I was about 13, I started making up words, just for fun. It all began
when my mom made a new casserole that was kind of disgusting. After
the first taste, I think I said, “This tastes a little bit
I knew it, over the years, there were several nonsense words that
stuck. My family members were using them. So were neighbors and
friends. It was weird, but, I suppose, good for my ego. Hey, I was
creating a whole new language, of sorts.
something was not-good, it was “blookie.” Please don’t
make comments about these words. I know they are, well, blookie. But,
I’m baring my soul here and being extraordinarily personal in a
few of those words I absolutely will not put in writing — not
because they’re offensive, but because I do still have a small
measure of pride. Writing them would be too horribly embarrassing
because they’re so strange.
my thought was: If I say “Oh blookie!”(meaning I am
exasperated or upset, or when I think something — or someone —
is stupid), then am I being crude or rude? Am I using a substitute
word for expressing bother and frustration that could be offensive?
can honestly say I’ve never used my vocabulary words as a sub
for curse words. I think I pretty much got the lesson when a speaker
(many moons ago when I was a BYU student) shared this thought:
“Cursing is the crutch of a conversational cripple.”
took it to such an extreme that when my children burped, I would say,
“Oops! You’ve corned.” If it came out the opposite
direction, I’d tell them they had “beaned.” Yes, I
know. I’m different. But this has, believe it or not, become a
source of laughter on many occasions, now that they’re grown.
Their mom doesn’t curse. It’s just the way it is. You
have to picture the eyes rolling and the smirks on their faces when
they remember the vegetable words.
I wasn’t overtly using ill-conceived words, I probably did
develop a long-term pattern of falling back on these ridiculous
made-up utterances rather than using proper language. You know —
useful words that are found in a dictionary. Maybe I could have, long
ago, begun finding more positive ways to react and to build
affirmative ways of using speech. Heaven knows, our world can
use all the affirmative, upbeat and constructive words and
conversations we can offer!
Gordon B. Hinckley once taught:
evil talk. Do not take the name of the Lord in vain. From the
thunders of Sinai the finger of the Lord wrote on tablets of stone,
“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain”
(Ex. 20:7). [“A
Prophet’s Counsel and Prayer for Youth,”
also said, in that same address,
live in a world that is filled with filth and sleaze, a world that
reeks of evil. It is all around us.”
could not agree more. And so I wonder. Maybe it’s time to put
away my made-up words — not because they were created, or are
used, for any malicious intent, but because I can do better. What if
some outside observer finds a word not only unusual, but rude or,
worse, crude? Yikes! I never even took that into consideration
through the years.
like my children and grandchildren to simply not swear — to
simply find words and ways that never are offensive to the Spirit.
What if my own silly, made-up words are offensive to Him!
the times in which we live are not like the Nauvoo times, where crude
language was surely the exception and not the rule, this is another
little area where I might take another growth spurt. With heavenly
direction. And with no chance of being misunderstood.
here: I say what I think. I like “real.” I am not fond of
things or people that are fake or put-on or duplicitous. I pretty
much am what you see. That authenticity can continue, and my take on
things will remain pretty much what they are. But hopefully I can
share my authenticity with, well, more understandable words!
long as we live and breathe, we can learn and improve. So, here’s
to the years of using words like “blookie” Perhaps the
blessing of communicating is so huge, and yet taken for granted, that
it would do me good to refine and purify the gift.
Vickey Pahnke Taylor is a wife, mom, grandmother, teacher, author, and songwriter. Her
undergraduate study at BYU was musical theater. She has a Masters degree in interpersonal
A Billboard award-winning songwriter with hundreds of songs to her credit, she uses music as a
teaching tool. But her favorite way to use music has been to sing to her children. You should
hear the family's rousing versions of "Happy Birthday"!
In addition to three solo albums in the LDS market, she co-wrote "Women at the Well" with
Kenneth Cope and "My Beloved Christ: with Randy Kartchner. She is co-writer of the theme
song for Utah's Make-A-Wish foundation, the song for the Special Olympics program, and
EFY's theme song.
She writes for several online magazines and columns, and has authored several books. Her
website, www.goodnessmatters.com, is her way of continuing to grow goodness in the world,
pointing people gently toward Christ and eternal principles of truth.
She has spoken for the Church's various Youth and Family programs for 25 years. She and her
husband Dean have eight children and four grandchildren. She adores being a wife, mom and
grandmother. She loves flowers, brownies, cooking Italian and Southern foods, the ocean, and
laughing every chance she gets.
Vickey was baptized a member of the Church as a teenager in Virginia. She serves as gospel
doctrine teacher in her ward, and Dean serves on their stake high council.