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  1. Key Member
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    #1

    an ominous thing to say

    Hi.

    I don’t know where my little cousin learned it but he did say “To hell with you” to his friend the other day when I met him on the streets in English! Later, he told me he watched a movie. I then said to him:

    That’s an ominous thing to say.

    I wonder if my sentence is natural.

  2. Senior Member
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    #2

    Re: an ominous thing to say

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverobama View Post
    Hi.

    I don’t know where my little cousin learned it but he did say “To hell with you” in English to his friend the other day when I met him on the streets in English! Later, he told me he watched a movie. I then said to him:

    That’s an ominous thing to say.

    I wonder if my sentence is natural.
    Would your "little cousin" understand "ominous" ? I'd just tell him, "Don't ever say that again to anyone!"
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 24-Jun-2019 at 16:27. Reason: moving 'in English'

  3. Key Member
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    #3

    Re: an ominous thing to say

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverobama View Post
    Hi.

    I don’t know where my little cousin learned it but he did say “To hell with you” to his friend the other day when I met him on the streets in English! Later, he told me he watched a movie. I then said to him:

    That’s an ominous thing to say.

    I wonder if my sentence is natural.
    I guess it could be, if you thought he actually had the power to send his friend to hell.

    Of course that is ridiculous, and no reasonable person would think such a thing. You might have said, 'That's not the kind of thing a good boy would say!' But that would have the effect of making it all the more attractive to him!

    My better advice to you is to ask your little cousin if he understands the meaning of what he said. Most likely he has an incomplete understanding. You could teach him what that actually means in a very matter-of-fact way, something like, "Oh, Hell is a place that superstitious people believe in. It's supposedly a bad place where bad people go when they die." That should take away the 'glamour' of it and might just get him to drop it from his vocabulary.

    It's sad, but I see this kind of thing a lot. Occasionally, one of my elementary-school students will drop an "Oh my God" as an expression of shock and I have to be quite stern with them without making it seem like a thing that will make them seem sophisticated to their friends.

  4. Senior Member
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    #4

    Re: an ominous thing to say

    "It's sad, but I see this kind of thing a lot. Occasionally, one of my elementary-school students will drop an "Oh my God" as an expression of shock and I have to be quite stern with them without making it seem like a thing that will make them seem
    (un?) sophisticated to their friends."


    Good luck with that J&K, don't forget the adults.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 24-Jun-2019 at 22:17. Reason: unbolding text

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    #5

    Re: an ominous thing to say

    Quote Originally Posted by J&K Tutoring View Post
    It's sad, but I see this kind of thing a lot. Occasionally, one of my elementary-school students will drop an "Oh my God" as an expression of shock and I have to be quite stern with them without making it seem like a thing that will make them seem sophisticated to their friends.
    You would have had to admonish me repeatedly. I'm sure I picked up that expression from a very early age. I'm retired now and still can't recall that anyone has expressed discomfort over my saying it — though I have consciously suppressed it occasionally since moving back to the American Bible belt.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: an ominous thing to say

    "Oh my god" is probably the most common expression of shock, surprise, disappointment, sympathy (and plenty of other things) in BrE. I've probably been saying it since I was old enough to speak. I have only once come across someone with an objection to it - an evangelical Christian who came to work in my old office. She made a formal complaint, saying that all her colleagues were guilty of blasphemy on a daily basis. Her complaint was not upheld, on the basis that it is such a common phrase that it has, for almost everyone, no religious connotation at all and, therefore, could not reasonably be found to cause offence.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  7. Senior Member
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    #7

    Re: an ominous thing to say

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    "Oh my god" is probably the most common expression of shock, surprise, disappointment, sympathy (and plenty of other things) in BrE...it is such a common phrase that it has, for almost everyone, no religious connotation at all and, therefore, could not reasonably be found to cause offence.
    Not a teacher, just curious
    ------

    Could it be that some people find it offensive because for (too) many people once religious "OMG" has become just a form of euphemism for certain curse words used in the same manner?

  8. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: an ominous thing to say

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I have only once come across someone with an objection to it - an evangelical Christian who came to work in my old office. She made a formal complaint, saying that all her colleagues were guilty of blasphemy on a daily basis. Her complaint was not upheld, on the basis that it is such a common phrase that it has, for almost everyone, no religious connotation at all and, therefore, could not reasonably be found to cause offence.
    I've never understood how saying Oh, my God can be considered blasphemous. It may not be said in a way that is genuinely reverential, but it's not like it's saying anything bad about God, or being disrespectful at all.

    I wonder what those who would be offended consider wrong with it?

  9. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: an ominous thing to say

    My colleague said that it was "taking God's name in vain" and therefore broke one of the ten commandments.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  10. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: an ominous thing to say

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    My colleague said that it was "taking God's name in vain" and therefore broke one of the ten commandments.
    I don't think your colleague had got the point of the particular commandment, then!

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