January 14, 2011


I know that words have power. I think I like words so very much for this specific reason.  They say "A picture is worth a thousand words." and that may very well be true; and by now I am sure you gather I love pictures too {or at least my camera}. But words can move you, heal you, build you up, tear you down. Words can hurt.  My words have hurt, I know they have and I assure you my words generally hurt when I don't intend them to. Thus helping to prove my point, words have power.

The other side of that coin is certain words have more power than others and why is that?  It's because we, as society have given those words power.  For someone who likes to pride herself on being well read, a fan of literature and the english language and well, the written word in general,  I am also a fan of "crude", "foul", "colorful", "profain" language.  I have been known to use words that could make the proverbial sailor blush.  In part I will admit I use said words for their power.

I read a blog this morning about a mother who was writing about her young daughter's new grasp of the fact that there are "dirty words" out there and that they are NOT to be spoken. Clearly only bad people say bad words.  seems to be the lesson she is teaching her child. Please do not misunderstand, just because I've been known to dropp and F-bomb or twenty and because I often shout out "Sh*t!" instead of "Shoot!" when something goes wrong does not mean that I would be okay hearing my children say "What the F*ck are you doing?!" to one of their friends or even "God Damn it!" like I often say.  No, I do not want foul mouthed little children. But the truth is, these words are only "dirty" because someone decided they were and thus.... Swear/Cuss/Profain Words were born.

I tried to keep my eyes from rolling and my judgement from flowing as this blogger described her physical repulsion to certain dirty words.  Again, I conceed that words have power. They evoke real emotion and reaction from people. Words can paint a  vivid picture and I will admit that there are certain sights that might turn my stomach, but the thought a singular word causing the bile to rise in someone's throat both astounds and well, intrigues me!

I suppose what I would have wanted to say to this blogger was this.  Some of the worlds most brilliant minds swear. I will admit that there is a large segment of the population who swear out of ignorance. They do not have the class, education or capibility to express themselves eloquently.  That if all you ever do is swear you one, lessen the "power" of the words and two, make yourself look a fool for having such a limited vocabulary.  But there are times when a powerful word is appropriate.  Don't be so quick to judge someone who makes their point every now and again with a "vulgar" word or two.
"Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer"    ~Mark Twain

* Maybe this blogger got under my skin becuase of the recent defilement of Mark Twain's 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' {in part, I'm sure why I chose Mark Twain to illustrate my point about profanity having a place}. It is not always the small minded who use profanity. It's equally small minded to burn and ban literature because of profanity or to take a classic, a brilliant piece of literature like 'Huckleberry Finn' and remove a word becuase it's.... well a "bad word". Maybe Mark Twain intended the reader to be shocked and repulsed and wounded by his choice of words.... Maybe Mark Twain wanted the reader to stop and think. Maybe the word serves to illustrate a point or open a dialogue. Words are funny that way. They have a lot of power...


Anonymous said...

I think using specific words as a basis for discipline is a shortcut. It makes more sense to me to discipline based on intent. Just like when your child swings with the intent to punch and hurt someone, I think it is best to intervene when your child speaks with the intent to hurt someone no matter the words used. Otherwise you're just encouraging the use of loopholes.

Wendy said...

Seriously love your look over here :)

Words do have power. Crazy amounts. The power found in acts of love and forgiveness trumps it, IMHO.

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