Trash Talkin’

The other day Kenzie came home from day camp telling me that Kaleb said a cuss word at camp. When I asked Kaleb about it, he claimed that he was actually saying another word that resembled the cuss word. (I’ll spare you the details of his far-fetched explanation though it was so ludicrous that I burst into laughter.)

Obviously, my incredulous laughter spoiled any opportunity for turning this into a teachable moment. Instead, I settled for inquiring as to where where he had heard such language.

He claimed that he heard it on a video he saw on TV.

Although we monitor  closely what electronic games the kids play and what they watch on TV, I’m sure there’s things that get past our monitoring. But its more like an act of desperation to try to filter their media because it seems as though there is more bad stuff being broadcast or published than there is good stuff (or at least not so bad stuff).

We live in a media-infused world. And, the speech on media, particularly social media, movies, popular music and TV has grown exceedingly vulgar and coarse in recent years.

I mean it’s shocking!

And, although I have a few choice words to say myself about all the trash talkin’ that kids (and adults) are exposed to through the media, my rant will be sans profanity.

There seems to be a growing lack of discretion in our culture regarding decent public speech. Out of the over 2,000 most frequently used words in the English language about 500 of them are adjectives.

The f-word has somehow transmogrified from a raunchy obscenity into a frequently-used adjective to profanely besmirch and defile just about anything and everything.

My kids know that there is an f-word although they don’t hear it at home or in movies or TV shows played in our house or that they are allowed to watch. In fact, we’ve never even said the word, “f-word” to the kids, but they have said it to us asking if a movie or video game we won’t let them see has the “f-word.”

TV shows and movies are so loaded with trash talkin’ that you come away from watching it feeling dirty and soiled. Really, who talks like that? And, who wants their kids to hear that and learn to talk like that?

It makes me tense and uncomfortable to have profanity screamed at me through a TV or movie screen. Then it gets in your head.  And, when the words are in your head, they are likely to come out of your mouth.

A comedian can’t even tell a joke that’s not full of profanities, bathroom humor or sexual inuendoes.  In fact, some comedians have become famous (and well-paid) for the number of times they can say the f-word in their routine.

Have we just lost our sense of humor? Just because you can curse with an attitude doesn’t mean it’s clever…or funny!

And, what’s scary is that we have become accustomed to all this trash talkin’. It’s so pervasive in our culture that we have become desensitized to it.

It seems there are more things that I don’t want to see on TV or my Facebook timeline than I do want to see.

And, it begs the question: With so much obscenity in our media how do we possibly filter what our children see and hear on their electronic media?

I suppose it’s just another Internet rant if you don’t offer a solution to the issue you are complaining about. Here’s one alternative to all this trash talkin’.

While we can continue to limit or filter what language children are exposed to, let’s take a proactive approach as well. Let’s give them some alternative words to express themselves.

Let’s expand our vocabularies and learn some more of those 500 frequently used adjectives to express our feelings, concerns and views. After all, there are over 170,000 words in the English language; let’s learn some more of them!

So we can teach our children a better way to speak (or write) and express themselves….

Almost everyone carries a cell phone. Download a dictionary/thesaurus app and use it. Daily. It’s quick and easy. I have one on my phone and I refer to it often.

So, no no more abominable, distasteful, loathsome, nasty, objectionable, odious, repugnant, shameless, vile or vulgar language.

There’s so many amazing, astonishing, awesome, brilliant, fantastic, incredible, magnificent, marvelous, outstanding, phenomenal, remarkable, sensational, superb, terrific, tremendous and wondrous words to use in the English language.

Let’s use them….and teach our kids–no trash talkin’.

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