Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Off to Bad LauguageVille

Mimi AKA Brenda is being carried off to Bad LanguageVille

Where do you stand on raucous, naughty, semi-bad or down-right gross language? I’m forced to ponder this issue anew because of grandchildren.

When we discovered only half of our Christmas tree made the move from Raleigh and Lexington, grandson Tristan and I set out to buy a new one on a rainy cold Sunday afternoon. What was I thinking? Michael’s, the arts and craft store, was packed and a little boy’s wonderland of distraction.

After we had accomplished our goal and a dear-to-my-heart employee helped us get the tree into the car, I turned to Tristan in the back seat and said, “We did it! Tristan and Mimi bought the new Christmas tree and we got a big ass tree!”

Appalled, he shouted, “Off to Bad Languageville. Population: YOU!”

I like bad language. It expresses my feelings sometimes when nothing else will. I get annoyed with my carrot-up-the-butt friend (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) when he chastises every use of a colorful word.

When my children were pre-teens, I explained to them, “Language is neither moral nor immoral. But it is appropriate and inappropriate to particular situations.” Of course, they had to push the limits of my explanation most significantly by dropping the f-bomb to their great aunt, a retired missionary. So much for that parenting technique.

I’m currently reading Stephen King’s book titled, On Writing. He likes bad language more than I do. Does that make him less a writer? Less a person? Less a parent? I ponder these things.

We’ve even reached the point that we have words that are used at Mimi and Pappa’s house but not at school or church. Tristan told me he knew so much about the Noah’s Ark story he even knew the “freakin’ pigeons” built their house on the top of the ark. I reminded him that freakin’ is not a church word. He said, “It’s not a bad word, Mimi.” He’s right, but I still reminded him that it is not a school or church word. Are you drawing arbitrary lines between school, church, profession, writing and personal words?

What do you think? Do you also reside in Bad LanguageVille?  

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