If You Use a Bad Word and Nobody Is Around to Hear It, Is It Still a Bad Word?

I don’t know what’s come over me lately.  I’m sixty-two years old and just started using the “s” word.  You know the one that is four letters long and ends in t?  I mean that word. I never use it when anyone’s around, and every time it slips out of my mouth, I’m appalled, though I have to tell you I’m less and less appalled the more I say it.  I drop an egg on the floor.  “S..t!”  My pita pocket splits and all the filling falls out.  “S..t!”  I’m shocked that it flows so easily out of my mouth.

Growing up, I never heard that language used in our house.  I know that’s hard to say in many households today, but I guarantee it was not uttered in our home and would not have been tolerated if it had.  My mother said it was a sign of ignorance; only people who didn’t have a good vocabulary resorted to speaking such trash.  Now here I am letting that word trip so lightly off my tongue.  The first time it came out, I thought it was just a fluke, but it’s been rearing its ugly head quite often lately.  I guess I need to brush up on my vocabulary.

I remember when my brother and I were about 12 and 10, we caught my grandmother when she let that word slip.  “I said shoot!  I said shoot!” she tried to convince us, but we heard her quite clearly.  We actually thought it was pretty funny.

I maintain that this is all the result of years and years of suppression.  One can only be good for so long.

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About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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11 Responses to If You Use a Bad Word and Nobody Is Around to Hear It, Is It Still a Bad Word?

  1. Whoa… a January post Freshly Pressed. So… is the ‘s’ word still a part of your vocabulary in May? 🙂

    • comingeast says:

      I don’t know what you mean about the January post. Did I miss something? I hope I didn’t say I was ever Freshly Pressed because I’m still waiting and hoping for that honor! And yes, that “s” word still makes an appearance once in awhile, but only when I’m home alone!

  2. oldereyes says:

    My dad never said anything stronger than “hell” in front of us kids. One day when my Mom and I were picking him up from work (we had only one car), Mom commented to the guys that Dad never cursed. That brought on hysterical laughter … apparently in the office he was very different. I’m a little that way, too, I guess. My mother was very Catholic and never swore. As she got older and her sight failed, she began listening to books on tape. She used to tell me how embarrassed she’d be when the book had “bad words” in it and they played out loud in the house, even if no one was home.

  3. Bill Tucker says:

    Your posting made me think about my very proper Charleston South Carolina raised mother. Never was there a bad word or off color joke in her home: that is until she was in her 80’s and developed a fondness for very dirty jokes. One time, as she began a story, to keep her from hearing her grandmother’s joke, I grabbed my 20 year old daughter and dragged her outside.

    Well done posting.

  4. mypajamadays says:

    I am laughing out loud! Although I do seem to remember a batch of burnt cookies and you saying” I said shoot. Shoot, I SWEAR!”

  5. I never thought of it that way! I find out my age cussing a bit feels pretty good sometimes! 😉

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