Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What is so wrong with swear words?

I was reading some of the reviews for Go the Fuck to Sleep on amazon and can't understand why so many people react in horror at the thought of someone reading that book to a small child. I don't understand what people find so offensive about swear words. Maybe it is because I am a writer, but to me, they are just words. How can words hurt me? How can they hurt anyone? How did a small selection of words become so taboo, so outrageous, that people feel the need to gasp in horror if I let the f-bomb slip in front of a small child? Repeat after me people : THEY.ARE.JUST.WORDS.

I agree that a person should never say a swear word in anger to another person and especially around children, but that could be said for any word, not just swear words. I can be delightfully insulting without using a single swear word. Why is inserting the word fuck into a sentence so unforgivable to somepeople?

Some of the reviews of Go the Fuck to Sleep are hilarious. "I would NEVER read this book to a child!" really? because I would. What do people think is going to happen if someone reads this book to their child? do they think they will get a tattoo on their arm and become a drug dealer? a hooker? a chain smoker? I mean, seriously people, saying the odd swear word around your child is not abuse and will not corrupt them for life. Now, if you call them a fucking idiot every day, that is different. That is verbal abuse. But shouting 'Fuck!' when you stub your toe in front of your off spring does not a bad parent make. It means you are human.

Some people are saying that only morons would read their child go the fuck to sleep. Sigh. Once again, I ask the question, why? I would read that book to my child if they were very young, say under two, because you know why? If read in a pleasant sounding voice they will not associate that word with something bad. Hell most kids do not even know what that word means until at least eight years old.

I really hate the bubble-wrap world we live in. People are so determined to shield children from everything. They are convinced that swear words, boobies, sex and violence will corrupt their children. My parents said to my recently what would I do if my child (when I have one) falls down my staircase. My response: they will learn not to play on the stairs then. I will be a good parent. I know I will. I am just not going to be one of those politically correct, over protective, hysterical parents who don't let their child run up slides at the park or jump off swings because they are afraid they will get hurt. I did all of those things as a kid. Yeah, they were stupid, and yeah I could have gotten hurt and I did a few times but that is how kids learn. Through doing dumb stuff.

I know when I do have kids alot of people are going to find my way of parenting really hard to understand. Why is it so weird that I do not have a problem with swearing? How does that make me a bad person? I'm sorry but when people tell me off for swearing I am gripped with an urge to shake my head, laugh under my breath and mutter 'Fucking idiot. It's just a word.' I do not swear like a sailor and I am polite to try and not do it in front of others but when I do let one drop it does irriate me when people tell me off about it.

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