The way we (I would say, shouldn't) talk

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cris

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi my friends and brothers in Christ
I am having a tough time hearing around me (Christians) say things like "shoot", "dang", "darn (it)", "freaking (something)"
Since I am new to US (still) I have no idea what they really mean. According to "Urban dictionary" they are on the border with profanity (cursing)
And in this case, I would say Christians shouldn't say words like these
I wonder what you guys think about it.
What about "Oh my God/Gosh"? Do you hear it a lot among the Christians? (I'm not asking what you think about this one, since it's obviously wrong)
Thanks a lot
Cristian
 

Mephibosheth

Puritan Board Freshman
It's interesting, because most people (including most Christians) wouldn't give this a second thought.

things like "shoot", "dang", "darn (it)", "freaking (something)...
Euphemisms for common English curses. Most people probably say the first three without thinking anything of it, and wouldn't consider it the same thing. But it basically is, you're right. I try to not use "freaking," as the word it's substituted for is too vulgar, obviously.

I think humans are prone to swearing. You stub your toe, you hit your head on something, you fall etc., sometimes we're just compelled to blurt something out. Using euphemisms help us feel like we're not swearing. We are.

What about "Oh my God/Gosh"? Do you hear it a lot among the Christians? (I'm not asking what you think about this one, since it's obviously wrong)
Obviously, as Christians, we know not to use His name in vain, so we don't say the first option. However, "Oh my Gosh" gets said regularly by the same Christians. Why? Because we don't realize that it's a euphemism, and that's a huge problem.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
I think it's best to avoid even the "cleaned up" version of curses that take God's name in vain or pronounce damnation on someone. So even mild curse words that derive from these bother me. That said, sometimes the cleaner version is so far removed from the original, sinful word it came from that hardly anyone recognizes its origins anymore. Should we be bothered by "gee whiz"? Its origins are a euphimism for swearing that takes the Lord's name in vain, but common usage has it so far removed from those origins that very few people in America would make that association. Does that mean it's okay? Probably is in most settings, though I'd personally rather steer a very wide course when it comes to the third commandment.

Scatological words generally bother me less, but still aren't nice. And we should be nice, at least in everyday speech.

Your observation that many American believers don't pay good attention to their words is correct. Words have power. Too many of us forget that and too easily speak as if we belong to the world.
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
You are right, those words are borderline profanity. In 1950s and 60s the words became popular for people who wanted to say something, but wanted to avoid actually swearing. I still avoid the words, because they bother me. I teach my children the same thing. However, you will hear them used more and more often as the strong meanings behind them begin to fade with time.
 

Curt

Puritan Board Graduate
Christian, Having spent a good bit of time in cultures other than my own (US), I have found that it is easier for us to be aware of such inconsistencies and other cultural issues. You have correctly spotted something that many of us might easily mss.
 

au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I prefer to say "Charles Finney!" when I stub my toe.

But on a serious note, avoiding substitute profanity also forces you to learn how to speak in a more, shall we say, educated manner. They're not generally the best words for making us look intelligent.

However, the words that relate to God's name (or Jesus') - or actually using God's name, especially - fall into a whole different category.
 

cris

Puritan Board Freshman
That's true, using Jesus' or God's name in vain is another story.
That's why I didn't ask what you guys think about that

Thx for all your replies.
You agree with me

Maybe I'll have some questions related to the language too ;)
This one was more on "daily walk"
 

Rich Koster

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
:2cents: The euphemisms are equal to their more coarse synonyms. It is the heart's intent, when voicing them, that gives the words weight. Context is king.

Depending on where you live, someone saying "bless your heart" can be equivalent to being told 'you're so stupid' of getting saluted with the middle finger.
 

Rich Koster

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
All I can say is :soapbox: what about this smiley?
In your angry rant, do not sin. :D I sometimes cross the line when I get torqued up. The whole point is.... not to make a habit of doing it. The scriptures lay the line down that an elder is not easily (emphasis mine) provoked.
 

Tim

Puritan Board Graduate
For example, from Microsoft Works dictionary:

gol·ly [góllee]
interj
expression of surprise: used to express surprise, amazement, or anxiety, or for emphasis (dated informal)
Golly, we're in real trouble now!
[Late 18th century. Alteration of God ]
Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

gosh [gosh]
interj
expressing surprise: used to express surprise, amazement, or pleasure (informal)
[Mid-18th century. Substitution for God ]
Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
 

CatherineL

Puritan Board Freshman
Be Southern, say:
"Well, I'll be!"
"fiddlesticks!"
"my WORD!" or "my GOODNESS!" or just "oh MY!"
"Bless her (his) heart!"

In all seriousness, I agree with avoiding swear-word substitutes, but I would be careful not to let it become a judgment on others that might lead to a critical spirit.
 

JOwen

Puritan Board Junior
When I stub my toe= "Oh, Buddha!"
When I hit my head= "Hare Krishna!"
When I am shocked at something, instead of "oh my goodness", as a Calvinist= "Oh my sin nature".
 

SarahM

Puritan Board Freshman
Be Southern, say:
"Well, I'll be!"
"fiddlesticks!"
"my WORD!" or "my GOODNESS!" or just "oh MY!"
"Bless her (his) heart!"

I have often wondered about the "word" and "goodness" too. I think sometimes I just don't know what to say and these exclamations are just fillers. I heard a parent tell her child not to say, "gosh," but rather it was okay to say, "goodness." I just don't think we should say it at all.

Sarah
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
Well I"ll be dipped in molasses and hung out to dry! Seriously, I do mostly avoid even the milder forms of cuss-words, and discourage their use in the family. I can slide into "earthier" expressions but my husband is quick to let me know when I've gone to far!
 
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