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Watch your words

December 29, 2007 - Betsy Bethel
My daughter is probably getting used to us laughing at her. I hope it doesn't scar her for life.

We can't help it. It's just that it's so funny to hear this little munchkin, who up until eight months ago said little more than "more" is now exclaiming, "Goodness gracious!" and "Shoot!" and "Darn it!" all at entirely appropriate times.

I must say I'm glad those are all innocuous expletives and not their more impolite cousins, which is why it's so important for us to watch what we say ... all the time.

I have used the words "hate" and "stupid" in front of Emma -- never directed at her, but that doesn't matter. I don't want to hear those words come out of this babe, so I resolve to watch my mouth.

At times it's really difficult! Getting cut off in traffic, stubbing my toe, dropping a container of cottage cheese on the floor -- these are all times I have to bite my tongue!

Why is it important, you might ask? Isn't it cute to here a toddler say a bad word? Isn't it funny?

Well, I can see myself so surprised that I would laugh for lack of knowing how else to react if Emma came out with a whopper like Ralphie did on "A Christmas Story." But it's really not a laughing matter.

Our speech conveys the type of people we are. Vulgarity, these days, is commonplace, it's true. But who wants to be merely common?

I say, let's rise above. Yes, I laugh when little Emma says "Shoot!" It does concern me, however, because it's a slippery slope down to the gutter.


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