When Toddlers Curse

Francis Hult francis.hult at utsa.edu
Sun Apr 5 16:28:08 UTC 2009

New York Times


When Toddlers Curse


Lisa Belkin


Earlier in the week I wrote about the absurdity of referring to the "dam" on a camp lake (you know, the kind built to hold water) as the "darn" by counselors, lest the campers hear a word that might sound like a curse. 


But what are the limits on language we use in front of our children? 


It was not until I was an adult that I ever heard my parents say a four-letter word. In my naivete I more or less believed they were old fogies who didn't know things like that. My teenagers have no such illusions. I try not to swear in front of them, with a good deal of success (I tend not to have much of a potty mouth as the spectrum goes, believing, as a writer, that curses are a crutch and there are much more evocative words in the English language). But I have "lost it" in anger. 


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