Friday, February 10, 2006
Nothing to me is as cute as a small child using big words. Ever heard a 3 year old pronounce ‘extravagant’ flawlessly, or ‘I’d rather not’ instead of simply no?
Less cute are kids who pick up certain big (meaning nr 2) words from their parents when the latter ones are feeling sad, angry or frustrated.
You may think kids don’t pick up words that are never addressed directly to them, but if everytime you’re angry you swear in the kitchen, sooner or later little one will associate that word with being angry an before you know it little one comes home with a note from school.
A few years ago I was working somewhere and there was this room full of boorish men that used swear words regardless of what mood they were in, it was simply remarkable how they managed to fit in a big word in whatever sentence they uttered.
Weirdly they were quite friendly and very hearty people, I regularly got a hug and they greeted me every morning in a very welcoming manner, only the wording was chosen oh so poorly.
After they got to know me, quiet persona careful to speak pleasant language, they didn’t change their language, but after each curse word they apologized, one went as far as to apologize beforehand.
I've always heard this type of language, albeit in a more moderated dosages, here and there.
But then it was completely new to me to meet people who use these words as adjectives, verbs and superlatives.
Whose English is not about yes’s and no’s but saturated with very unoriginal alternatives.
Who’s to blame?
I met the father of one and he seemed much more refined, he spoke Hebrew with me so perhaps that may have been a reason?
If it’s not education, is it TV that is to blame?
Although shocked, I wasn’t very alarmed then.
Now I am concerned however, kids know these words, some even know the underlying meaning of the words.
A Jewish child is supposed to speak as a child and their vocabulary shouldn’t include words that they can’t say in front of adults for fear of punishment.
I watch TV, but there’s no questions it’s a bad influence on kids, generally speaking but equally religiously.
Has it also become nefarious for their language?
When I was small we picked u interesting words from TV shows, words when used would make our parents marvel at the knowledge of them, today the marvel is turning into frowning.
Have you been taken aback by the language of little ones? What can be done to prevent further deterioration?
1. I was changing a car tire with my daughter "helping" me. I was barefooted and managed to drop the spare on my foot, at which point I began hopping around the other foot while clutching the injured extremity in my hands, all the while weaving an elaborate verbal tapestry of profanity. My 4-year-old daughter, wide-eyed, said, "Daddy, you said bad words!" My only reply was, "Yes, I did, dear, and I never want to hear you say those words yourself, but right now, they're makind daddy feel a little bit better."
2. A friend's daughter was at a day care run by a particularly teetotaling denomination here in town. The children were pretending to be in the grocery store, pushing the plastic shopping cart around the room and putting items into it. When she came to the "checkout counter" she began placing the shopping cart items on the counter and suddenly exclaimed, "Oh, sh-t! I forgot the beer!"
Story 2 is a perfect example of what I meant
Thanks for sharing these stories.
Have a good shabbos.
When my children were small they wanted to shock me by using rude words. Later they told me they nicknamed me *oblivious*. I wasn't oblivious, I just chose to ignore them. I didn't want to be on their backs and one of those mothers always telling off their children. I took the view that if I choose to ignore them, they'll give up...... they did.
You asked who is *Bobby*? Bobby is a television character, Detective Robert Goren, played by the awesome actor Vincent D'Onofrio. I have another blog, http://mrsbgoren.blogspot.com where I write stories as his wife. I should have posted the poem I wrote there, as Hannala is really more about me.
lotsa luv ann xxxxx
Recently though, I had the misfortune to witness someone swearing at a little kid for no good reason. I was shocked at this because any responsible adult would never say that and to top it off, it was in close proximity with a shul where people were davening. Since then I have no desire to be around that person as such language in such a place and in front of children is a terrible example and shows a complete lack of respect on several levels.
While I do try to set a good example and be careful with what I say, sometime a 'big word' or three does help me feel better, like in the car at someone who is driving badly!
Nevertheless, if children are constantly exposed to ugly language it starts to sound normal, sound ok to some extent due to desensitisation because of the common-ness of the language. The adults who say things need to realise the damage it causes and try to change or at least avoid bad vocab in front of impressionable littlies. It is an unnattractive trait in anyone and is not 'cool' at all and it becomes uncomfortable to be around people who speak like that, even if they do apologise for saying it!
Thanx Pragmatician for the excellent topics for discussion. Especially this one, it's something that's bothered me for a while.
You can teach your children for 25 years to talk nicely...and after 2 months in a vulgar office...they'll be cursing like a sailor. I've seen it happen..
Another thing I'd like to mention: I just watched the movie called "The Man". It was hysterical. this guy advises that after saying the "F" word he should say "crying out loud" so it should sound like "for crying out loud" it was a funny movie but the point still remains.
We all end up with unclean hands in one way or another.
It's really scary. I can't exactly call his mother and tell her not to let him watch tv. that wouldn't go over well. All his prtend play is violent and can be attributed to some tv show or movie (can you guess what he was referring to with the crocodiles?) What can we as a society do?
my indian friend ahs written about me
a whole post
As far as bad language goes, it's everywhere. I choose to watch movies or TV shows that don't use the bad language. The big f word I will not tolerate and will not watch a movie that spouts it out like candy. We just have to teach our children that certain words will not be tolerated and make sure that we don't use those same words.
Despite all the 'difficulties', I really want my own kids soon.
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