Warning: One Vulgar W*rd Because We Lack Adjectives

In a conversation with someone recently, I heard the expression, "he's a little sh*t." While I'm not one to use vulgar language, I know the real world uses it. I'm not totally offended by the usage; I just choose not to use it myself, or allow my kids to. The reason is simple: I have a strong personal belief that vulgar language and its slang counterpart that the world invented to replace vulgar words but we all know means the same thing is just a replacement for good language skills. 

In short, thoughtful communication is dying. So is the dictionary.

I'll fully admit to being guilty of using the slang counterparts aforementioned, which makes me a total hypocrite. Just so we're clear on that fact.

The conversation I had with that stranger made me think some weird thoughts, mostly because the daughter of the lady who made that statement was all faux-horrified with a, "Mom!" comment. My first thought was, "well, I guess she could have said "poop," because we all know that's what sh*t means." In the literal sense. I understand that in this context it was used more to say, "he's just a handful of orneriness." But honestly, why the need to call someone "poop?" Can we not think of something better to say? And then my mind yelled, "stinker! That would have been a replacement word!," to which I replied to myself, "but again, you're calling someone something related to poop, and has nothing to do with the actions of someone or something."

And that's when I realized that language is slowly dying to vulgarity and slang. And I wept a bit for the loss of the need for a dictionary or a thesaurus. It seems that if anything is bad it gets the vulgar stamp, and if anything is good it gets the overused (guilty!) "awesome" label. We as a species are weeding out thought while we speak. We no longer have the ability to reason that if the sunset is glowing orange and pink it could be gorgeous, or if we had a really rotten day it could be just that. We have become lazy in our speech. Is anyone surprised by this?

Adjectives. I'm fairly certain we will have them taken out of school grammar books in the next decade because a small handful of "this means so many things" words will replace an entire dictionary of highly descriptive content. That would not be awesome.

1 comment:

Cindy said...

You are so right about this. I admit I'm better when writing because I have time to think about it and delete if needed, but when I speak, I use slang. (Haven't used a curse word in many years.) I'm guilty of everything you wrote!