Words

Who gets to decide which words are “bad” words? I have wondered this for years, since the first two times I got in trouble for saying bad words.

Story time.

The first time I said a “bad” word, it was the word “shit.” I did not and still do not understand why this is considered cussing. It means the same thing as “crap” which is considered acceptable in Christian and non-Christian circles. Personally, I prefer the word shit to crap. Why? I do not know, but I do. It seems to sound better in a sentence. Others however, did not agree with me, and I ended up being punished.

The second time was the word “bitch.” I’m a country girl. To me, a bitch is a female dog (and according to the dictionary, also a female otter. weird). So, calling someone I do not like “a bitch” is more of an insult to my dog, who happens to be female. According to the dictionary, the informal of that word is “a malicious, spiteful, or overbearing woman.” Again, not really deserving of being a cuss word, but I was punished a bit more severely. Embarrassment is seriously the most effective punishment for a teenager.

Now. Because I try to be understanding and respectful of others, I do not use these words or other words around children because their parents do not want them to be exposed to them. I try to follow Acts and Romans and other NT teachings about not causing others to stumble, so if I know another believer has a problem with cussing then I do not use those words around them.

But seriously. Who gets to pick and choose which words are wrong, vulgar, cussing? Some, I understand, are not polite or at the very least should not be taken out of context or be used in mixed or young company.

Ass is¬†originally what donkeys were called. It’s in Christmas carols and older translations of the Bible and other old writings. Why is it wrong? It’s commonly acceptable to use the word “butt” to reference the same anatomical region. You hear people say, “don’t be an ass” or “get your head out of your ass.” You also hear people who consider “ass” a cuss word say, “don’t be a butt” or “get your head out of your butt.” SAME THING!

I’m about to consider this another case of political correctness. You’ve probably figured out by now that I am not huge on being politically correct. There are words that I will not say because they should not be used in mixed company or around little ears, but the three discussed above are the three that drive me the most crazy when people gasp and declare them bad words. There are no bad words just bad intentions.

Oh, and, taking the Lord’s name in vain at any time is not ok. I cringe and am saddened when I hear people – especially children – say “oh my God” when they’re not praying.

 

**All definitions used above were taken from Merriam-Webster’s dictionary.

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Reflections

Back in high school, I was one of the larger girls, a size 6-10 depending on the style and part of outfit (larger hips, smaller waist, larger bust). I was very self-conscious surrounded by sizes 0-2. I thought I was huge!

Now, I’m most definitely not a size 6-10. I’ve been going through old pictures and sorting through my dresser drawers to make more space. My brother recently discovered that over the summer, his new job and hobbies around the house caused him to lose enough weight that he can fit into clothes he had in junior high. He was quite happy to gain several more pairs of jeans. (He discovered this as he was cleaning out his closet too.) Realistically, even if I lose inches, I will not be able to fit back into my high school/junior high clothes like he can.

Going through those old pictures, I have determined that the day after a big exam, whether I pass or not, I will be found in the gym every day at some point. I am uncomfortable in my own skin. I hate clothes shopping again. I know I’m increasing my risk of cardiovascular disease by living a mostly sedentary life.

That’s not why I’m writing this. I’m writing this because I want to encourage you to not compare yourselves to others. Do not make the same mistakes I did. I realize now I was in really shape in high school – NOT because of my clothing size, but because of my level of physical activity (sports, training, etc. I actually had defined 6-pack abs then.). I spent so much time comparing myself to my peers that I did not enjoy myself.

Now, I’m regretting that. I’m striving to not reach a certain clothing size – after all, they’re different around the world. I’m striving to feel confident again. Not sucking in my gut whenever I’m around other people. Being where I should be physically.

When you look at yourself, do not compare yourself to others. Look back at old pictures of yourself. Are you healthier and confident now? Or do you need to better yourself FOR yourself?