Stupid may have five letters, but, according to a six-year-old grandson, it is now classed with the four-letter words.
“Stupid thing,” I said, as I wrestled to get the cap off a bottle of juice.
“Don’t say stupid, Gramma. It’s a bad word.”
“It is?” I say. “How come?” He’s not sure but he is sure he can’t say it at school or at his house without getting in trouble.
I think about this. I decide that stupid is a perfectly good word and an integral part of my vocabulary. Anything involving technology is usually good for at least one utterance of “Stupid thing.”
I don’t believe I’ve ever called another person stupid, at least to their face, but I will mutter “stupid” of myself when I find myself at the car without the library book and have to run back up three flights of stairs.
I have been known to say, “That is the stupidest thing I ever heard,” when, for example, after an earthquake, a woman in Los Angeles said, “I never thought such a thing would happen here.”
Later I wonder how it happened that stupid got put on the forbidden list. Have those other words, the ones that led to soap in the mouth when I was a child, become so commonplace that we need new ones?
One day an elementary school teacher tells me that when she reads aloud to the class, if the book refers to someone as stupid, she changes the word.” Incredulous, I ask why. “The parents complain,” she says.
“Are you kidding me?” I ask. “Have they ever listened to the words their kids hear on videos, on TV, in today’s music, or even in commercials?”
“I don’t know,” she says, ”but they complain. I also have to edit the word ‘fat.’ They don’t approve of that word either.”
Now THAT is stupid!
(c) Dorothy C. Judd