart that sings!..." o.k. At that same time in ancient history homosexuals were given titles such as odd fellows, or queer, because queer -in the dictionary sense- meant odd, unusual, different than the norm...

Then the 80's hit and all the sudden male homosexuals were termed "gay" because they all seemed very happy, joyous, and 'spring-like'.

(and now that I think about it, why just the guys? How come the gals didn't get a cute nickname? Everyone still says "lesbians". Gays and Lesbians. What's up with that? Shouldn't the women have a nickname that reflects their common mood? Maybe gays and handys, 'cause, being very stereo-typical, they seem to be very handy around the house. Who knows, probably will never catch on.)

Well, now "gay" means weird, ridiculous, odd, acting off the mark...o.k. well maybe "gay" is one of those words that has multiple meanings yet one meaning, I don't know anymore. I'm very confused.

Mormon Mommy Wars has a very good post on words and the power they carry... this is the only link for today...things are a little weird here and with all the hustle and bustle this is all I have. Thanks for being so understanding.

add to sk*rt


Lisa M. said...

I got my mouth washed out and beaten half to death once, because I had a sibling- that told my folks, I had said the "F" word-

It was much later, when my Mother finally asked, WHAT exactly did she say-

"Fat" was the reply.

I've read the MMW post- it was good- SO much I could add to it.


I Love coming here-

s'mee said...

Lisa, I have missed you. And soon, my dear, will come another post on the other "F" word and just how cruel it can be. Thanks, babe.

Lex said...

I'm a teacher... kids these days use the word 'gay' with full understanding of BOTH meanings of the word. They will call another kid gay and then try to tell me they meant "happy." All I can say is "That is not an appropriate word to use at school." Can't really start a discussion about the meaning of the word and the controversial topic of being gay. Hardly an appropriate conversation for me to have with someone else's kids - no doubt parents will have strong views on the subject.
Take care,

s'mee said...

Lex! Thanks for stopping by! I hear ya, being a teacher is so difficult. Kids can be quite cheeky. And their parents, like you say, have very strong opinions!

So nice to hear from you, see you soon!