NLQ Question of the Week: Why the Childish Language?

NLQ Question of the Week: Why the Childish Language? September 29, 2016

QuestionoftheweekThis is a series we run every Thursday. The questions are things that people who may not know much about the Quiverfull movement or even Fundamentalist or Evangelical Christianity ask about the lifestyle. Examining some of the questions involving long held Quiverfull theology and life can only shine a light on the toxic nature of this lifestyle choice.

One thing I’ve noticed while doing my review of Vaughn Ohlman’s book “What are you Doing?” is a curious lack of what I would call ‘real words’. Instead of saying sex or sexual relations you get veiled euphemisms such as ‘doing it’, ‘marital relations’ or ‘sleep with’. Is this is teen novel written back in the 1960s or what is supposed to be a frank discussion of marriage? Sex is part of marriage no matter what juvenile terms you wrap it in. Once in a blue moon Von busts out the word ‘sex’. But the technical words for things are few and rare.

Take for example today’s post by Always Learning author Lori Alexander. Instead of using correct terms for bodily functions like flatulence in her discussion of ‘lady-like’ behavior, she chooses the childish word ‘toot.’ Horns toot, people fart, or pass gas or expel flatulence.

What do you think is up with all the childish language. Why are they using dumbed down childish terms instead of proper names? I can see not using a ruder version of a word if you’re trying not to be crude, but why not use a proper name or term instead? You would think supposedly mature people would use proper words.

moreRead last week’s Question of the Week:

Why No Respect For Any Other Faith Tradition?


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  • Allison the Great

    That’s the thing though, they’re not mature in any sense of the word. Both the men and the women in this subculture act like children. The men can’t handle criticism, taking responsibility for their actions, getting real jobs or education, they can’t handle being questioned, and they can’t handle women who are independent. The women have so little experience out of the house and they are treated like children their entire lives, so they act like children. Every part of life in this culture is shameful, and they’re told that almost every normal emotion or feeling is sin. Many of them don’t even get to pick their spouses, and if there’s courtship, they don’t get to know them very well before marriage. They don’t get to develop a sense of self that is separate from their parents or from gender roles. All of their actions have to follow a gender script. This is a subculture that ever allows people to really grow up or be human.

  • Karen the rock whisperer

    Reminds me of my mother, in the 1960s and even into the early 1970s, not wanting to use the straightforward term “pregnant”. Instead she’d say something like, “well, you know, she was, uh, P-G at the time.” This was always said in a way that suggested Mama thought she was inappropriately sharing too much information. I think, in my entire life, she only once ever alluded to having sex, to try to convey that it was painful. But she did it in such a roundabout manner that it took me days to figure out what she was trying to say. (I figured out much later that her medical issues probably did make sex painful for her, and she never knew that it wasn’t so for other women. She just couldn’t bring herself to talk about it.) So sad.

  • persephone

    Yes, it’s like dealing with five and six year olds from conservative homes.

  • Nightshade

    The lack of maturity is truly astounding.

    Also, even when I was in this crap up to my neck and about to drown, I never did get the point of ‘sleeping with’ as a euphemism for having sex. Sleeping ain’t what they’re talking about!

  • BCH

    They use small words for their small-minded followers. Fewer the syllables, the less thinking required.

    The lack of socialization and exposure to a broad spectrum of ideas, people, and words caused by their shunning “the World” when it comes to their education (or lack thereof) doesn’t make for a particularly robust vocabulary.

    Call a spade a spade. Theys iz dum.

  • Nea

    I’ve long noticed that about the Pearls too — claiming to be experts on sex while unable to ever say “sex,” “penis,” “vagina,” etc. Because they are very much children themselves, IMO: always under someone else’s control, always someone ELSE as the autonomous adult authority.

    I am always reminded of Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, snapping at Dawn using a euphemism for sex: “If you’re old enough to have it, you’re old enough to say it.”

  • Nightshade

    Worse because the kids aren’t old enough to know better, the adults are but haven’t been allowed to grow up.

  • Evelyn

    The first use of “toot” is when she is using to describe babies, so it totally makes sense and is cute. When she talks about grown women having tooting contests, and how disgusting it is, I had to roll my eyes. If it’s vulgar, then use the more vulgar word for it! My kids aim farts at other family members all the time, and the little farts are dismissed as “just toots.” My family is cheerfully vulgar, but the adults know it’s not socially acceptable to be burping and farting loudly in pubic, so we don’t. I really doubt LE in her little bubble has ever seen or heard adult women burping and farting at each other, unless she is talking about “heathen” teenagers.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Using accurate words smacks too much of facing reality. ;-D

  • AnonCar

    I have to wonder how many of the social and language taboos also smack of regionalism. I have friends who moved to my upper midwest region from out in the Western part of the States. There is a degree of bluntness/directness that I am completely used to and think nothing of that used to just shock – and it isn’t as though these friends are even conservative. But the degree of bluntness I take for granted is just.not.done in other parts of the country. How many taboos in conservative fundagelicalism come from things just not being done/said in that particular region that are then hyper-extended out of logical proportion and made over into the Godly (TM) way of doing things.