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?”
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.