friends children say "Oh my god" all the time... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 44 Old 10-01-2003, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In my family, it is not okay to use the phrase "Oh my god" as slang language to express displeasure or frustration. I know that others are comfortable with the language, and I am not even interested in debating whether it is okay or not okay -- I am just not comfortable with it in my home, and feel strongly that it is disrespectful toward my faith.

Problem: My best friend, who does not share my faith, says it constantly. And everytime she does, I feel half sick. I've thought about asking her not to use that phrase around me, but always ended up concluding that this is my problem and not hers - and that I'm not going to make it an issue.

Well, now both her kids are using the phrase constantly, around me and around my kids, and its almost more than I can take. I asked her 3 yo. ds to wash up for lunch, and his response was a loud and sigh filled, "Oh MY GOD!"

What I'm wondering is, who's problem is this exactly? Should I say something to my friend? She is normally SUCH a sensitive person. I'm wondering if maybe she just doesn't realize this language is offensive to some people? I don't know! Or is this strictly my problem. Maybe I just need to find a way to deal. What do you think?
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#2 of 44 Old 10-01-2003, 02:34 PM
 
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My kids arent allowed to say OMG either (and they dont, at least not while they are at home). I dont say it and neither does my dh. Thats right up there with G*d Damn!t.

I wish i had some real advice, but i dont. i would find myself thinking alot like you in this case, which of course isnt helping you right now.

warmly, Lisa
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#3 of 44 Old 10-01-2003, 02:39 PM
 
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It's a big pet peeve of mine to hear kids say this in a flip way.

Any kid who says it in MY house gets gently corrected by me..."You mean, oh my GOSH." I don't care if their parent is standing right there. Even my kids have begun to correct their friends!

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#4 of 44 Old 10-01-2003, 02:41 PM
 
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I used to use the phrase all the time, didn't even realize it could be considered a problem. When I was taking baptism classes for my dd (I was 27 y.o. at the time) was the first time I really thought about it. When dd started talking, she started saying it also, and I decided to correct my error and use oh my gosh instead. I don't know if that would be acceptable to you (I know some people have a problem with that as well) but if it's not, you could ask your friends and kids to use that instead. If that's not ok with you, just mention it to your friend in a non threatening manner. Like, this bothers me to hear, could you please try to not say that.... if she/they slip, try to let it go, but it should reduce the occurances.

My guess is she's not even considering it could possibly be offensive, I know I never thought about it. It was used in our house, and my parents are both pretty active in the church.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#5 of 44 Old 10-01-2003, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Michelle. "Oh my gosh" is fine by me. Its a good suggestion, I still feel weird about the situation though. Once I was at the park with this same friend and all our kids. *My* ds ate some sand. I told him, "Sand is yucky," and she got a little freaked out. Told me that she never wanted her kids to hear/use the word "yucky." I thought she was being just a bit controlling. In fact, thinking back -- I still think she was being a bit controlling! Her kids *are* going to hear the word "yucky," KWIM? So I guess I'm worried about doing the exact same thing and making an issue out of something that isn't my business to try to control.

At the same time, like you said -- maybe she just never realized that some people find it offensive and maybe telling her could help her out some in other relationships as well, or help her kids out. Who knows?

Lisa, Skellbelle -- its nice to know others feel the same way I do. Most people probably think I'm nuts -- I'd rather hear the "F" word or the "S" word out of my kid's mouth than I would like to hear him taking the lord's name in vain!
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#6 of 44 Old 10-01-2003, 02:56 PM
 
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I say this, but I guess I don't say it very often, because my DD has never used the phrase. To me, since I'm not Catholic or Christian, it's no different than me saying "oh my gosh" or "good grief". However, I would expect a friend to mention something immediately if it offended them in any way. There is always something out there to offend someone, and if people aren't willing to set boundaries and let those boundaries be known by those around them, they can't expect anything to change.
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#7 of 44 Old 10-01-2003, 02:57 PM
 
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from adults, but ESPECIALLY from little kids, it just rubs me the wrong way. i think it sounds horrible. joe said it a few times, he heard it on, of all things, trading spaces, nearly every person says it when they see their new room. : i told him how sad hearing him say that made me & he now says oh my gosh. in fact he yells at the tv when he hears someone say it.


as to the OP, i think you are well within your rights to ask that they not use the phrase, not only in your home, but when you are together. if your friend is a real friend she will understand.

i like what skellbelle said:
Any kid who says it in MY house gets gently corrected by me..."You mean, oh my GOSH." I don't care if their parent is standing right there.

that is polite & it should work. good luck!
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#8 of 44 Old 10-01-2003, 03:29 PM
 
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This could be a perfect example of "different rules for different families".

How many people go around substituting the word witch for the b word that is one letter away? Do any of you care if that's offensive to real witches? I see it all over the boards here.

I could sympathize with people not liking G damn, but I honestly don't see a problem oh my god. In fact I say oh my goddess all the time.
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#9 of 44 Old 10-01-2003, 03:53 PM
 
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Perhaps your friend doesn't know that it is offensive to you. I can remember the first time that I found out that the phrase, "OMG" was offensive to anyone and it took me by surprise.

To let me know, the person talked "through" her child by telling her child that she couldn't repeat what I had just said.

I took the hint and am now more careful...although, I've been less careful in general lately because "PC" has been bugging me in general...but that's besides the point.

Hey, just thought of something, when people say jeez, is that short for Jesus?

An idea to talk to your friend would be to talk to her about religion, the power of language and get around to the OMG thing seperate from when she is acutally using the phrase. That way she can think about it without being on the defensive.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#10 of 44 Old 10-01-2003, 07:46 PM
 
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I think all of us have the right to control what is said (and done) in our own homes. Thus, you should feel free to say "please don't use this phrase in my home", especially to small children. Its just like saying "In our house, we don't play with guns or eat ice cream in the living room... " or whatever. As long as you are polite, I don't think anyone should complain. I'm sure she just doesn't realize that you find it offensive. However, I also think we have much less control over people in public places, so I probably wouldn't say the same thing at the park or outside of my own home.
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#11 of 44 Old 10-01-2003, 09:39 PM
 
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Forgive me if I repeat, as I only skimmed the previous replies but wanted to add my $.02...

I agree with the "different rules for different families" approach. If her kids say it in your house, you can tell them, "We don't like to say that in our house. Can you say 'oh my goodness' instead, please?" Even better if she overhears you - the phrase is so ubiquitous, I'm sure she has no idea it would offend anyone.

I kind of see this in the same way I saw that "butt/tush" issue (remember that thread? ) - I find the word "butt" crude-sounding and don't want it spoken in my home, but DD understands that some families use this word instead of "tush" and that's their decision, but in our family we don't use it. I've told visiting children our rule.

If it really does upset you every time you hear your friend say OMG in your presence, though, you should speak to her about it, but not at a time she has said it, KWIM?
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#12 of 44 Old 10-01-2003, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It may well be a different families/ different rules issue. Indeed, I'm sure it is.

Not sure you can compare it to the "butt/tush" debate though. Neither of those words is dissmissive or disrespectful of a particular faith.
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#13 of 44 Old 10-01-2003, 09:53 PM
 
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Actually I was using the different rules for different families reference as a way to support a parents right to let their kids use the term if they want to. This is the perfect learning example to teach your kids that while it's ok for their friends to say it (because their parents let them) that doesn't mean they can (since you don't).

If your using the different rules for different families to support your rules for all even guests, in your house regarding language then does that mean you don't expect your children to follow your speech rules in someone elses home? And you don't care if the friend says oh my god in front of you when you are visiting their home? After all their home, their rules per this interpretation.
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#14 of 44 Old 10-01-2003, 09:56 PM
 
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How is Oh My God disrespectful to any faith?

:

I can see the other usual god refernces like the G damn one ect, but oh my god?? Ya totally lost me on that one.

I still haven't seen any replies to the witch instead of bitch thing. That is much more disrespectful than Oh my god IMO.
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#15 of 44 Old 10-02-2003, 12:39 AM
 
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I thought I was so old fashion but this is also a pet peeve of mine. Also my dh's and both our famalies. My dd's preschool teacher years ago use to say that all the time, at first my dd would look at me like . We just explained to her that mommy and daddy prefer not use those words, but for other people it might be okay. My dd has started saying Oh my Goodness. As far as the *itch and witch thing I do not use that only because it is just too close to the actual word and carrys the same tone as saying the B word. For me it is the tone that both are said and the meaning and feeling that the word is conveying. To be honest even me saying Oh My Goodness I think is pushing it. But that is me and has alot to do with my upbringing.
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#16 of 44 Old 10-02-2003, 12:58 AM
 
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Arduinna... I'm not sure I have ever used witch when I meant bitch. I learned it was offensive to some people here and now I know I won't. I will admit though that I am unlikely to notice someone else using it and correct them simply because it just doesn't hit me the way some things do. (Not to say I think it is trivial, but it's not going to nab my attention the way some words will, ya know?)

The 'oh my God' issue has to do with the very specific request not to take His name in vain. Which is to say to use it frivolously, in any fashion other than when you are actually refering to Her or addressing Her.
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#17 of 44 Old 10-02-2003, 01:11 AM
 
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Being one that uses the phrase, OMG, alot, I do realize that it can be offensive to some, so I try to not say it, but it's such a habit that I often don't realize I'm saying it. I don't think of it as bad as I'm an atheist, but I do know it might be offensive to some. I realized that I must use it a lot when my younger dd started saying it last year. She has stopped as I've explained to her that some people don't like it and her good buddy has told her that it's not okay to say. I've tried to be more aware of it when speaking to people I think might be bothered by it.
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#18 of 44 Old 10-02-2003, 01:17 AM
 
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I think it can be taken differently. Personally, I never thought anything of it- but now that I know it offends people, I'll try to be more careful. I think I say, oh, my gosh anyway.

If people don't know it bothers you, you have to say something so they do. People have many different faiths or none and it is hard to always know if some phrase is offensive.

It never hurts to clear the air if it is really important to you. Good luck!

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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#19 of 44 Old 10-02-2003, 01:25 AM
 
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I think that even if your friend is very sensitive she would appreciate an explanation of the use of OMG according to your point of view. That's for friendship is for, we should accept and tolerate the differences. I'm a pratictioner Catholic and I had use the OMG always, wich means for me that there's a situation in which God has the last word because it is out of our control, so perhaps it is just the "when to use it". I also use to say "If God's will" after every statement which involves the future and my beloveds, even when we go to sleep we say "untill tomorrow if God's will" and some people had said that I'm too fanatic, but those are my beliefs and I think I am not offending anyone. I will be happier if someone, specially a friend, will tell me something that I do and bothers her.
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#20 of 44 Old 10-02-2003, 02:03 AM
 
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Thanks Eggie, that has always been my take on the phrase, which is why I never got the problem with it.
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#21 of 44 Old 10-02-2003, 03:19 AM
 
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i think you should at least let your friend know that it bothers you. i mean, she's your best friend, for crying out loud. you guys must be pretty close; its a bit of info she ought to know about you. and i would think a best friend would then try to abstain from using it w/o even being asked, just because she's your friend and cares that you be comfy. if she didnt change her habits on her own then i'd ask her straight up.

as far as me, well, i tend to be flippant about most things, not in my heart, but in my speech. i definately say OMG alot, and now dd does too. i would hope any friend of mine, would be willing to pipe up and let me know if my speech offends em. habitually, my speech is how i express my wierd humor- through satire, parody, and sarcasm. i alternate among trying to sound pretentious, stupid, crass, politcally incorrect, religiously offensive. it is a way i mock myself, and often lead myself to be misunderstood. woah, i am wandering way off topic here, but i am wondering if this self mockery is rooted in fear, embarrassment and defensiveness? sorry, had to type that, i am having a little revelation here. for example, i feel lots and lots of love for jesus- but express it in a joking way- like i am embarrassed by it, because i was raised by atheists with biting sarcasm. but then again, its good to laugh at yourself a bit, eh? anyway, just let her know, i think she'd try to avoid it in her own home or yours or the park or wherever, i know I would for you, mamaduck.
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#22 of 44 Old 10-02-2003, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
i think she'd try to avoid it in her own home or yours or the park or wherever, i know I would for you, mamaduck.



I know she would too. I just don't want to make her feel badly about something that that is so benign and harmless in *her* eyes. And, I do understand that, bts. I understand perfectly well that she means no malice by it.

About why it is disresectful -- well, I guess I wouldn't want people saying, "Oh my mamaduck!" whenever they felt annoyed or frustrated. I wouldn't feel that was a very positive association. (better be careful not to start anything here though!)

At any rate -- I didn't mean to get anyone defensive or start a debate. I realize no harm is meant by user's of the phrase!
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#23 of 44 Old 10-02-2003, 09:49 PM
 
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oh, did i sound defensive? darn. i am working on that. dh says i tend to be defensive. but I AM NOT. this thread just really got me thinking about my own habits and how they may effect others.

i still think your friend would feel worse if she knew she had continued to do something that bugged her wonderful friend just because you didnt want to seem controlling. and if its bugging you, its not *harmless*. how would you feel if the tables were turned? are you giving yourself as much respect as you would give another? ok ok i will let it rest now.
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#24 of 44 Old 10-02-2003, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, no sunbaby! I wasn't talking about you specifically. I was trying to respond to all the posts in a general fashion.... trying ot make a point that this isn't something I judge or care about in other families.... just something that is hard on my own ears. Sorry that you felt singled out! No, I didn't feel you were being defensive.
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#25 of 44 Old 10-03-2003, 02:13 AM
 
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Things like this are really hard - from OMG to butt/tush/yukky there are a bazillion things other families won't like and it is nigh on impossible to anticipate all of them or to expect little ones to remember what-to-say-in-who's-house.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about it if it was someone in the park -- even if they said something to me, quite frankly. However, if it was my friend, whom I care about & hang with a lot and whom my kids hang with a lot, I would absolutely hope that he/she would tell me if there was a phrase I was using or my kids were using that upset him/her. Friends are part of our family.

I'm not any particular religion, but OMG would bug me, too. Not enough for me to say something to someone else probably, but enough to let my child know it's not an OK thing to say. I don't really even know why I feel that way-- I guess because I don't like hearing children use expressions/words that they don't fully understand, or don't understand the impact of.

As for the taking the Lord's name in vain, I don't know... I've never thought that was quite what the Lord meant. I mean, how then do you define what is "frivolous" and what isn't? I hear people tossing out "praise the Lord" constantly when it doesn't seem particularly connected... kind of like a stock response. Is that in vain, or is it not considered vain simply because it has a positive connotation? If you tell a friend something and they are shocked and truly stunned and say "OMG" it can very well NOT be in vain, but be truly heartfelt and a way of expressing shock and sorrow that only God can help them understand. My interpretation of using the Lord's name in vain, is to make frivolous promises and swear against His name when you don't really mean it. I find "swear to God!" much more offensive than OMG. Especially since it's usually used about the truth of some ridiculous thing that is not worthy of such a swearing! KWIM? Don't mean to derail the thread onto a discusion of that, though. Oops.

Basically - it's your friend and it seems like you know she cares about you & would never knowingly offend. You don't have to make her feel guilty or anything, but the longer you let it go on the more she has to feel guilty about! So I say to say something and just be matter-of-fact and loving about it - don't over-apologize for saying something (a sure fire way to instill guilt.) I'll be willing to bet that if there was something you were saying offhandedly that upset her, you would want her to tell you, right? Of course right!
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#26 of 44 Old 10-05-2003, 06:30 PM
 
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I wouldnt say anything. But this is because *I* was on the receiving end of this exact same conversation with a VERY good friend a few years ago. I was hurt and shocked. And frankly see it as "the begining of the end" of our friendship. I am sure my friend debated whether or not to say anything and finally did because it was so important to her, as it is to you. BUT what she was not prepared for was MY reaction. I was hurt and upset that it was more important to her what slang I used than all of the other wonderful things I did bring to the freindship. I was/am never the same around her now. [We see each other only on holidays and parties etc] I dont talk. I avoid them. I do not want to be put in a situation where I [or my son or husband] might say the wrong thing and be publicly reprimanded etc.

If you do mention this to your friend, try to be open to her opinion too. I wouldnt suggest you approach it thinking "I'm right" etc since that will more likely loose you a freind than gain you a freind who doesnt use slang you dislike etc. And it definatly doesnt sound like you want that to happen.

Having read all the posts here it is obvious that people everywhere have different slang words etc and they are not meant to be offensive. OMG if I recall correctly actually became "popular" slang in the early 80s with the advent of The Valley Girl and it was/is pronounced more like "Oh Mi Gaed" etc. Bitch is a female dog. Shit is excrement. Etc. God is a name and god is a deity. As someone here already mentioned, the concern for OMG comes from using Our Lords name in vain etc. Using *any* word or term in vain is inapropriate really. OMG vs Goodness vs "Uhg" is inappropriate in some homes etc.

[[ I realize it was only one example but
Quote:
I asked her 3 yo. ds to wash up for lunch, and his response was a loud and sigh filled, "Oh MY GOD!"
actually sounds more like a problem with authority not slang? Personally all the kid would have had to do was "humph" in that situation and I would have been concerned. ]]
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#27 of 44 Old 10-06-2003, 02:49 AM
 
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My son and I have talked about this issue before. I told him that the reason we don't say it is because it might hurt others that do believe in this religion.

I would be very angry if anybody made any comment directly to my child. If you have a problem do talk to the mother...but I would not reccomend going over her and having a chat about this with the child. I do not want my child to in any way be made to feel bad about not believing in this god,and when you tell a child not to say those things it may very well lead to talks of theology that are none of your business.

My son could say pretty much anything (though he doesn't) and it wouldn't hurt me near as much as hearing the most brutal awfull of all words-hate.
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#28 of 44 Old 10-06-2003, 03:44 AM
 
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BCMommy - I find your logic odd, in a way. I mean, why would anyone want to say something like "Oh my God" when he/she knows that he/she doesn't believe in that God? (Switching to the universal non-specific "you" here,) And if it offends someone who DOES believe in that God (which I could really understand then - if they know that you don't believe,) - then why should their asking you to stop make you feel bad for not believing in that God? You both know that you're being asked by someone who DOES believe to please stop refering to thanking a God you don't believe in as your own? (did that make sense?) To me, then, it seems even more disrespectful to toss off an OMG than it does when you are a believer who's just not being particularly devout at that moment. KWIM? Am I being really obtuse - it's late and I'm not articulating my thoughts very well.

I do agree 100% that one shouldn't reprimand someone else's child for something like this without talking to the parents first - it's confusing & potentially embarassing for a child who is really just parroting something he/she has heard grownups saying. And I don't think that's ever what the original poster intended to do. And I hear ya - I said "hate" all the time as a kid and it's a horrid word I want very hard to banish from my own vocabulary so my little one doesn't use it, even when talking about mint chocolate ice cream!

Oh, and HannahSims -- I've always thought "jeez" was short for "Jesus." Another one of those "skating the line without actually saying the word" kind of cheats :
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#29 of 44 Old 10-06-2003, 05:52 AM
 
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This is a very intersting thread!
I am not religious. I think I probably say "OMG" as much as the next person. It is a fairly common phrase in our society. I think I probably try to refrain from using it in front of my most religious friends, just in case. But to me, in the past my assumption was that it was similar in dislike to someone using butt instead of bottom - some may not like to hear it but it doesn't strike me as terrible.
To hear that some people don't want to hear the words "yucky" or even "OMGoodness" blows me away. I don't think I could imagine the problem with those.
When I was in high school, a good friend's mom wouldn't let us say "suck" (as in "that surprise test really sucked") in her house. Her mom perceived it as a cuss word and that really surprised me.
My mom wouldn't let us say "OMG" when we were kids - she'd tell us not to take the lord's name in vain (even though we were raised without religion - but she was). Anyway, funny part was that if she dropped a glass on the floor and it broke, what would she say? Christ on a crutch (???) or Jesus H. Christ. Being a mouthy one, I once asked her if the H stood for holy and if so, why it wasn't H Jesus Christ or Holy J. Christ. She was not amused....
Regarding the OP, I would mention to your friend that it rubs you wrong to hear OMG and if she could try to curtail it, you would be very grateful. I think I would want you to tell me. But I suppose you do run a risk of it being a bit uncomfortable between you if she takes it wrong. It is really a grey area because if she was saying curse words in front of your children, I would think you'd have every right to ask her not to. OMG seems so benign to me that it makes it hard.
Let us know what you decide to do (if anything) and how it turns out.
Kirsten
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#30 of 44 Old 10-06-2003, 12:32 PM
 
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When I was in high school, a good friend's mom wouldn't let us say "suck" (as in "that surprise test really sucked") in her house. Her mom perceived it as a cuss word and that really surprised me.
That doesn't surprise me, I really dislike hearing it, too - especially from younger kids. My understanding has always been (and maybe I'm wrong,) that the sucking referred to is fellatio.
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