Monday, September 28, 2009

"Don't Swear Like That!"

Following up my last post.

Recently I found a booklet titled “Don’t Swear Like That!” by Daniel A. Lord, S.J. Inside the cover I found The Imprimi potest, Nihil obstat, Imprimatur and Copyright 1943.

First of all, when using the word curse, we have to remember the definition of the word. It is an action or desire of bringing evil or misfortune on someone.

Now to the booklet! I was surprised to find the following statement on page 12. “As a matter of fact the constant use of the oaths and curses have resulted in their losing all meaning.” I didn’t realize so much cursing was going on in the 1940’s. But this is a true statement. The more a word is said the more it is accepted. Even the word “pregnant” was taboo. My grandmother was horrified when she first heard it said in general conversation. She was accustomed to “expecting” or “in the family way.”

This booklet also covered the use of the name of God and Jesus Christ alone. How often do we hear or say “Oh my God!” Someone once told me; when we say this, think of it as our lips to God’s ear. The point is, don’t say His precious name in such a frivolous manner. On page 14, “Such usage is the sign of a complete lack of faith. God means nothing…Christ has lost all value in their eyes. So the Holy Names are tossed about in careless indifference.” It further states even gee whiz is a parody on Jesus Christ, and the origin is soon forgotten.

Words full of meaning become meaningless, page 16. “G-d damn you!” or “G-d damn him!” say the thoughtless modern man and woman. If we…thought of what the phrases meant, we might drop them forever from our vocabularies. And on page 19…It was left for thoughtless people of succeeding ages…to take that horrible curse and make it part of the most commonplace speech.

Finally, why don’t we use the reverse? Why don’t we say “God bless” instead of “G-d damn?” Or we could say “Go to heaven” instead of “Go to hell!” Maybe we don’t say the kind words because of the impact we desire.

There is more, and I will continue on my next post. But here is something to think about. This is basically covering curse words! What about those words that don’t carry a curse, but fall under the title? What about words which should really fall under obscene or vulgar?

Note: I have a real problem with GD, but I was typing from the booklet.


Colleen said...

I have read so many posts today about words and their power. Thanks for posting this.

Just Be Real said...

This is powerful and something I struggle with during my journey. Thanks for sharing. Blessings.

~ Judy ~ said...

Thank you for these thoughts.
Some years back...we made the decision to NOT VIEW any film or video (or read any book) which takes God's name in vain. It has REALLY curtailed our available choices!!!
I know another family that replaces the swearing in God's name with a quick prayer "WE praise you God and beg pardon for those who misuse Your holy name"
At any rate...thanks for calling this to our attention!

HeartfeltHeartLook said...

Judy, I guess that has curtailed choices. How do you know it's in there? Just curious.
I like the family idea of a quick prayer, and I really like that prayer. Thank you ladies for visiting. More later...when I get a chance. :)