Growing up, my parents wouldn't even let us say "golly" or "gee" or "gosh," believing those words were substitutions for taking the Lord's name in vain. Forbidden words are intriguing, however, which might account for toddlers repeating the worst cuss-words in nursery class followed by their very proper parents' desperate explanation that, "we don't use that kind of language, I don't know WHERE little Timmy picked that up!" Probably nursery class.
Even though we were a church going family of fundamentalists, my parents cussed. My mom's favorite cuss-word was "Crap" unless she was really mad and then it began with "S." and my dad's favorites began with "H" and "D." He also liked to call his co-workers "S.O.B.'s", although it was sometime before I knew what those letters stood for. Only my brothers used the really awful word, you know which one I mean, and they were always out of earshot from the adults.
I don't use bad language. Not out loud anyway. But now, it has become acceptable, maybe even fashionable, for Christians to use the word, "Crap." That would have gotten my face slapped growing up, but I hear it regularly - even from missionaries who won't watch certain movies or use social networking sites like MySpace! Wow. It really must be okay.
I said that word once, out loud, in front of my oldest daughter. It was on the occasion of her graduation party and I was stressed, running out of time, and she wasn't helping me as much as I thought she should. I opened the refrigerator and a huge bowl of dip, perched on top but halfway over the door, came crashing to the floor, spewing dip all over the cabinets and chipping my new ceramic tile. Without thinking I uttered the "C" word. My daughter still talks about it. I think I became human that day.
That was over ten years ago and I still rarely use that word (I am a rule follower). But it has become commonplace to walk into the church foyer, get a cup of coffee in the bistro area and hear it casually dropped here and there among the "God is so good!" proclamations. Weird combo. I must admit, I'm not getting used to it. It kind of reminds me of the nursery.