I was all in a dither today. Started before breakfast. I’m still convalescing so my family takes me at face value right now. However, I really was beside myself today. Treatment not withstanding.
(^ that’s what I look like when I think… )
I opened a catalog ( catazine – that’s the new word?) and found it to be littered with the F word. No kidding. Products proudly displaying it on their covers. Christmas gifts. Mantle pieces. Wrapping paper that proclaimed ” Merry Christmas B!t)h3S!”
I started to wonder when exactly it was that our society became so accepting of that sort of language, and where is exactly was I ? And are we? Really? Is it OK to say that now in mixed company? Is that no longer considered ‘locker room talk’? Do women walk around dropping F bombs like please and thank you’s? Does anyone even say please and thank you anymore?
Then we took our daughter to get her braces off. We got behind a car with a license plate that announced to any and all who had the misfortune to be traveling behind it that “Mikes tattoo parlor does new ink tattoos and in fact, they F -ing hurt”. (only the word was spelled out properly, if there is such a thing as spelling the f word properly.)
I grew up with the sort of mom who changed the channel when a tampon commercial came on because she felt that that sort of thing wasn’t for the public to see. All day, I couldn’t imagine my mom seeing that bumper sticker,or that catalog. But I’m sure she has, or things like them.
I’m 43 (no comment) and I still haven’t heard my mother curse but maybe once in my life. Admittedly, my children haven’t had that same experience with their mother. In fact, we even play baseball at a field my kids refer to as “the field where mom cursed.” That’s a story for another day.
Tonight when we all convened at the dinner table, I asked my kids when exactly it was that the F word became so mainstream, so socially acceptable. They were far too eager to tell me. To set me straight. Make me as progressive as I claim to be.
Apparently curse words are no longer curse words and I , as progressive and free thinking of a mom as I feel I am, am way old fashioned in my thoughts as they pertain to the English language. Much to my dismay, I was promptly informed that no one views the F word as a curse word any more. (Except for people above the age of 40 apparently.) It is as common as saying any other word in the English language. Or so my two teen-aged honor students informed me.
Excuse me, but I always felt like if you needed to fill your sentences with words that were once deemed inappropriate it just made you seem like you had very little to say in the first place and I for one, didn’t want to listen.
Don’t get me started on their music.
Then Nick , wise beyond his 16. 11 years raised a very valid point.
What exactly makes a word “bad”? Why did certain words become “bad” words? Why is the F word a bad word and not, for example “Sprite” or ” laundry” ( <-< disclaimer: laundry *is* a bad word for me.) When did a word become bad? Was it bad from it’s creation? Who deems them “bad”? And does a word ever truly make it from the bad list to the good list? (like so many children hope to do around this time of year.)
Life Transitions. Society Transitions. Progress.
Which started me on this whole train of other thoughts like how society used to think it was bad to show couples in bed together on TV. I remember hearing that the Flintstones or the Bradys were like the first to show married couples sleeping in the same bed and that was scandalous. Of course I googled it and found out they weren’t the first. But that’s not the point.
Now, the line is barely drawn at full nudity- in or out of bed , full on sex scenes and it’s not at all considered scandalous. In fact, it’s considered prime time TV.
All these things…the evolution of language , the integration of “the bad words” into our everyday world, the acceptance of all things nude and sexual… it just makes me wonder what is left for the future for our children.
And dammit, that makes just make me mad.
Mr. Fahrenbach (of OVMS English and Spanish class fame) once explained that most, if not all, “bad” words have angry sounds. F, K, T, and S are all pretty angry sounds. I’m not sure why angry-sounding words became so “bad,” but I’m sure there’s a linguistics professor out there somewhere that wrote a thesis on it.
On a similar note, there are a lot of words that used to be commonplace, but are now considered curse words. The “N word” is the most obvious example. There is hope that the “R word” (retarded) will go the same way. The English language changes constantly and in many ways. Pronunciation is constantly changing, and even spelling changes, though the invention of the printing press slowed down spelling changes significantly. Sometime remind me to recite the first couple of lines of the Canterbury Tales in the original Old English. It’s like a different language. To see it written is not so bad, though.
There are also those that believe that words have only the power we give them. Use a word enough, and eventually it loses it’s stigma and sting. I believe that’s the reason why rappers are allowed to use the N word when it would be scandalous if you or I used it.
Oh, but even with all of this, I am with you when I hear a pretty young girl dropping the F-bomb as every kind of part of speech. I cringe. And I am not yet over 40. Yet. 😀
good to see this – https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000717835716
I agree Hope.
Hey good thoughts heading your way for your treatments, hope all goes very well.