Sunday, June 16, 2013

Words We Say: A Kid Is A Goat

For some reason, I spend a lot of time thinking about the things we say. Maybe it started when I realized most people just parrot things they hear elsewhere while giving little thought to them "Everybody should go to college!" I don't want to be a parrot, so I try to evaluate what I say, and think through the underlying worldview assumptions. Am I mindlessly spouting cultural cliches, or have I carefully thought through my ideas?

I ranted on Facebook recently about an affectation most people have. Listen to people talking. Sit through a meeting, or watch an interview on a 24 hour news network (if you can). Sooner or later, you'll hear somebody say "I would say..." followed by exactly what they're saying. Or "I would argue..." followed by exactly what they're arguing.

A friend of mine decided it would be helpful to tell me to relax and not let things get to me. I told him to stop letting my rants get to him.

A podcast I listen to was talking about words somewhere in the last year or so. Right or wrong, what they said went to heart for me. Most people will refer to their children as "kids". A kid is a goat. The people on my podcast said it was part of an effort to dehumanize us. I'm not sure if that's true or not, but the concept was planted in my mind and won't go away.

And so, for more than a year, I've been trying to break my habit of referring to human children as "kids". When I refer to my own, they are either my children or my boys. I want to bash my own head through a wall when the term "kids" slips out.

If you've ever tried to change a lifelong habit, it's hard.

The next step is to get people to join me. Will you commit to referring to children as children? I know, for some of you that extra syllable between "kids" and "children" is a killer, but you can do it!
Post a Comment