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What makes a word a swear? I'm sure I'm "out of it" as the 55-year-old mother of three ages 22, 20 and 17, but I have issues with the word s-u-c-k. Is it a swear? Was it a swear-word at some point but now it isn't? Who decides these things? I finally gave up telling them not to use it, because it now seems to be in common use in magazine articles and movies, but I can see their grandmother cringe when it is used. Should I just be grateful they don't use the f-word or s-word?


debbie mandel Replied: Language is constantly changing. Do you know that "ain't" was not only correct, but also used by aristocrats in the 17th century? Regarding bad language - your children are right about using suck in this context. Just as important as word usage, is the tone accompanying the word. It is best to pick your battles and since they are basically complying with the verbal rules you set in the house, there are no worries here.
Posted On 2011-01-20 18:49:13
Amy Sherman Replied: A swear word is anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. But remember that it's based on what makes YOU feel uncomfortable. Unfortunately, swear words are common place, especially in the movies. Kids hear them all the time, unless you restrict where they go, who they're with and what they watch. As far as the word s-u-c-k goes, can you replace its usage with an alternative word? Perhaps, you can suggest "this is a bummer" or "this stinks" if it makes you feel better. Kids are very influenced by the world around them and they will pick up vernacular that is most popular with their peers. At their ages, they are really free to speak as they want. My suggestion would be to ask them to refrain from using s-u-c-k in the house and especially in front of grandma and yes, be grateful they do not use the f-word or s-word.
Posted On 2011-01-20 09:12:38
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