The word "naughty" has only sexual connotations for me. I don't know why. I don't think I've been overly exposed to porn (no pun intended, honest!) or underly (is that a word?) exposed to Santa stories, but anytime I hear someone call their child "naughty," I have to stop myself from picking up the phone and speed dialing Social Services. Images of whips, handcuffs, and adult diapers come to mind, and that's just not something that's so easy to shake off. Although I don't think calling my kids' behavior "bad" is much better, at least it keeps my mind out of the gutter and allows me to describe what I mean to them without turning red in the face!
Another word that has a strange and equally idiographic connotation for me is "nice." In college, in my sorority, we had to select future members based on their performance in Rush and whatever else we might have known (or, to be fair, thought we knew) about them. There were some pretty strict and senseless rules to the whole process, one of which involved the word "nice." Really, "nice" was code for "this-girl-is-a-skanky-bitch-and-I-vote-never-to-let-her-in-my-house-and-if-you-do-then-you-are-all-total-back-stabbing-disloyal-bitch-ass-hos." It could also mean "she-hooked-up-with-my-boyfriend-but-that-was-before-we-were-even-dating-but-it-still-counts-anyway," as well as "she-looks-better-in-black-hot-pants-and-has-a-deeper-sorority-girl-chain-smoker-voice-than-I-do-so-there's-no-way-in-hell-I-want-her-in-my-house-to-compete-with-me-at-all-parties-and-ruin-my-chance-of-hooking-up-with-the-hottie-of-the-day." If you really didn't want this girl in your house, you could say she was "really nice." And if you really REALLY didn't want her in, you could stand on your chair and say she was "really nice." Seriously? Could we not just be allowed to say, "I don't think she represents the qualities we are looking for in a future sister?" It's not like we wanted to take out a billboard and plaster campus with flyers that said, "This girl sucks! Everyone hates her!"
So, there are two important take home lessons today:
1. The words "naughty" and "nice" are not allowed to be said in my household, for fear of conjuring up some rather unpleasant and grossly inapplicable connotations, and
2. If I ever slip and tell you "You are so nice," especially if I just so happen to be standing on a chair to reach some obscure item from the cupboard above the fridge, you better look out!