The words we use…

My 12 year-old: Mom, why can't I swear? All my friends are swearing and I want to do it too.

Me: What?! What do you mean they are swearing? And NO you are not allowed to swear!

My 12 year-old: Then tell me what bad words I can use while playing my video game?

Me: Why do you need to use those words?

My 12 year-old: Because it's fun and everybody is saying them.

Me: First of all it's not fun, secondly they are saying them only because there is a huge lack of vocabulary in their minds and to fill in the blank they use foul language. You are not allowed.

This is the conversation I had with my son about a month ago.

We just came back from Toronto, where we went to see the most wonderful musical by Elton John " Billy Elliot". After seeing that play my son turns to me and says: "Did you hear those kids using the "F" words and the "S" words? If they can do it on stage, then I can do it in real life". I tried to explain to him that they are actors and their acting requires them to use profanity. His argument: well they were playing real people. I sighed heavily and told him that the subject is closed and he is not allowed to swear and then I heard this guy and got totally confused.

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About Ariana

I came to USA about 20 years from former USSR. I am an American Citizen with a heavy Russian Accent. My two boys always make fun of my English. I love to write, I usually do it for me, but if you would like to stop and leave a comment it would be great! I ‘d love to share with you my American World with the hint of my Russian Personality.
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10 Responses to The words we use…

  1. Kathy says:

    This is one reason I’m glad I don’t have children. It’s confusing, and they always have such good arguments. But if I had children, I would still sigh heavily and say the subject is closed. (Regarding that certain word: I’ve noticed the people who use it frequently and loudly in pubic places rarely use it correctly. I would like hear Mr. Fry’s comments on issue.)

  2. Interesting argument, Mr. Fry, but I don’t buy it! The reason the OED is so huge is because the English Language has many words that almost mean the same thing but don’t! There is a huge difference between the the ‘f’ word and ‘lovemaking’. Stick to your guns, Ariana!

    • I live in the real world and I understand that kids nowadays learn profanity way early in life. An interesting fact I read while writing this article – people who’s ESL tend to use more profanity in every day life, because they don’t realize the meaning of it to full extend. In the meant time he is not allowed to use it in the house.

  3. Ha!! That is just too funny. What an interesting perspective he puts it in! I guess if I were a visitor to this planet, I would be rather confused too. Jerry Seinfeld, in one of his episodes, once said if he were an alien looking down on Earth, he’d think dogs ruled the planet. Because they’re always walking around and pooping, and then these “humans” pick it up … well, isn’t it obvious? LOL!

    –Shari

    • Shari, you made me laugh, somehow I missed that episode of Sienfield, but I’m sure in the true Sienfield spirit it was hilarious. But on the serious note, I’m still not allowing my child to swear in the house.

  4. totsymae1011 says:

    Well, you know I use profanity liberally. Though, it’s only how I speak with people I’m very familiar with, if I use it at all. Most people don’t realize this is my alter self that I write in.
    I wouldn’t encourage it around children but if your son is anything like I was as a kid, he’s practicing somewhere with somebody. The thing is, learn the rules of language and then they can be broken. He’s still learning and but I respect the young man. He asked first. 🙂

  5. Leah says:

    This is so great! Recently I was in the car with Sophie and she got so excited at seeing several different trucks that she immediately wanted to tell Bryan. So she says, “I’ve gotta tell Daddy about all the trucks. He’s gonna say Holy SH&%!” I tried to ignore it and told Bryan he better quiet his swearing. But I must admit I’m quite impressed she got the context of the expression right.

    • Oh, Leah the stories I could tell you about my kids and their swearing both in Russian (which is a lot worth) and in English! Amazing how fast they learn!!! Funny thing – every time we meet new Americans they always asked us about slang/profanity in Russian. What is it ?

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