What do a fantasy football service and a seafood restaurant have in common?  The advertisement firms they both hired that played on words that made the commercial viewers hear one word but think of another extremely vulgar, profane word.  Is this part of a linguistic trend in our culture that seems to love to give a good shock to anyone who might still have sensitivity toward foul language?

You hear it in drug references, referring to behavior, good or bad, as likened to one smoking, inhaling, or intravenously taking something illegal (or in the case of marijuana in Washington and Colorado, now legal). You hear it in crass references to body parts. You hear it in sexually suggestive and charged words, anywhere from “hot” and “sexy” to the more vulgar in an attempt to describe a project, product, or person.

In Ephesians 5, Paul tells Christians how to “walk.”  Apparently, the walk includes the “talk.”  To begin, he commands us to imitate God and walk in the footsteps of Jesus. Then, Paul describes how we should not walk. He begins with actions of the mind and the body, then in verse four says, “…Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.” To put an exclamation point on the discussion, he says that those practicing such things have no inheritance in the kingdom.  That’s pretty serious!

Our speech is powerful.  One wise word may result in a soul’s salvation.  As death and life are in the power of the tongue (Prov. 18:21), let’s heed the advice of the children’s song—”Be careful little mouths what you say!”

Neal Pollard