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Speech separates man from beast, but sometimes our speech is beastly. God's word urges, "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers" (Ephesians 4:29). Think! We can be gracious in our speech. We should be gracious in our speech. Does slang qualify?

A euphemism seeks to soften the impact of a displeasing idea. For example, rather than speaking of someone dying it seems gentler to say, "He passed away.w Scripture uses "sleep" in place of death (1 Thessalonians 4: 13). The euphemism does not change the meaning but makes it seem less. harsh. A euphemism that stands for a good word can be beneficial but what about slang?

Did you know "gosh" is a euphemism for God? What about "golly"? It also is slang or a euphemism for God. One who says "darn" or "dern" really seeks to soften "damn," but that is his meaning. "Heck" is a gentler word for "hell." Such slang adds nothing to intelligent conversation and reveals lack of respect for man and God.

We must heed the warning of Jesus: "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matthew 12:36-37). Christians bless or praise God: we dare not curse man or use God's name without reverence. James 3:8-12.

No, God does not approve of slang which sounds innocent but communicates ideas which make the speaker less than honorable. All of us should keep such slang out of our speech.

—Burt Groves, Sweetwater, TX