Tuesday, December 25, 2007; Page C01
"Oh my God!"
The expression, once considered taboo in polite conversation, has become as commonplace as "that's cool" or "see you later" in American parlance. The acronym, OMG, is nearly as ubiquitous. Room-chatters rely on it, so do text-messagers. The search engine Yahoo now uses OMG as the name of a gossip-alert service.
It's a sign of a free-speech society, right? Say what you want when you want. But for many, the omnipresent phrase sounds like a sinful swipe at the Almighty. Or at least another iceberg of disrespect cracking away from the icecap of civility.
Rosie Brecevic catches herself mid-sentence and says, instead, "Oh my gosh!"
In town for the holidays, the kindergarten teacher from Colorado Springs is taking a break from shopping at the Pentagon City mall. "You try to pick a better way to say it," she says, especially this time of year and "in front of the little children."
Working at Sophisticat Boutique on Kenilworth Avenue, Vera Abel, in red shawl and long gold skirt, says she can't imagine anyone ever uttering the phrase. As she moves merchandise from spot to spot, she invokes one of the Ten Commandments: "You shall not call the name of your Lord God in vain."
The Rev. Patrick T. Gray agrees with Brecevic and Abel. Curate of the Church of the Advent in Boston, Gray preached a sermon on the subject earlier this year. He exhorted his flock: "There's one thing, or type of thing, that you'll never hear me say. And for some reason, it still makes me feel a little bit uncomfortable when I hear someone else do it. If I learned anything in my Baptist upbringing, it's that you never, ever say, 'Oh my God!' in casual conversation." He finds other words.
But others, such as Brian Gibson, don't see a need to hold back. Playing with his son at Clemyjontri Park in Langley, Gibson says, "I always say 'Oh my God!' " He's aware that the phrase occasionally rubs people the wrong way. "Some people are more religious than others," he says.
It's impossible to muddle through a day without hearing someone -- even on the public airwaves -- call on a higher being for a lower purpose. Just recently:
Hannah Storm cried out, "Oh my God!" during her final telecast as a co-host of "The Early Show" on CBS.
Read the res of the article, HERE.