I don’t have a big problem with profanity as a general rule. As long as it isn’t derogatory or misogynist I feel like they’re just words. Say what you like – it won’t hurt my ears. That said, I generally don’t use it myself except when startled and really frustrated in which case an S*** or F*** might pass my lips involuntarily.
When Daegan started to learn to talk, though, we had to watch ourselves. It’s one thing for a fully grown man to let a curse slip when they drop something. It’s something entirely different when a two year old lets fly with one in a grocery store.
Back in those days, Sage and I were much younger and more prone to curse. And so it was that we started to substitute words. Sometimes we even did it mid-stream. I might see that dinner is burning and say “Ffff…aarn. Farn!” and so it was after a few times like that that “Farn!” entered our family lexicon.
Another one that happened about the same time came from the need for a good adjective to pressurize what we were saying. In that case we just started censoring ourselves. “Sorry, Sage, dinner got burned. I don’t know, I think I just had the x’ing stove on too high.”
“What is that x’ing noise outside? It sounds like a bear!”
“What in the x’ing x are you talking about?”
Over the years since we stopped using not only those words but have mostly ceased to use profanity as well. There are words that are far more expressive and descriptive. But every once in a while one of us will still use it. “Look at that guy just standing there in the middle of the x’ing road!”
It worked beautifully. Daegan was well in to his teens before he used any profanity and even today he generally avoids cursing. Recently we were talking about our use of “fake curses” with him and he remembered them well. He confessed that despite not really knowing what curse words were about he got the feeling that “x’ing” and “farn” were words were somewhat offensive and should be avoided. He also said that the kid’s song about the alphabet shared below, by Carole King, always confused him. Most of it seemed pretty normal to him – until they got to X and the x words she used were “X’ing X’es” which sounded tremendously profane to him.
What about you? Do you watch your language or do you let it fly?