Laylee discovered the word “sucks” this week. She’s known the word for a long time but this week she discovered it in all its frustration-ventilating splendor.
“I forgot my homework at school. That sucks.”
“Oh man. I dropped the spoon on the floor. That SUCKS!”
“It’s bedtime. It so sucks.”
I use that expression sometimes, probably more than I should, but hearing it from my 9-year-old after every third sentence is alarming. It sounds so negative and a bit crass and… well… annoying.
So yesterday when she used it for the third time in as many minutes, I stopped her.
“Laylee,” I said, “You use that word a lot. It’s a strong word and it indicates strong feelings. If you’re using it more than once per day, then you’re not using it correctly. If you use it that much, then it won’t mean anything anymore.”
She furrowed her brow, thinking. And she hasn’t used it since. Because if things can only suck once a day, then you have to be very choosy about how you categorize your disappointments.
If I’d told her not to use it at all, she might have snarked or rebelled, but to tell her she was misusing vocabulary? That gave her pause.