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When you start 6th grade, you have to learn a new language. I learned it. I learned it fast. But only to be cool. Then comes middle school, and you get better at it. You know what they say, “Practice makes perfect.” I practiced it. Every day. By the time you reach high school, you’re a pro at it, totally fluent. But this language, you have to keep it a secret, because if you use it in front of an adult, you’re in trouble. They don’t have any textbooks that teach this language. The language of Profanity. The native tongue of teenagers.


I picked up this language. To be cool. To look tough. To fit in. People would think I was a weenie, a baby, if I didn’t use it. Couldn’t let that happen. I had a reputation to uphold. If I didn’t have that status of “tough,” then I was nothing. Nothing more than a goody-goody-goochoo who got strait A’s. And who wants to be a nerd? Not me. So I employed the language of the “cool.”


But I didn’t like it. After a while, the words started to turn sour in my mouth, bitter and sharp. Soon I had to force the uncomfortable words from my mouth. Each one cut my throat and singed my tongue.


Then Kelly started to use them. My little sister, who trusted me and followed in my every footstep, was picking up my colorful language. And I hated myself for it. The first time she said a four letter word in front of me, I exclaimed, “Kelly! Don’t talk like that!” and she replied simply, “You do.”





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