A few days ago I overheard my small grandson doing his arithmetic homework. “Three plus one, the son of a bitch is four,” he was saying. “Three plus two, the son of a bitch is five. Three plus three, the son of a bitch is six.” And so on. Was he doing his homework thinking, “I hate this homework, son of a bitch!”? Where did he pick up this language, in the first place?
I asked him where. Then, to my consternation, he said that he got it at school, and explained further that that’s the way he was taught in the classroom. He didn’t just pick up the language from his playmates, but he was taught how to use it in the classroom. It was unthinkable.
The following day, I went to see his teacher and asked her about it. At first she was equally horrified, but it soon became clear how we had come to this situation.
At school, the teacher was teaching the children to say, ‘Three plus one, the sum of which is four. Three plus two, the sum of which is five.’” “The sum of which” part had sounded to my grandson as “The son of a bitch”, which he had overheard the adults often use.