StumbleUpon is a social bookmarking web site that enables one to record interesting web pages one has visited and share them with others. When you add new pages, you are asked to indicate whether the page you are recording has “adult” content.
In this context, “adult” is another weasel word. It is one that has had all the meaning sucked out of it. It is a euphemism concocted by the porn industry that has spread to virtually every other field. Pornographers would label their products “adults only” so that they could not be accused of corruption of minors. They were “not for sale to persons under the age of 18”, like tobacco products and alcoholic liquor.
So in modern society, booze, smoking and a prurient interest in sex, but especially the prurient interest in sex, have become the hallmarks of maturity. “Adults” are not supposed to be interested in anything else.
What “adult content” ought to mean is that it is of interest to adults, but unlikely to interest childern. But what it does mean is “juvenile content”, likely to be of most interest to teenagers, who are still learning about sex and eager to learn more. It’s a strange inversion in meaning, and weakens language, because how can you now say that something is likely to interest adults, but unlikely to interest kids?
But no, one goes down the streets, and there are “adult shops”. Do those shops have adults for sale, like this sign we saw in a street in Colchester a couple of years ago. Were those Essex girls, going cheap?
Is there any hope that one day we will grow up and occasionally think of something else besides sex?
This post is the third in a row I have made on weasel words, and it is also part of this month’s synchroblog on “maturity”. You can see the posts from the other synchrobloggers by clicking on the links below.
- Lainie Petersen at Headspace with “Watching Daddy Die“
- Kathy Escobar at The Carnival in My Head with “What’s inside the bunny?”
- John Smulo at JohnSmulo.com with Christian maturity
- Erin Word at Decompressing Faith with “Long-Wearing Nail Polish and Other Stories”
- Beth Patterson at The Virtual Teahouse with The future is ours to see: crumbling like a mountain
- Bryan Riley at Charis Shalom is Still Complaining
- Alan Knox at The Assembling of the Church with “Maturity and Education
- KW Leslie at The Evening of Kent with Putting spiritual infants in charge
- Bethany Stedman at Coffee Klatch with “Moving Towards True Being: The Long Process of Maturity”
- Adam Gonnerman at Igneous Quill with “Old Enough to Follow Christ?
- Joe Miller at More Than Cake with “Intentional Relationships for Maturity
- Jonathan Brink at Jonathan Brink.com with I Won’t Sin
- Susan Barnes at A Booklook with “Growing Up”
- Tracy Simmons at The Best Parts with Knowing who is from the beginning
- Joseph Speranzella at A Tic in the Mind’s Eye with Spiritual Maturity And The Examination of Conscience
- Sally Coleman at Eternal Echoes with Vulnerable maturity
- Liz Dyer at Grace Rules with “What I Wish The Church Knew About Spiritual Maturity
- Cobus van Wyngaard at My Contemplations with Post-enlightenment Christians in an unenlightened South Africa
- Steve Hayes at Khanya with Adult Content
- Ryan Peter at Ryan Peter Blogs and Stuff with “The Foundation For Ministry and Leading“
- Phil Wyman at Square no more with Is maturity really what I want
- Nic Paton at Sound and silence with Inclusion and maturity
- Kai Schraml at Kaiblogy with Mature virtue
- Lew A at The Pursuit talks about Maturity and Preaching