Bad Words

Because of the way I set up #1’s Gmail account, I was privy (and now you are too!) to the following hilarious, awkward situation my Aunt got herself into:

AB: Tell your daddy that he would enjoy the movie “We Are Marshall.” You will too in a few years.

#1: Dear Aunt Barbra,
Is the movie “We Are Marshall” a PG or G movie?I will tell my dad he will enjoy “We Are Marshall” when he sees it.

AB: It’s P.G. A couple of bad words, that’s all.

#1: Dear Aunt Barbra,
What are the bad words?Do you want me to know the bad words right now or in two years?

AB: Maybe you already know them, but I am not going to repeat them. The longer you don’t know them, the better. But they are words almost everyone says in common conversation these days, even in school. So, there you are….left hanging. Tell your mom I’m sorry I raised the issue…:(

Nice dodge, AB — we’ll take the ball from here! I guess we’ll have to relate it to his current understanding of bad language, i.e. inappropriate combinations of “butt”, “poop”, and “head”.


13 Responses

  1. Does he know his grandfather is BS?

  2. Oh my! This made my chuckle, especially the “when do you want me to know the bad words?” question. Oh #1, we’d all love if you never knew the bad words, but now-a-days, they seem hard to avoid.

  3. Woe is me! What have I wrought?? (See my blog re this too.) I need some real life daily exposure to your fast-thinking son to keep me alert and on the ready. I’m so glad God made you his parents (and grandparents, BS)!! He’s in good hands.

  4. Chuck thinks that I ought to explain my behavior by the fact that I raised only girls and in another era…?? I do have weekly contact with a very inquisitive five year old boy (at church–a dear fellow, he and his two younger brothers, who are all ready with their hugs for C and me) but have never had THIS kind of interaction.

  5. Do you want me to know the bad words right now or in two years?

    HA! What a clever kid! How self-aware! :-D That’s a scream.

  6. Funny stuff. Sounds like you’ve sweet kids, Rube. That’s no surprise.

  7. *Warning: possible rabbit trail/thread hijacking*

    There are no words that are inherently evil in themselves. Words can only be used in an evil way. Even if the definition (which only reflects the typical use) is vulgar or whatever, there are still some things in this world that are vulgar. Some things, situations, require vulgar language to be properly explained/described.

    There are some words in the Bible, particularly in the book of Ezekiel, that would be considered swear words today, if properly translated. But they didn’t conceive of words in a victorian way in those days. The victorian era taught us certain rules and values, and to violate them becomes a sin.

    However, Paul says:

    Col 3:8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

    This word translated “obscene talk” unfortunately, I think, doesn’t appear elsewhere in Scripture. So to say that we know exactly what it means would be wrong. However, it probably doesn’t refer to specific words, but to use.

    For example, if you say, “oh crap” instead of “oh s**t”, you think that you have avoided sin. But have you? You are using a word that means exactly the same thing in exactly the same way. It’s not those four letters that make the word bad. It’s the use.

    Or do you suppose you are doing right when you say, “Screw you!” rather than “F**k you!” Who are you kidding? You are using a word that means exactly the same thing in exactly the same way. You might as well say the latter, because that’s what you really mean to say anyway.

    However, there are some situations or descriptions in which these words become appropriate. What is an appropriate word to describe an act of cheap sex that helps to underscore the sleaziness of the act? A word that shocks in an appropriate way to underscore the shocking nature of the act being described? You know the word I mean. It’s appropriate in this situation.

    What is totally innappropriate for any human being is to curse/condemn/judge another human being. To do so is to claim God’s throne as your own and preside in judgment over someone else, at least in your heart. Think about that next time you want to say “screw you” to someone. You are cursing them, damning them. In order to do so, you have to proclaim yourself their judge, as if you have that right, a right that properly belongs only to God alone. So in order to say someone else is damned, you must first presuppose that you have the right to say it, which means you must be God. Well, if you think of yourself as God, as the sinful nature is wont to do, then it is second nature to simply claim that authority for yourself without even giving it another thought. To condemn someone is to claim to sit on the throne of God, and to have the authority to make the laws that govern whether someone goes to heaven or hell.


  8. Don’t you think some words are “over 40” and “under 40” words? I refer to the word “sucks”, which shocks many older saints, but is part of the common lexicon among younger people. Hmmm. I don’t know what my reaction would be if my daughter began saying certain words, but, way in the back of my mind, I often hear my dad’s (a man who I NEVER once heard say a bad word) admonition to “select words from the top shelf.”

  9. Ha ha! Trust Echo to find 1000 words about a simple family situation! For a 2 Kingdoms guy, you certainly are good at applying Christianity to everything! Let Theonomists put that in their pipe & smoke it!

    ‘bino, I certainly was not allowed to say “sucks” when I was a kid (I distinctly remember one time getting in big trouble when I definitely said “stinks” but what was heard was “sucks”). T&I say it all the time (and plenty worse :-( hopefully away from the kids!), but I haven’t noticed the kids saying it at all. I think I may have heard the occasional ‘crap’ out of #1, but haven’t reprimanded him, because certainly I say crap all the time!

    But I do agree that there are words that are appropriate for adults to use (especially if adults use appropriate judgment on how/when it is appropriate to use them), but not for kids. Just like alcohol can be used appropriately by adults, but not by kids. But we have not pressed that “say as I tell you, not as I say” distinction yet.

    A final note, SpongeBob SquarePants is great in this respect — they provide a whole new vocabulary of innocent expletives for kids: Barnacles! Tartar sauce!

  10. Albino,

    Re: 8

    Bearing in mind of course that the Bible says to guard our tongue. Certain words are inappropriate for certain contexts. If people would keep from cursing and speaking in a vulgar fashion, we wouldn’t need so many colorful words for those purposes, and the colorful words that we have wouldn’t carry those meanings. But the Bible does use some very colorful language at times. But it is only when it is making a very colorful point. It’s purpose is to put it in strong language, even shocking language in some cases. Sometimes this is necessary to make a point. Sometimes the people of God need a good verbal slap upside the head.

    “Sucks” is an interesting word. But while many of us use it very casually, it has a vulgar (sexual) connotation and should be set apart for that purpose. While the 40+ crowd is right that it shouldn’t be tossed around like it means nothing, on the other hand that doesn’t mean it can never be used and that it’s inherently sinful to do so.

    99.9999% of colorful language and four letter words should stop. But in some cases it’s appropriate.


  11. Rube,

    when I was in USMC bootcamp, the drill instructors were not allowed to swear at us. They had to use substitute words like, “Get this freakin’ trash picked up NOW!” We all picked it up in a hurry, because it was literally a constant flow of substitute explitives.

    Well, got out of bootcamp and felt silly saying “freaking” all the time. But I was in the habit of using such emphatic “I’m really serious” kind of language, so in order to be normal, albeit psychotic sounding, I just started using the real words all the time. It’s easier to change from one to the other than to talk like a normal person. It’s something I still struggle with from time to time, particularly when alone and angry in the car.

    But that’s why I brought it up. It only recently dawned on me that these kinds of words are not sinful in and of themselves, but in how we use them. We are sinful, not things, no matter what those things are. Things cannot be sinful, only peoples’ hearts are sinful. Anyway, I was talking with a pastor at the time, and we talked about it. There was something liberating about that conversation. Realigned my perception a bit. so I thought I’d share with all of you.


  12. Seriously? Boot camp instructors weren’t allowed to cuss? When were you in boot camp?

    I went skydiving a few years ago (4 or 5) with a boot camp instructor and he said they were allowed to say whatever they wanted to say.

    FWIW Echo challenged me once on this blog that I ought to just cuss instead of using initials (bs). The reason I don’t is because of the public access and I would hate for one of my congregation to read me writing something like that and take it as an endorsement. Of course in that particular instance I thought the reference was witty and humorous, obviously it wasn’t received as such.

  13. Daniel,

    As surprising as this sounds, I don’t always have a light hearted view of things. Ahem.

    Part of that is probably a result of two things. 1) I was a Marine. I think I might have smiled once or twice during that time, but not much more than that. 2) I take the gospel very, very seriously, and sometimes that leads me to take myself too seriously. So I apologize for my rotten sense of humor.

    Anyway, yeah, they weren’t supposed to cuss. Truth is, though, when we got closer to graduation, they began cussing more. I went through in 99.

    My point about the “BS” business is that it means the exact same thing as what it stands for, it’s just different symbols. You mean the same thing by it, so I was questioning, “Why pretend that you are doing something less than swearing?” It’s not the word that’s evil, it’s what’s meant behind it. It’s the intent behind it.

    If someone cuts me off on the highway, and I say, “Darn you!” Haven’t I still cursed him? Haven’t I still declared him condemned, and so taken God’s authority onto myself? I have, because that was the intent of my heart. I thought I could avoid sinning by saying “darn” instead of “damn”, but since my heart is no different, I still am just as sinful. Perhaps even moreso, because I thought that I could fool God by changing an “m” to an “r”. That probably won’t fool God on judgment day.


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