Calm the F(#% Down

Who gives words power? We do. Words have no power on their own, unlike cats they are not created with an all knowing all powerful attitude. They are inanimate and as easily manipulated as play doh.

Have you ever heard a southern belle say “Bless her heart”? She doesn’t mean that, but she has manipulated the words to sound like a blessing instead of what she really means, which is, that fucking bitch. But no southern belle would be caught dead using such “vulgar” language or speaking “ill” of someone else.

Everyone knows what you mean when you say “frik” or “Frack” or especially “fudge”, why not just say “fuck”? Why give so much power to a word? It isn’t the word that is bad in itself it is the intent in which you use it that holds the meaning.

My favorite story about Caitlyn (and bear with me if you have heard it before) is when she was just over 2 and we were walking to the car past the garbage dumpsters. She looked at me and said “Grandma something smells like shit”. and she was right it did. I first of all acknowledged her and said “You’re right, it is really stinky out here”, and then smiled with pride that she used the word shit in context. Her mother however was not as proud, but didn’t flip out either.

My niece Melody has posted a couple of times on Face Book about her 4 year old daughter asking to use the word bitch while playing video games.
I love that when Lynn and I play Mario she asks me every 5 seconds if she can say “son of a bitch” or “those bastards”.

The fact that she knew to ask for permission means that she knows at this age that those word have power.
There is a hoopla on the interwebs right now because Lily on Modern Family will be portrayed as saying the word “fuck”. The story doesn’t focus on the word itself but on how do the parents deal with it because they are afraid she may do it in public at an upcoming wedding. Fox News and the Daily Mail both wrote about this with sort of different results.

The comments on the Daily Mail pretty much condemn the author for even thinking this is “news” (or is it only me reading sarcasm into it?):

“Yes, super extremely shocking. Glad you made an article informing us about this!

– Bobbis, shirechester,uk, 12/1/2012 01:18″

Whereas the Fox News article has commenters calling for boycotts and included quotes from the Parents television Council saying the episode is in poor taste.


What the Fox news article doesn’t mention that the Daily Mail did is that the little girl who plays Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) does not actually say “fuck” while shooting.  She says fudge and through the magic of television (bleeping and pixelating) the audience is led to believe that she is swearing.  Funny that that little piece of information has been left out, but hey, a writers job is to ilicit thought and on the internet to illicit comments and it worked.


What makes me more mad is that neither article asked the opinion of the most important person involved – Aubrey’s mom.  Amy Anderson is a fellow blogger and an amazing stand-up comedian.  She is also a great mom.  Aubrey is a delight to be around and I can’t imagine Amy putting Aubrey in harms way in any shape or form.  Why does the opinion of the Parents Television Councils matter more than that of the mother?

I spoke to Amy via Face Book Chat regarding this and she assured me that not only didn’t she have a single qualm about the episode, it is one of her favorite episodes of the season!  She said that one of the producers called her ahead of time to make sure she had read the script and was on board with what it entailed, which she found to be a professional move on their part.  When I asked if there was any explanation on her part to Aubrey about what the scene was, she replied “I didn’t have to explain too much since she actually says ‘fudge’ on the episode. Her mouth will be pixilated & bleeped after the ‘fu’, each time. I explained that “fudge” is an expletive like “Oh darn” or “oh shoot” to which she replied, ‘BUT… it’s also a piece of chocolate!!’ “.

I for one can’t wait to see this episode of Modern Family, but I can’t wait to see every episode.  I hope you’ll tune in and I hope you will let me know what you think.



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  1. Desiree Eaglin says:

    I’ll most def watch the episode.
    There are some curse words that I find disturbing to read and some that I don’t, but I do curse like a sailor when the kids aren’t around.

  2. The Daily Mail commenters weren’t shocked because those words are not bleeped on UK television (nor is nudity in prime time all that big a deal, even on BBC 1). All in all, the Brits may be more formal than us Yanks — but they don’t have the same Puritan streak or a religious political movement as powerful as the one here. And of course, I’ll be watching little Aubrey on Modern Family – wouldn’t miss it!

  3. Mrs. Wonder says:

    Fox is just ridiculous, so I’m not surprised they spun it in a sensationalist way.
    I appreciate Modern Family taking on the cussing episode- doesn’t every parent have that happen at some point?
    I cuss, but will not let my son cuss in front of me until he is an adult. People do give words their power, but the Inability to express oneself without using one also tells a lot about the person.
    And my go-to word? Penis. That’s fun to say in a crowd.

  4. One of our favorite family memories is of the Tunnel of Fuck. We were in NY for summer break and were driving back into the city from Queens and were stuck in a hellish traffic jam. My husband yelled “Dammit” at a driver who pulled in front of him. My daughter Rowan (who we’ll call Mother Superior) said, “Daddy, you just cussed, you owe me a dollar). My husband, usually so proper, started throwing toll money into the back seat yelling, “Dammit, dammit, dammit!”
    We were enter the mid-town tunnel so I said, “Okay, we can all say as many bad words as we want in the tunnel, but when we come out that’s it, it’s over. No more bad words for the rest of the trip.” My husband looked at me like I was opening Pandora’s box. We entered the tunnel. Words flew. My girls were yelling, “Crap, Dammit, Hell, Crap, Dammit, Hell” there was one tentative “Shit.” But just one. Then we exited the tunnel. I felt satisfied until Mother Teresa, in a very small voice said, “fuck.” Favorite. Family. Memory.

  5. Sarah Auerswald says:

    Oh my kids swear a lot, but I hope it’s only at home. I try to teach them that language is appropriate in some situations and inappropriate in others. I haven’t heard from their teachers yet, so I guess we’re good so far… Whew!

    I think the show sounds hilarious – and Aubrey’s response to her mom – that fudge is also a piece of chocolate – now that’s priceless.

    Great post!

  6. LOL! great post.
    I have to admit there are some swear words I cringe when I hear…

    I completely agree words are only as powerful as we allow them to be…

    but at the same time I don’t like the “n” word. I understand why some people want to reclaim the word so it loses it’s power…but knowing that the word was the last thing people heard before they were killed in absolute horrific acts of hate is something I will never get over.

    So while I completely agree with you…I still can’t get over the meaning of some words…sighhhh…

  7. Great post! I’m loving right now that my kids think the ‘s’ word is stupid.

  8. Great post, A! I’m finishing up my own right now and I just heard through the grapevine that this Wednesday’s “Little Bo Bleep” episode of Modern Family, is predicted to be the most watched tv episode of all shows this entire season. I don’t want to jinx it, but I know the hype has been big and people will tune in. I can’t wait.

    I want to throw a viewing party at my house, but I think Aubrey has to work early the next morning, so she’ll be in bed before it even airs. Fuck.

  9. Yes, there are definitely words that I shutter at…words that I don’t want my children learning for a very long time. But as you said, saying fudge or shoot are really just milder forms of expletives and we are the ones who give power to words……interesting Adrienne…..things I haven’t thought about before, esp. with regards to raising little humans : )

  10. I’ll be watching and I wouldn’t care if ‘Lily’ said ‘fudge’ or ‘fuck’ – when I &%$# up my son gets to either say that word (once) or get 25 cents – I owe him $4.75 right now – he’d rather have the cash… thankfully I’m not a total potty mouth!

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