Language and Grace
Updated: May 2
For some kids as young as six years old it’s an integral part of their vocabulary. It’s all over the TV and movies. Newspaper headlines include it. About the only place I haven’t heard it is from church pulpits. We’re talking about the ubiquity of the f-word. It’s used as a noun, adjective, verb, and adverb. While applicable to scads of things, “it’s everywhere, it’s everywhere” certainly describes the f-bomb.
And it doesn’t seem to bother most people. A 90-year-old grandmother would probably not use it, but parents do in front of their children, teachers do in the classroom, media people do in print and on TV, etc. etc. It’s no wonder the term flows effortlessly and unabashedly from the mouths of babes.
A question I cannot answer: why do we use a term for copulation in such ways? I’m all for sexual intercourse in its proper context, but using a crass term for it as cuss word or emphatic exclamation demeans what is a sacred act between husband and wife. It’s like wearing a beautiful wedding dress in a mud-wrestling contest.
Some folks are going say I’m a sourpuss because words are just words that can be justifiably used however and whenever one feels like it. I beg to differ. I’m guessing (hoping) most readers would think it inappropriate to approach one’s mother with, “Hi, bitch,” or to ask her, “How’s your f-ing day going?” But I’m also guessing that some children would do it and some mothers wouldn’t be bothered by it.
Propriety, courtesy, decency, consideration and other seemingly outworn concepts have a value that can be affirmed with the type of language used. They can also be denigrated and demeaned by unthinkingly using crass, degrading language.