I'm a guy who believes in free speech. I'm not talking about yelling fire in a crowded theater or other such nonsense. That's not free speech. That's mayhem. I don't care how funny those commercials with Dean Winter are, mayhem isn't a good thing. I believe that a person should have full use of the English language or any other language he speaks. This makes me think about the age restrictions we put on swearing. I don't know about you, but sometimes nothing feels better to me than uttering a well placed "fuck" or "cunt."
I know some of you are thinking that this is a blog about my daughter, and it should be wholesome. Let me remind you that this is a blog about MY daughter, and I come from the school of comedy. Every word has its own special meaning when used properly. It can emphasize a sentence or stand alone. It can make an entire conversation meaningful. When you string these words together, you can create magic, music and poetry. Words define the essence of being. That's why I won't limit what my daughter can say.
She's not dumb. She knows what she's saying and why. One of my favorite things that Casey spits out now and then is "dammit." She uses it correctly every time. She did it this morning. She finished her milk, shook the empty cup and said it. "Dammit!" I looked at her with a little smirk on my face. "What did you just say?" She looked right at me and said it slower, as though she thought I didn't understand. "Damn... it!" I had to smile. I told her that she could say it since she was using it correctly, but she shouldn't say that at school.
I'm wearing an old t-shirt today from a defunct Chicago metal band called Hellshock. It just has the band name across the front. Casey asked me what letters were on the shirt. I said "H-E-L-L..." She stopped me. "That's bad." I don't know how she knew what that spelled. She can't even read yet! I was impressed. She may mispronounce words here and there, but she still understands them.
I'm sure some kids will see me as the cool dad, but I'm not going to let Casey abuse her freedoms. Any word can be overused. That takes its power away. She's not going to run around saying, "So I was fuckin' at this fuckin' movie with my fuckin' friends." I hate that. Conversely, I'd have no problem if she stubbed her toe and yelled, "Fuck!" That's what any of us might do in that situation.
I'll teach her to respect and understand language through conversation, reading and the majesty of George Carlin. She's going to be quick with her words. I can already see that. I would just like her to have a little accuracy when she fires them off.