As a writer, words are… well, my thing. I’m always fascinated with the history and evolution of language. Sometimes, I also think the changes are ignorant. Excuse me. I mean #ignorant.
But, when writing realistic dialogue, it’s important to keep up on colloquialisms (boy, that’s a $10 word!). People don’t talk (that’s “speak” for those of us who care about English) the same as they used to (Do you know how it irritates me to end a sentence like that?).
Every so often, I hear on the news about new words that are added to the official English Dictionary. These words are added because they become so commonly used, they are embedded in our language and accepted. The first time I can remember hearing of such a thing was when “ain’t” became a word (my spell-check didn’t even object just now). We all of course know ain’t is a contraction for… NOTHING!!! However, Fo’shizzel is now an accepted word in the Dictionary. #Selfie, Belfie (I’m not kidding about this… is a selfie of your butt!) is now a real bonafide word.
Isn’t language #amazing?
Actually, all of this has very little to do with what this post is really about, I suppose. Words have power. They can persuade, hurt, bless, motivate, entertain, challenge, teach, and, well, you get the idea. Whether they are written, verbal, or electronically produced, words can and influence our lives. In many ways, they shape who we are and who we become.
For example (and now, at last, I’m getting my point), when I was growing up in bars (literally), cursing was common of course, but there were certain words that were not generally used. The “F- Bomb” was only used in rage or telling a dirty joke, and the worst thing you could call a woman was that word that refers to a female dog.
Nowadays, the f-word has become so commonly used it has lost any stigma formally associated. In fact, I have met people who don’t think they have said a complete sentence without that word at least once. And as for the female dog, women now wear the word as a badge of honor, a term of endearment.
Let’s talk about the influence of the frequent use of these words. I have a neighbor family that the mother and father seem to constantly scream (I don’t mean yell) at the top of their lungs at each other and their children. Every other word is swearing and calling each other and their children terrible words.
One day, the mother…
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