Watch Out for Those Cheerios!
There is a popular joke about a 7-year-old who decides one morning to try
out some of the language that he has heard on television. He and his
4-year-old brother are sitting in the kitchen waiting for their mother.
As the mother walks into the kitchen, she asks her older son what he wants
for breakfast. His response is: "Aw, #%*# mom, I guess I'll have some
%#@* Cheerios." The mother is appalled and reacts angrily: she instantly
whacks the 7-year-old with her hand on the back of his head. He flies off
the chair and runs upstairs, crying his eyes out. The mother then looks
at her younger son and asks, "And what do YOU want for breakfast, young
man? I don't know," he blubbers fearfully, "but it sure as #%*# won't be
any of those %#@* Cheerios!"
Although this story is only meant to be humorous, it reflects our
perception that young children are cursing more, and in more situations.
According to Timothy Jay in When Young Children Use Profanity
(2002), a large majority of children are frequently exposed to racist,
sexist, or offensive language. According to Katie Couric on a 2002 NBC
Today Show elementary school teachers now claim that the most
common word used on the playground is the word "fag." Children use this
word on each other for the express purpose of embarrassing and humiliating
one another [note the difference between American and British English].
US-1 Reference Index
Last Updated 10 May 2010