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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 23, 2013 / 19 Mar-Cheshvan, 5774

The profanity that isn't

By Jennifer Graham




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The best proof that America is becoming a godless society is not declining church attendance, but idle chatter on the sidelines at youth soccer games. There, parents know not to criticize the referees or the coaches, but they freely employ a phrase that is offensive to people of faith.

Oh my G0D, did you see that kick?

The phrase, once avoided like the f-word, has become a casual, throw-away exclamatory, invading the culture like so much kudzu and choking out the last gasping shoots of reverence. Its use violates the Third Commandment — thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy G0D in vain — and moreover, some vague sense of dignity. Would Queen Elizabeth say it? I think not. The Kardashians among us? Every other sentence.

As children, most Baby Boomers were schooled not to say "Oh my G0D", and some of us couldn't say "oh my gosh" because "gosh" substitutes for G0D in the phrase. Even today, there are pockets of America where children aren't allowed to say "jeez" because it's a derivative of Jesus, and where Orthodox Jews don't write all the letters of G-d out of reverence and respect. In these circles, "Oh my G-d" is as vulgar as David Ortiz dropping the F-bomb at Fenway.

But while George Carlin's seven words you can't say on TV are rare in polite society, "Oh my G0D" has infiltrated the mainstream. My 11-year-old daughter received a gift in a bag on which was printed "OMG it's your birthday!" At Yahoo, headed by a mother, the celebrity news page is entitled "OMG!" which, a spokesman insists, is not text-message blasphemy but a synonym for wow. Not so, says a Massachusetts researcher who's been studying salty language for more than 40 years. Timothy Jay teaches psychology at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams and is the author of "Why We Curse" and two other books on cursing. Jay still considers "Oh my G0D" a swear, although its impact has dramatically declined over the years.


But — feminists take note — it's an epithet employed mainly by women, a chick curse, if you will, which may explain its disturbing ascent among children. Boys and girls both use the phrase until age 7 or 8, Jay says; after that, the boys tend to use expletives that represent copulation and excrement.

Immersed in hard-core language in his studies, Jay himself takes no offense at OMG, which has been traced to a telegram sent to Winston Churchill in 1917. "I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the tapis. O.M.G. (Oh! My G0D!)" it read.

"This is how women and children emote without using offensive language," Jay said.

Some of us disagree. But Jay's latest study, co-authored with his wife, Kristin, is coming out in the winter edition of the American Journal of Psychology, and it's on cursing in children from ages 1 through 12.


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Americans are culturally reluctant to admit that preschoolers know and use expletives, Jay said, but in "the children's garden of curses" — the name of the Jays' study — OMG is but a frail seedling. If it's the worst thing our kids are saying, they're the Puritans of the playground.

And admittedly, the nations that prosecute blasphemy are all places I don't want to live (no matter how lovely Pakistan may be.) But I do want to live in a place that is respectful of other's beliefs, even when those beliefs include G0D, and the antiquated notion that a certain reverence and restraint is due the sacred.

This sometimes may need to involve soap.

In Jean Shepherd's "A Christmas Story," set in the 1940s, young Ralphie's mouth is washed out with soap so often that he can distinguish between Lux and Palmolive. His father, meanwhile, "wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan." Still, it was a well-mannered household, respectful of boundaries. And nowhere under the tree was a package that said "OMG, it's Christmas!"

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Previously:


Sept. 19, 2013: Hollyweird Goes Normal: Filmmakers suddenly rushing to the side of intact families

Sept. 12, 2013: Let there be night: Has unnecessary lighting become a new form of home invasion?

August 28, 2013: The NFL has become the champion of women that feminists never could




© 2013, Jennifer Graham

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