I’m sure there have been more children who have found themselves in trouble for using inappropriate language than those who haven’t. I am also sure the majority received some form of punishment for their indiscretion.
The question I have had for far too long is what parents considered a fair punishment for a single word, (which to be honest, was repeated after being warned… once.)
I ask this because for far too long I thought what I received was common for the mid-70s but I now realize was possibly a tad excessive…
You see, in those days our families choice of soap was one containing lye. I don’t know about my step father but I know my mother not only preferred such soaps, there was a time when she and my grandmother made their own. I mention this because she should have been well versed in how dangerous such things were since she once explained a scar on her arm which she received when some of her own soap splashed onto her arm, leaving her with a constant reminder to be more careful. This is important because my punishment for using the word “damn” (twice) was to hold a bar of soap in my mouth… for half an hour. The result was chemical burns to my lips, mouth, throat, and vocal cords.
I can’t say if this was the reason my voice never changed a great deal, I do know I never experienced my voice cracking (which I feared and was relieved when it didn’t happen). Indeed, I’m sure it changed much more as a result of smoking than it ever did during puberty.
(Oh, I forgot to mention I was about 7 at the time.)