Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hate: a four-letter word?

I was listening to music with Clem (she's three) and she told me "I don't sing when it's the part with the bad word."  I couldn't think of what bad word the song we were listening to had, so I asked her what word it was that she thought was bad (thinking that maybe she was getting the lyrics wrong, or that I was) and she hesitated, probably thinking that she wasn't sure if it was really okay to say it, and finally said, "hate."  Now, I am sure that my sister (not my favorite one, the other one) told her that hate is a bad word, she's the one that watches Clem while I'm at work, and I'm okay with that, I don't really want my kid running around saying that she hates things, but at the same time, I don't want her thinking hate is a bad word just like fuck or bitch or something.  So, I explained to her that hate isn't a bad word, but that it can be hurtful to people (she said, "mom, if it's hurtful then that's bad," making me explain that, too), and we have to understand that it is rarely necessary to use the word.  I also explained that a lot of times it is used when people don't really mean it, and that they don't even realize they're saying it (which she told me is something I do all the time (kid notices everything apparently).

I'm fairly confident that I did the right thing.  It isn't a bad word, right?


Ivan Toblog said...

Context determines if it is a bad word.
One of my favorite expressions is, "I hate it when that happens." I would hate for anyone to determine that I can't say that because they have determined that hate is now considered to be an obscenity.

On the other hand it isn't nice to tell someone to hate themselves...
...or gee, how about WTH. Now that I think about it, I say what the aitch all the time.

Jenn said...

I agree with Ivan. I say "I hate it when that happens" constantly. "Hating" an item (brocolli) or event is OK, but to say you hate a person or race makes "hate" a bad word. I guess what I am trying to say is that hate isn't a bad "word", it's the context in which you use it.

Melissa said...

If she thinks that hate is in the same class as fuck and bitch, and therefore has the same usage guidelines, then she might get the idea that if someone says hate, that's an ok environment to say fuck.

I think you handled it very well.

Anonymous said...

waxahachie61 - you're one sick puppie.