Friday, February 08, 2008

the evolution of my vocabulary

I'm not unintelligent. I'm quite proud of my personal lexicon (see how that works) and of the fact that I like words. So, once, years ago when I heard that the only valid occasion for using curse words was when one's vocabulary was insufficient to express one's thoughts, I thought, "$h!t," my vocabulary is going to have to grow. I'm not saying that I've done a great job or that I am so ridiculously intelligent that my vocabulary is always up to snuff. But, I try not to use curse words just because I don't want to think of a better adverb. Or adjective. Or whatever part of speech I need. However, I was quite the potty mouth in college, and I think that had something to do with drinking away my brain cells.

It's changed, though. First, I went to work in Memphis (you know, the recently tornado ravaged River City). While my first real boss was fake British (she was totally southern, but she lived in London for years, so she thought she was very worldly) and cursed quite a bit, the lady who I worked with and loved in the office never cursed. Unless something really, really bad happened. Then she would usually apologize. Then we moved here, and the person that I was closest to at my office here really never cursed. In fact, I don't think K has ever said a bad word in her life. So, those experiences really reigned in my attempts to dethrone sailors.

I will say, however, that I have always been prone to letting a lone curse word fly when injured or cut off in traffic. Now that I've got a baby, I'm seriously trying to quit. And M seriously wants me to quit, which reminds me that I've only ever heard him curse when inebriated (which usually means he's with Mr. Feathernester). I'm working on it, peeps. Working hard. In fact, when I burned myself on a hot pan the other day, dropping an entire pan of cookies face down on the kitchen floor, I said "Oh, ssss-ugar." And when S hit me between the eyes with her drumstick, I said "frick." And on the normal occasions that I want to let a "$h!t" fly, I usually say "boogers." This is what I've become. Erudite Ouiser, reduced to saying "boogers." How hysterical is that?

My biggest problem really is that I don't think of $h!t as a curse word. That's probably because that's what my grandmother always referred to me as, a little $h!t. I mean, if your grandma says it, how bad can it be, right? Anyway, I was just thinking about how far the old vocab has come, and I thought I'd share.

Have a great weekend, peeps, and watch your mouths.


Sarah said...

Oh dear... I've been thinking a lot lately as to how lazy and sailor-ish the language is in our household. Truly horrific. There is going to have to be a *lot* of work done one day when there are tiny ears around.

feather nester said...

I lost "sh!t", but replaced it with "crap," which I'm not sure is better enough.

k said...

I did actually say a bad word in seventh grade... i guess once in 30 years isn't so bad!

die Frau said...

I like that when writing about it, you actually managed to write "when S hit me with her drumstick"...are you secretly swearing and don't even know it???? :-)

Since I began teaching I've used "sugar" a lot and have even used "fiddle" on some minor occasions. My MIL would simply say "Dirty words! Really, really dirty words!" when in front of her children. "Frick" helps a lot, I think.

Just take care what you say in front of your little parrot (I know you know this) and you may not have the same story my mom does: When I was S's age in the car with my grandmother, some guy cut her off, grandma honked, and I apparently said, "You a--hole", mimicking my mother. Whoops. :-)