Thursday, April 8, 2010

Words

Words are funny, you know?

Some are sweet, or kind, or angry.

Some have one meaning to one person, and another meaning altogether to someone else. Sometimes that is due to your country of origin, or it can be regional. Sometimes it can even be due to your family of birth or own personal experiences that give words their meaning.

For instance: my father has always called me "Little Girl," and always with his particular Mid-South twang. For me, that's my 'daughter' trigger, a comfortable place. It's different, though, when my husband says it to me. That comfortable feeling flies right out the window and someone who is supposed to be my partner and equal becomes someone that is trying to talk down to me and treat me like a child. (In my husband's defense, when I explained this to him he immediately apologized and hasn't called me that again. Our daughter? Yeah, he still calls her Little Girl and that's ok because she is.)

Slang is a funny thing, too. It has evolved and changed since we were kids. Words that were once taboo in all forms seem to be acceptable all over. Take "crap" for instance. When I was a kid, that was a word that, albeit not the worst word in the book, you certainly wouldn't use with your mother or teacher around. Now? I hear it in sermons. I hear children saying it like we might have said 'darn' in our childhood.

Is that ok? How do you feel about that? Is the shock value just gone or have we gotten to a point where we respect one another so little that we can't use more polite language anymore?

The one that really gets me though is the word "friggin'." Do you think that we don't know what you are saying? That we fell off the truck before we got to that definition? I find it completely offensive when children use it, and don't get me started about when they use it in front of not only adults but their own parents! Honestly, I think I would be less offended if people would just use the actual f-word. It is quite precise in meaning, shock value, and when used properly can be quite effective to punctuate a point.

{It's here where I should insert that, yes, I use the f-word. It's not that I don't use it here for fear of offending some readers, although that is part of it. I'm not being 'unauthentic', it's just not how I choose to express myself here, although if it does creep in one shouldn't be shocked. I was taught that yes, there are better ways of expressing yourself than using that kind of language, especially when it is written down.}

I have stumbled across blogs that, because of the author's frequent use of "frigging" I could not take seriously. These authors have also decorated their blogs with bible verses, buttons for Christian websites, etc. Now, if you heard me talk, you might or might not deduce that I'm a Christian. Believe me, there is no sure fire way to tell what is in a person's heart. However, it seemed to be clear that the authors wouldn't use the 'real' f-word, ever, but yet still have it peppered all through their posts.

Really, do you think that just because you didn't use that word, that it wasn't implied? Really? Do you think that when you use 'friggin' you're not actually cussing because it's not the 'real' f-word?

Come on. Do you really think I'm a fool? Or do you just not care?

There are, obviously, bloggers that use the f-word with reckless abandon. Whether it's 'organic' and really how they talk, or their online persona, or something else, it really doesn't bother me. But don't fool yourself into thinking that you're being polite by using a softer, gentler version of the original.

A wolf is a wolf, even if it's in sheep's clothing.

Headless Mom

9 comments:

Nelson's Mama said...

Thanks for saying this...

I know people who use friggin CONSTANTLY and then when I use my occasional f-word they act completely offended.

OWN it or remove from your vocabulary.

Issas Crazy World said...

AGREEEEEE! :)

Erica M. said...

I like the word "effing". Sounds British to me for some reason and it's less cacophonous than the real word. "Frigging" reminds me of junior high. "Cool beans" and "what's yer deal, man?" Let's all grow our hair long and throw on some Wranglers.

kyooty said...

It's regional. We grew up with Frig, and Frigging being said all over the place. It's just a word to me.

Shannon said...

Agreed, we all know what we're trying to say! I use that word occasionally in my writing, but also prefer "effing." But I'm an adult. What really bugs me is when my teenage babysitter uses the word repeatedly and my 5yo thinks it's common language. :-/

Just Breathe said...

I read this yesterday and wasn't sure how I felt about it. I think that I use friggin sometimes, it seems to come out natural instead of the F word. I'm not saying that I don't say the F word. I don't use them in my blog and I prefer when people don't use either one. I do kind of like WTF when I see it because sometimes the situation warrants it! I do agree, if your implying it just say it.

Ramblin' Red said...

Guilty! :hangs head in shame:

Seriously, I think it is a somewhat regional thing - but yeah, I do agree that people tend to think it is a "softer" alternative than the actual f-bomb.

I *am* pretty choosy about who I say "frickin'" to because I do try to honor others' sensitivities and be polite. (Loved that question of yours btw re: respect to just speak politely anymore) - but I will admit that it sometimes appears in my blog in lieu of the real deal because many of my church peeps read my blog now.

Good food for thought

Liz@thisfullhouse said...

Ah, man. I used it in my blog, this week; prefaced by: "Excuse my Jersey," because, well, folks around here really do seem to use the word "friggin'" a lot.

polwig.com said...

With little kids it bothers me so much that some words are now considered ok.. so many teen tv shows are ok with saying "shut up" and that is totally not ok with me... You need to be so super careful with kids.
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