Anti-swearing law

James E. Clapp jeclapp at WANS.NET
Sun Feb 20 15:45:34 UTC 2000

Anne Gilbert wrote:
> . . . adults who have children (I know this from
> experience) try not to use the "s-word" around children . . .

Many, many years ago my brother and sister-in-law realized that they had
become too careless around their first-born child who, though still a
preschooler, had consequently acquired some unfortunate vocabulary.  To
attempt to set matters straight they explained to him that there were
certain words that were impolite and that they should all refrain from
using; accordingly, there would be a new rule that if the parents used a
bad word they would have to give him a penny, and if he used a bad word
he would have to give them a penny.

This short-lived experiment had barely got under way when something
caused the mother to utter a loud exclamation consisting of the s-word,
causing the child to reproach her:  "Mommy, you owe me a penny!"  In
chagrin, she replied, "No, Robbie; for that one I owe you a whole

That evening they had company, and heard Robbie announce excitedly to
the guests, "If Mommy says shit again I get a whole nickel!"

James E. Clapp

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