The “O” post reminded me of my pet peeve: students who use the expression “omigod” when expressing surprise. This drive me insane! Especially the overuse of it. Even Taiwanese teachers use it all the time, so I’m not surprised the students use it. I’m talking every age from 6 years old to 16.
In addition, I was reading one of those giant kids’ story books to a group of kindergarten students the other day and the expression “God, it’s a big balloon” was right in the book!
Isn’t this tantamount to using the lord’s name in vain? I am NOT a religious person and I know this is common for foreigners. But to see the exprssion in a book for kids was very shocking to say the least.
“Oh my god” is one of the phrases I tell my students to try NOT to use. I give them the alternatives “Oh my goodness” and “Oh my gosh.”
Though I am not religious, and I’m not sure how many of my students are, I tell them they are not just learning the English language, but also culture and customs. I give them the example of their saying “Oh my god!” as similar to a person who has no idea what they’re saying when they say, “Oh my fucking Buddha!” (Oh! Wo3 ta1 ma1 de3 pu2 sa4! 喔! 我他媽的菩薩!) They understand it when I explain they might not care what Oh my god! means, but to other people, it sounds disrespectful.
I wish they’d adopt the expression “Heavens!” then.
I always tell my students off when they use the “Oh my God!” phrase. I’m not particularly offended, but I know many people who would be. Kids shouldn’t be taught any language that is potentially offensive.
I wish they’d adopt the expression “Heavens!” then.
I always tell my students off when they use the “Oh my God!” phrase. I’m not particularly offended, but I know many people who would be. Kids shouldn’t be taught any language that is potentially offensive.[/quote]
I don’t find any harm in saying “Oh my god!” I used to teach it to them using TPR. lol
But “Holy Crappola” works just as well I think. Now, saying “Jesus Christ on a cross.” THAT would be too much.
As for teaching language that is potentially offensive…why teach anything then.
The problem isn’t that you are teaching them English which can be offensive, it’s that you’re teaching them English that can be offensive and not letting them know it can be offensive and who it can be offensive to.
Perhaps the real problem is Chandler Bing from Friends. It was his catch phrase. For him to do it in the situations he did it in was funny. It was flaunting what is now considered an archaic prohibition, and that’s exactly how the show wants to look.
But kids here don’t know the background, the don’t know that the phrase was once taboo, and when they use it (and way over use it) it certainly marks them, and maybe not in a way they would want to be marked. Some of these kids are going to actually be Christian- even if it is 1%- and they may not realize it is disrespectful of God in English as the equivalent in Chinese doesn’t have the same feel or history.
I think this is a valid point. I’m not against teaching it, but I think it should be taught with proper understanding and alternatives be given.
Basically anything that uses the name or title of God without being serious about addressing or referring to God is unacceptable to Christians (and similarly the use of other gods’ names are also typically unacceptable to them as well.) But in the case of OMG it has become pretty common and very little offense is taken.
Throwing in a profanity into the mix greatly increases the level of offence, so f-ing Buddha is far more offensive than OMG.
Basically they aren’t using it right and it will mark them in a negative way. If you teach it point out that some people will be offended by it. It would be irresponsible not to once you are aware that some people do.
Hey, it’s great what you guys believe in teaching!
I don’t teach children. I only teach adults. They all want to learn everyday stuff including culture, customs, beliefs, fashion, etc. So what I tell them about Oh my god! is what I believe in teaching them. Just sharing my method, that’s all.
Guess what my corporate class is going to have fun with tonight? Pick up lines. I got some really bad ones, teaching the cheesiness of it all will be a ton of fun.
Try it, you might like it!
By the way, Tempo Gain, you had a kick ass avatar with the Goodbye Kitty poking through. But it’s gone now.
It’s such a mild and common expletive in the West that it’s my opinion that those who are offended by it deserve to be offended by it. It’s like being offended by “Oh pooh”. Even most Christians are not offended - it seems to be only the extreme fundamentalists that go into a tizzy about it.
The only thing that bothers me about it here is the way they pronounce it here: “Oh my gaah!”
A little girl in my class, who is barely three years old, said it…spoke only a few phrases and that happened to be one of them. I said, “Oh my goodness.” She switches back and forth between the two, and hopefully she’ll pick up the latter phrase instead of using the other. The preschoolers will even go so far as to correct someone who says “Oh my God” and say, “Don’t say that. Say ‘oh my goodness.’” Some of them, presumably, go to church and probably have been taught to say that. Teachers will correct them, but they are probably getting it from other places as well.
Or when the book has any other stupid words, phrases, dumb ass things we never would say/do, I say, “The book is stupid. I’ll explain what this phrase means, but trust me, no one says it and if you say it in an English-speaking country people will think you’re an idiot.” They understand.
[quote=“Chris”]It’s such a mild and common expletive in the West that it’s my opinion that those who are offended by it deserve to be offended by it. It’s like being offended by “Oh pooh”. Even most Christians are not offended - it seems to be only the extreme fundamentalists that go into a tizzy about it.
Where I live it’s very common and unoffensive, perhaps that is not the norm. i still agree with you. remember that “god” can refer to any god, a bit presumptuous to be offended by it. i corrected a student for using “Jesus Christ” once, this or something similar is quite different imo.
I agree that it is mild, even among Christians. But do we want kids using any expletives?
How about that international dialing commercial they have now? They get this big fat guy, who I think is supposed to look like an American (why can’t they get a real American?) who says “OMG! 005 is even cheaper than 006!”
That’s the problem. Even without the issue of OMG being a mild expletive and potentially offensive, the kids are constantly using it at the wrong times. I rarely hear it used when it should be.
And as for the comment that people who would be offended by the term deserve to be offended— that’s just ridiculous. Just because you don’t find a term offensive doesn’t mean others won’t. That shows a lack of respect for other people’s beliefs.
I think the number of posters here who have spoken against teaching the phrase (at least without fair cultural insight) point to the status of OMG as clearly still having an emotional load to it, so kids shouldn’t be taught it until they are able to also understand the idea of proper register for that sort of speech.
When I was teaching, I’d always ask my kids, adults, or Chinese co-teachers to say, “Oh my goodness.” OMG is offensive to me. It IS taking the Lord’s name in vain, but it also just sounds so corse and en-educated to me. They were always very respectful and didn’t want to offend me.
The comercial I hate the most is for some hair product where this chick sees a spider and screams OMG while running her hands through her hair, then takes a look at her funky hair and says it again, but this time with a positive inflection. Just drives me nutts!!