Cursing Before Learning to Read

by | Jun 17, 2013 | 2013, Musings | 0 comments

Apparently there is a new book out, entitled Holy S***: A Brief History of Swearing. The author, Melissa Mohr states that English speakers punctuate their language with an expletive about every 140 words spoken. That makes foul language as popular as the first person pronouns like “we,” “us,” or “our.”

Another source I looked at said that when we swear, we tend to draw from a short list of expressions, maybe 10 in total and they are used at a rate of about 0.5 percent of our daily word output.

The worst part of this research stipulates that most children learn to curse before they learn the alphabet. Following the examples set by their parents and other adults, it is contended that cursing tends to begin when a child is 3 or 4 years old.

Bottom line, many of us appear to have “potty mouths” and it is affecting our kids.

You might ask, what is wrong with swearing? There isn’t a victim here. But I disagree. Swearing not only leaves a poor impression on those who have to hear it, it can endanger relationships. It demonstrates a person’s lack of control and that is scary. It is offensive. It lacks imagination and is just plain lazy language.

The Bible tells us that we need to rein in our speech. Proverbs tells us that “he that keeps his mouth, keeps life” (Prov. 13:3). And a few chapters later, we are told, “he that keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from trouble. (Prov. 21:23).

Self control is at the heart of this issue. And our society desperately needs adults who chose to act like adults. So this week, if you happen to be one of those who have some trouble guarding your tongue, take some practical action. Put a jar on your desk or counter and drop a dollar in every time you goof. (Send the money to a worthwhile charity.) Or use the rubber band on the wrist idea and snap yourself every time you let an inappropriate word fly. A sore wrist might help curb your tongue.

Truth is, if we learn how to speak without expletives, it will help our kids learn to brindle their tongue as well. It is important….if we season our speech with grace, so will they!

By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel


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