It Must Be Hard to Be the Letter “X”

Did you hear what he said?!!!  He said the “X” word.  What?  You don’t know what that is?  Poor “X.” As a letter, he really bears very little weight.  Unless we’re talking Roman numerals.  But people seem to have other, far more pressing matters on their minds these days.

I don’t know what the f*#k everyone is so worked up about.  Apparently, a recent episode of Modern Family implied that a toddler said the F word.  Although, in reality, she said the other F word – “fudge.”

Sometimes, I think we spend too much time creating our own problems.  Why do we give certain words so much power?

Kids accidentally drop “inappropriate” words on a regular basis.  Our reactions to them are what give the words their power.  Trust me, as a teacher, I’ve had a little experience with this.  I had a student tell me one day that the octopus is different than a spider because it has testicles.  Not one student in my class of fifth graders cracked a smile.  “I think you might mean tentacles, Charles.”  “Isn’t that what I said?”  “Uh, no.  But that’s okay.  Now, who knows the difference between an octopus and a squid?”

Crisis averted.

No sign of them here. Maybe I'm just not looking in the right place...

That same year, I was informed by another ten year old that living things are orgasms.  A reasonable mistake, considering there is only a difference of a couple of letters.  Again, no reaction from the rest of the class.  I was dying inside, of course.  I made a mental note for future teacher’s lounge conversation, carried on with a mild correction, and crossed my fingers behind my back that no parents would suddenly get interested in what their kids had learned at school that day.

When collecting my students from the basketball hoops at recess one day, I was somewhat irritated at their slowness to line up and settle down.  “When I blow the whistle, you need to get in line and Hold. Your. Balls!” I firmly ordered.

The entire class dissolved into hysterical laughter.

So, two “taboo” words got no reaction.  But I use one normal everyday word in a very appropriate context, and everyone’s minds go to the gutter.

I’m tired of words being labelled offensive.  As long as no one is flinging them at me as a direct insult, I don’t see why we have to be so sensitive.  The people who get so worked up about strings of letters that they empowered in the first place should try channelling some of that energy toward curbing people’s offensive actions and Donald Trump’s ridiculous hairstyle instead.

What the f*#k is up with that?!!!!

Octopus Photo Credit – photo credit: <a href=””>Morten Brekkevold</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>cc</a&gt;
Trump Photo Credit – photo credit: <a href=””>Boss Tweed</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>cc</a&gt;

Posted on January 21, 2012, in Annoyances, Humor, Work and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. That is hilarious. Kids say the darndest things. Why are words offensive? They only are because society deemed them that. If they decided “the” was offensive we’d be screwed.

  2. You had me at $%#^&@…kids really do say the darndest things and so do we so called adults. Thanks for a great laugh today!

  3. Hilarious! I remember those moments of teaching, too!!

  4. Reminds me of a time my son – at the age of three – used the F word (or is that X word?) in a sentence he’d heard from his dad – after hearing his dad use that word again. It was really hard to keep from laughing while correcting him in his choice of words.

  5. My son once told his teacher “My mom has a pornographic memory”. The teacher related the story to me so that I could correct the little guy. I’m pretty sure he meant photographic memory. But then again…

  6. Amen. Though the Trump pic is probably going to gibe me nightmares…

  7. I agree that we make way too big a deal about a few small words. I also love, love, love stories about kids and malapropisms. I once had a grade seven student create a pamphlet about responsible pet ownership that stated all pets should be “sprayed and nuttered” to reduce the number of homeless animals.

    At least he was close on one of those, right?

  8. When having a discussion with my 2 year old over the “F” word, she expressed her confusion over its taboo and said, “It just sounds like something a frog would say.” Then, “I like frogs.”

    Wonderful post, as always 🙂

  9. Miranda Gargasz

    Oh, the glorious lives of teachers. This was too funny! Tears in my eyes from the laughter……..I had a similar experience when I taught preschool. One of my students was a change of life baby and had siblings that were well into adulthood. My first day was straight out of Kindergarten Cop. She had seen her mom changing her nephew and shared it with class. “Girls have a vagina and boys have a peanut.” Evidently, boys come with snacks.

  10. People could take offense at anything if they wanted to. Like you posting a pic of Trump as one egregious example.

  11. Nail on the head. Urban dictionary has ruined my life. EVERYTHING is now a euphemism for something inappropriate.

  12. Lately it hasn’t been the words my son has been saying but what he says they mean. Third-grade boys come up with the dumbest definitions for cuss words. I correct him and tell him what they mean and then they lose all excitement.

  13. Ha, I see now why Justl linked us together in her post! But I marked my blog x or r rated because I refuse to censor myself. I do find I type fewer ‘bad’ words than I say, though! I did drop the big one in a comment on one of my own posts, and it was unnecessary. But, my post was about how drunk I was at the time so I’m not going to change it 🙂 About kids saying unpleasant things – I still remember when I learned the word ‘vomit’ and kept repeating it until my mother got angry. That made more of an impression than the word itself!

  14. Oh honeey! I cannot WAIT to use the phrase ‘Hold.Your.Balls’ in a sentence! ( that made me SNORT, out loud- please don’t tell anyone I said that)

  15. When my daughter was nine she said her brother said the “K” word. To this day I have no idea what she was talking about. I never found a way to ask.

    • Wow. That is a conundrum. I have kids tell me all of the time that someone said the “S” word. I am appalled until I find out that, to elementary students, that is “Shutup!” All one word in their minds, of course.

  16. I completely agree. Like we don’t have enough (first-world) problems already?

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