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when you run your url through this site it will not only rate your blog, it will tell you what terrible/wonderful things you did to earn your rating.

my sins? i wrote “death” five times, “dead” three times, and “bitch” once. i’m pretty sure i meant to say “bitch” more than once — god knows i’ve thought it more than once. and what about “whore”? “whore” seems to me to be a bad word. sure as hell isn’t angel, anyway. but it doesn’t even make it onto the list of naughty things i’ve said. maybe i’ve been wrong all along, and whore isn’t a worse word than either “death” or “bitch.” (i’m pretty sure that the little tool does not account for context, so i doubt that the censors excuse me just because i use the word when talking about a toddler’s shoe preferences.)

i’m fascinated by three different bits of the algorithm of grammar implied by this tool.

first: can’t these tools do more than simply count? back when i had only said “dead” 3 times i was pg-13. i am not lying. what good are all of our technological advances if they can’t even give us a good look at one of the tools that all of use every day just to stay alive? or at least to stay human. (or am i misremembering my fourth-grade science, that language is one of the things that sets us apart from other mammals, or at least from other mammals with opposable thumbs?) ok, what i really want to ask is “why are these tools so dumb?”

second: when you describe something terrible, as long as you use nice words, well, then what you’re saying must be nice, right? because we all know that meaning is always explicit and language is always transparent. and bad words live in the ether, or our minds, or our mouths, as bad words, and good words are always good words. no mixing and matching. no subtlety, for chrissakes.

third, and something that deadbabymommas everywhere know: death and dead are terribly bad words. they are scary. and people should be protected from them. and should shun women who use them too often, especially in public.

dead dead dead dead dead dead dead. two of my daughters are dead. their deaths sadden me. their deaths depress me. their deaths leave a pit in my stomach and make my breath catch in my throat. their deaths leave me with phantom-baby-sensations in my empty arms. their deaths terrify me and make me worry that the rest of my family will die and be dead and there is nothing i can do about it.

count that, f*cker.