Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Potty mouth

The Carnival of Education is being hosted this week by Dayton Daily News education reporter Scott Elliott, so scoot on over to his blog, "Get On The Bus," and read up on this week's news about your children's and your tax dollars' schools.

You're all helping to pay for this stuff, and your children are directly affected by this stuff; don't you want to keep up on how your money is being spent? Sure you do. Get over to Scott's blog and read this week's Carnival.

I taught two classes today: one that mainly consists of older students, and another that mainly consists of younger students. The division is purely accidental, a matter of convenience of scheduling.

Both classes are studying punctuation. (still.) Today's lesson was about interjections and parenthetical expressions. Pretty standard stuff.

One of my students asked me if it was true that a person could go to hell for saying "shit."

(It's an interjection, set off by a comma or an exclamation point, so he really wasn't too much off topic, and apparently it was on his mind.)

He said that his preacher had told him that he was going to hell because he said 'shit.' I was more than a little bit flabbergasted, for a variety of reasons.

One, I'm still not used to adult students who say 'shit' a lot and I don't have to give them detention or act shocked.

Two, someone in a position of authority in this kid's life has scared the shit OUT of him, for saying shit. So much so that this quiet well-behaved kid (who apparently has a potty mouth in church) asked his college instructor if it were true.

I have no desire to enter into any kind of debate with this boy's preacher. Neither is it my place to talk religious doctrine to my students.

But I do know a lot about shit. I had two babies, remember? And I taught in the public school system for a long, long time. I'm not really sure which of the two had the worst shit. I think probably the schools.

So I explained to him that some people believed that being profane was a sin, but even so, 'shit' is not a profanity, it's an obscenity, so going to hell isn't part of the package. The commandments are about profanity, not obscenity.

He was really relieved. He'll probably also continue to say shit in the preacher's presence.

If my preacher was that stupid, I probably would, too.

I mean, honestly, a minister should know the difference between obscenity and profanity. They are not the same thing. Not a bit. Get a clue, preach. Then maybe he would refer to you as his "minister" instead of as a 'preacher.' There's a big difference between THOSE two words, too.

We also discussed the word "condemn," its presence in the chapter today being perfection on a stick, and going right along with the student's question.

Because to condemn someone is also a profanity. We've watered down the word, but its point of origin was pithy and terrible.

I wanted to tackle "awesome" and "awful," but we ran out of time.

When I got home, I did some sewing. Well, first I did some cutting. A few years ago, a dear precious friend gave me a razor-sharp roller cutter. It's wonderful. So fast, and so easy.

This afternoon I almost cut my left-hand pointy finger off with it. Apparently, you are supposed to keep your fingers out of the way of the rolling blade. Who knew.

It hurt. I might have said 'shit,' too. I had no witnesses, so you'll never know.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 8:59 PM | |


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