A question for you

ehem, okay, I have a question for all of you.

Yesterday, Sean and I got into a debate. After going back and forth I finally told him to ask people at work what they think and I will ask my blogging buddies too.

So here is a poll for you.

Honestly, I was surprised it was an issue for us. Sean is very conservative and cautious in his speech. However, his one speaking vice (in my opinion) is his occasional use of the word “sucks”.

Personally, I HATE it! It reeks of bad attitude. I have an image of a boy in my 4th grade class shouting it in a statement at our teacher, with venom.

No, I don’t equate it with “real” cuss words, but for me, it is on the same level as shut up and stupid (2 statements off limits in our home.)

For Sean, it is just a casual word used when the situation warrants and doesn’t have to be a “bad attitude” statement.

While this may be, (and I do know what he means – anything can be hateful and ugly if said properly… I called my mom a “table” when I was 3. And I said it with as much anger and vitriol that I would have made a sailor blush at that moment. I had no concept of cuss words, but I knew I was flat out ANGRY) I don’t want my 4 year old son using it. He doesn’t understand the various uses of words and when it is okay and not okay. It confuses him that it is okay to say something at one moment and then not at another.

The reason this discussion started is because we were watching Little Bear yesterday, and his response to something that happened (the gingerbread cookies ran away), was “That sucks.”

He knew from the look on my face that he’d crossed a line. AGGHH…. We discussed it and he understood. What he didn’t understand was why daddy could say it.

Hence, our discussion.

Sean has already said he won’t say it anymore, but he just doesn’t get where I am coming from. He didn’t grow up with that word being off-limits. And trust me, using off-limit words was no small offense in his home. This one just wasn’t one of them. Maybe, it was just a case of “pick your battles”. He is one of 3 boys, and I’m certain his mom had bigger issues to deal with than this word.

So, what are your thoughts? I have a little poll to put your answer in, but I am also interested in your thoughts. So, after you answer the poll, please explain your answer.

I will NOT be offended if you don’t agree with me. That is the point of this. I want to know if I am being silly, over-reactive or dead-on.

And please, no judgmental comments. Just opinions and why.


  1. http://Anonymous says

    Saying something “sucks” to me is not a bad word and I do not see anything wrong with saying it.

  2. http://stephanie@Olive%20Tree says

    My thoughts … it’s not a word I care for and I don’t use it around my girls. I guess because when I hear it, most of the time, it is in the context of saying you don’t care for something … like a movie, a TV show, something like that. IMO, there are way better ways to state an opinion on something that saying “sucks” which to me, comes out sounding slang and disrespectful.

    However, I grew up where I NEVER cussed so when I hear my neice use the word “geez” it makes my skin crawl. :) My husband says “sucks” and I don’t make a big deal out of it, but I don’t let my 3 year old say it.

    It will be interesting to see what others say on this!

  3. http://Barbara%20H. says

    I come from an unsaved home and a public school background, and that word carried a vulgar connotation. I don’t use it and I cringe when others do, though I know some use it in innocence.

    I’ve been very surprised since blogging to see some of the language that other Christians find acceptable. I wrote some expanded thoughts on it a while back here. I hope that doesn’t sound judgmental — it’s not meant to be. But for me language was one of the big changes after becoming a Christian. Well, not so much from what I said, as I wasn’t allowed to say much that I would consider bad, but in what I considered acceptable or not.

    To me the ultimate question is how does this represent the Savior? What will people think of Him by what I say?

    I applaud your husband for being willing to set it aside as an example to your son and so as not to offend you. That is the spirit of Christian graciousness.

  4. http://Melissa%20@%20Breath%20of%20Life says

    Hearing someone say that makes my skin crawl. I guess because, as Barbara said, I’ve always known it to have a vulgar connotation.

    I could say more, but since you just asked for our opinion & the reason behind it…I’m leaving it at that.

  5. http://stacey says

    I know I probably say it too much when around friends (only when children are NOT present), but we don’t use words in our home around our children such as sucks, shut up, stupid, etc.

    It is hard, I know, but in the end you have to figure out what are your boundaries and which battles you choose to fight.

    On a side note, I am doing something a little special this week on my blog and would love you to visit. I read you often, always enjoying your stories, but probably don’t comment enough which is the whole point of my blog entry today!

    Take care!

  6. http://Renae says

    I agree with you in this instance. I have always hated that word. It doesn’t even sound “nice”. Jeff and I debated on it when Kayla and Brian started to say it because “all the other kids say it” and out of respect for me, he backed me on it. I knew Sean would understand and do the same for you.

  7. http://Big%20Mama says

    I know I’ve been guilty of saying it, but I try to watch it. I don’t want Caroline saying it. I don’t think it’s very ladylike.

  8. http://dcrmom says

    I say it. And I shouldn’t. It’s vulgar. It’s connotation is lewd. And children should NOT be saying it. When I do say it, I cringe, lol. I can’t believe anyone would believe it is acceptable in polite company. It’s not what I consider a “cuss word” but it’s just not a nice word.

  9. http://Christy says

    Nope, that word is off limits in our house. It’s funny how you might let things slip out now and then until you hear those words coming out of the mouth of your child. We only said it once in a blue moon anyway prekids, and I cringed when I did so. That’s one word we nixed first thing after baby #1 came. We just changed it to “stinks” which conveys the meaning we intend w/o the vulgar connotations. Now that I think back, I think I initiated the decision and hubby begrudgingly agreed. :-) I wonder if in the male domain, it’s a “manly” word … and “stinks” is the sissy way of saying the same thing?

  10. http://Maggie says

    1. Cute header!

    2. The word bothers me…much for reasons listed above.

    3. It says “immature” to me.

    4. I find myself asking dumb distracting internal questions when I hear it (because it’s not a habit in my normal speech)…”wow. why did they say that? It sucks WHAT? Why? When? No…dork. It’s just slang. Forget it. Are they are postmodern and let little stuff slide in the name of “process”. What else “slides”? Do I want my kids over their “sliding”? Good grief, I’ve zoned out…so, what is he/she ranting on about now that may “suck”. Basically, anything they don’t like “sucks”? Hmmmm. Spoiled critter.

    What is the qualification for “suck-ed-ness”… Maybe they are just identifying with my troubles. Yes! Sympathy!

    Great. Great. He/she said it again, about pizza. Okay, so not much sympathy there.

    Selfish brat. Grow up. Stop complaining.

    Wondferul, so now I’m judging. Great. I’m such a hypocrite. Being around this person gets exhausting. I need to move on.”

    Okay, so that is like, in those split second sort of impression thoughts more than actual “word thoughts”, so it sounds too lengthy, but it’s there.

    I have bad habits to myself, toe smashing incident sort of OUCH words. Car accident word. Reflexes. I don’t beat myself up, but don’t want my kids or others to hear, and it’s likely an immature response.

    This word is of interest to me because it seems to be normalizing and I don’t like it when the church doesn’t think and just adapts worldy standards for speech when we are to think and be thoughtful, set apart.

    Why risk making people tune you out trying to figure you out?

    We’ve found that finding a made up funny sounding word to replace questionable word choices with makes it fun and helps break the habit faster!

    Well, it was good to get all that out. Now, you owe me a really long comment.


  11. http://Sista%20Cala says

    I think it “stinks” that it is used and tolerated by so many folks. It has a negative connotation. My mother was a saint, my dad quite the opposite. I spent a lot of time w/my dad and picked up all kinds of foul language- early in life. I remember my mother’s first reaction was to talk to me about it, explain that Jesus did not approve, and list the punishment that would ensue if I persisted in using whatever word it was.Good old fashioned corporal punishment
    did the trick for me. That and getting saved.

  12. http://goodlikeamedicine says

    I have to get my kiddos, so I don’t have time to read the others’ comments, but I absolutely hate that phrase – I have always hated it – when I was a teenager, it was starting to be used by people, and I remember at church (trying not to be rude) looking at some of my friends and saying, “You know it almost makes me feel like I’m going to throw up every time you use that word; could you please not do that?” I remember them looking at me like they had never even thought about it… I think many people use it without thinking about it, too.

    Found your blog via everydaymommy. Blessings!

  13. http://Kimmy says

    That word is not allowed in our home. I applaud you for your concern regarding our choice of words. The world DOES notice word choices (or lack-of-word choices).

  14. http://Cmommy says

    Oh, nope. “Stupid” and “shut up” are also off-limits.

    This one gets me, too: “What the_______?” with the blank space left hanging. I had a few preK students who had this habit and it just sounds sooooo awful.

  15. http://Stephanie says

    Wow… I would never use the words “stupid” or “shut up” – they are personally insulting and rude to whoever you say it to. But I grew up living on a Bible College campus where the phrase “that sucks” was used all the time. It wasn’t until I left my “Christian bubble” that I heard any bad connotations associated with it. I really never realized til this blog that so many Christians had problems with it. I will be watching my mouth from now on, since it is my hopes to only speak “words that will build others up, so it will benefit those who listen”. Sorry to the multitudes whom I have offended over the years!!

  16. http://Ruth says

    i feel the same way about that one.
    also “i’m hot” drives me insane or “you’re hot” or “that shirt is hot”


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