Sunday, September 7, 2008

Words and attitudes that need to go

There are several words that are constantly misused, overused, or otherwise trotted out inappropriately. Some of the most irritating include "deserve" and "normal". "Deserve"- well, no, I don't deserve new clothes every month of the year, having my nails done, or any of the other nonsense that most magazines will have you believe we do. But that's another story.

"Normal" is one that really gets under my skin. I have seen this one thrown around by scores of critics of people who don't quite conform. Robyn (http://lentilsandrice.blogspot.com) has taken huge amounts of such criticism; admittedly her family does things in a very non-conforming way, but there's no excuse for the vitriol that comes toward her way of life. She and many other conservative Christians have to listen to endless commentary that generally boils down to their children not having a normal life because they have a large number of siblings, live off-grid, home school, are expected to do a number of chores around home, wear modest clothes, etc. (The Duggars get this too, but as sickening as such criticism is, they've put themselves more in the public eye than an average blogger's family.)

But no one ever defines "normal". Do they mean conformist? Because surely every one of those families that are "normal" by that definition must come out exactly as rosily as they hoped, right? What exactly is "being a kid" that young people who have several younger siblings miss out on?

And while we're on the subject, I'd also like to impose a ban on using terms you can't quite define. I've encountered numerous misuses of "Quiver-full" and inaccurate comparisons of conservative Christians to the Amish. If you don't know what you're talking about, don't say it.

1 comment:

bethany said...

I've noticed something else about the word "normal". People tend to use it to make each other feel better. When confessing some bad thing i've done, someone will say, "oh, honey. That's normal." I mean, yeah. We should only confess abnormal things. Never mind that it was a sin! My hubby rides a motorcycle, too. He just traded in his Harley for a sport bike, so now the other Harley riders don't wave or nod at him. They're a hoot, those Harley-ers.
bkumor
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