Okay…WTF? Stupid Parents

Yeah, made-up languages are neat and all (and totally artificial, but hey!), but Jesus H. Christ, what possessed a linguist to do this?

Dr. d’Armond Speers, a Denver-based linguist who spoke only Klingon to his son until age three-and-a-half

Obviously, Dr. Speers ignored the anthropological and sociological aspects of stunting a child’s development in real language. As much as I hate how litigious the US is these days, I really hope that kid grows up and sues his old man.

Seriously, I can’t believe how egotistical people are. We throw 2500 words together and decide that it’s a viable language, and that we understand how language works and therefore it’s okay to learn this fake language, and teach it to our children. Did I mention that this language is fake? Klingons aren’t real, people. The Klingon “language” has never grown or evolved. It has no ancestor or offshoot languages. It has never pidgined. And no, if someone somewhere has written a “history” of the Klingon language and made up previous versions, that doesn’t count. More artificial data doesn’t validate existing artificial data!

It is not a language, it is a code. And we are really no closer to understanding how language works, fundamentally, than we were in the sixties. I can’t believe the arrogance of this so-called linguist.

I guess it just goes to show that “educated” people can just as easily be stupid parents as anyone else. ;P

Stupid parents are one of my biggest pet peeves. As an idealist, I have an ingrained sense of justice and fairness that is completely decimated every time I encounter a person who has children and yet, somehow, doesn’t understand that these children are people. It is a parent’s job to ensure that the child learns how to learn, is protected, and grows into a capable adult. But what do we have instead? Negligent, self-absorbed pricks who see their children as pets or commodities or annoyances or science projects. What. The. FUCK?!

All the stupid people just go around having babies whenever they want, or when they don’t want, or whatever, because they’re too stupid to think that maybe they should use birth control, or a condom, or wait to have sex. Some of these stupid people then go on to kill the baby, also known as “terminating” or “aborting” the “unwanted pregnancy”. Nice clinical words there. Also nice that the baby doesn’t get a say. That the baby, who has been conceived and is alive and would have grown into a person–was already a person–has his or her life snuffed out without ever even getting a chance to live. All because the stupid parents found it “inconvenient”. “Yeah, gee, sorry, you being alive really cramps my style, so I’m gonna have to kill you. No hard feelings?”

Then there are the stupid parents who decide “Gee, having a baby is neat! It’s just like having a doggie!” But after the reality sets in, instead of doing the responsible thing and letting someone else take the children, they keep them. “They’re my children! Just like my TV and my stereo! You can’t take my stuff!” And so these stupid parents just “try to live with those annoying brats,” neglecting, abusing, and toying with their children as though they were pets or playthings. Yeah, that’s fantastic. Good job, assholes.

Meanwhile, there’s me, a person who, as many of you know, has been thinking about the best way to be a parent since I was a child. “When I have kids…” is a phrase that comes naturally, even now. I have read, and continue to read, articles on parenting and early childhood development and learning processes and anything that could help me help a child learn how to get along in the world. I would have given my life to my children, do you understand this? But I can’t have any; oh, no. No, all the children have already been allotted to the goddamn fucking stupid parents.

I don’t write about this much. I don’t like whining and I’d rather you all not have to hear it. I’m writing now because I’m so angry I’m about to cry. I think about it every day. Every day someone mentions babies, or pregnancies, or children. It is impossible to avoid it. I try to be strong, I try to ignore it, I try to be happy for the other people who have babies, but then I read stupid shit about stupid parents who ought to be fucking castrated, and I can’t hold it in anymore.



  1. Original comments from BlogKomm

    Yes … I totally agree. Klingon isn’t even a good example of an artificial language. If you were going to do such a thing, why not something a little more elegant like one from Tolkien. I mean, from Klingon you don’t even learn much about grammar because it was designed to have a highly simplistic grammatical system (naturally, since Hollywood headwriters need to be able to master it). I actually found a kid on the Internet .. . don’t think I kept the link … been a few months, who’s made up hundreds of languages and created complete cultures around them … very advanced stuff … but you can’t help but think he’s taken a fun hobby a little too far.

    Spot on.
    Matt[@][H], 05.01.2004, 2:12 am

    Original comments from Blogger

    Suzel said…

    I agree with the stupid parents having children. I heard on the news that this one woman who was driving with a suspended license and who’s car wasn’t insured, insisted on driving that day and ended up killing her 1 year old daughter and injuring herself while pregnant in a accident. OMG!! Now the trail I read where she was sentenced, the judge forgave her or was linient on her because she said she suffered enough from her loss. Give me a break!!! Can people I pray, be smarter and more responsible!!! It just breaks my heart when I hear stuff like this.
    Sunday, August 07, 2005 7:56:00 PM

    Alexis, Exhibits Interpreter, R.H.F Science Museum, San Diego said…

    I think whats happening in these cases, both the Klingon child’s father and the Car Crash Mother, is a lack of responsiblity.

    Having experienced different schools and Camps in different countries it’s really fasinating to watch different families and how they relate.

    Despite cultural barriers it’s amazing how all the parents are the same. There are the one that care but are to busy, the one’s that aren’t busy but don’t care, the really good one’s, the more like I’m a friend nothing one’s.

    In short, regardless of whether parents don’t or do like there kids, are a brilliant genius or have an I.Q of three,I find that they can all be divided into two: there are the one’s that take on the responsability of being a parent and then there are the one’s that don’t.

    Being a responsible parent means that you have the welfare of your child at heart, in every situation, for there benifit.

    I’m not talking about smothering them with instant gratification, I’m talking about the necessaties (food, love, home, education), the safety (seatbelt, social development, common sense, and the long term benifts (Confidence, the want to learn, ecouraging a non bias outlook of the world, traveling).
    Wednesday, March 01, 2006 7:46:00 PM

    Anonymous said…

    Alexis, how can you have so many spelling mistakes in your comment? English is my second language and it hurt my eyes to see it..It`s sad, really. On topic now, I totally agree with the previous statement that “stupid people shouldn`t have children”. Actually I`ve argued about this tonight with some friends and nobody understood me. I really think most people want a child because they`re egotistic and want to fill a void in their petty little lives.
    Thursday, June 14, 2007 7:03:00 PM

    Anonymous said…

    I am so glad I came across this blog. I have wanted to vent for so long! My issues deal with my future sister/brother in-laws and their children. For starters, these people follow their 1 and 3 year old around with a food bowl because they won’t make them sit down at the kitchen table. Better yet, I walk in the house the other day to find the 1yr old sitting cross legged on the GLASS coffee table…His grandmother is 4 feet away allowing this. The glass on this table is not held down, if the child was to stand, the table would have flipped over…
    The worst is the grandmother leaving the 3 year old in the mini-van unattended on a 90 degree plus day. Was the a/c on? I don’t know…if it were, the van had to be running and this child was unrestrained with full access to the mechanical controls. When she finally brought him out of the van he was flushed and obviously over-heated. There was another time the now 1 year old was left in the van in the WINTER, without the heat on. Sure the grandmother ran out every now and again to check on him, but why wouldn’t you just unhook the carseat and bring him indoors?
    Here’s the clincher – the father is a chemical engineer and the mother an automotive engineer. Book smart, you bet. Common sense? Not a drop.
    I could go on and on with the negligent nonsense.
    Stupid people should not breed. Oh one more thing, give it a couple of months and she will be pregnant again…their goal is 3 – 2 boys and 1 girl – just like her mommy. God help them…
    Saturday, July 21, 2007 10:00:00 PM

    Anonymous said…

    If I get a dime for each stupid parent I meet, I can retire a millionaire on the spot.

    I know of parents who feel that most kids are good or bad due to their own doing and has almost nothing to do with how they were raised…Argument – same parents but all the kids turn out differently in a family. Therefore, if a kid turns out bad, it is the fault of the individual. Yes, I agree that parents cannot be the 100% influence over any kid’s life due to societal influences etc..But I could easily assign at least 70% of power of influence over any child up to the age of 25 easily.

    Beyond 25, the lucky ones meet good people and are receptive and allow for minor changes in behavior to result in big changes in life…

    Generally, most allow the early influences in life to determine 70-80% of their life course. Just look at statistics…the poor tend to remain poor and the rich tend to stay no lower than middle class…

    So for those parents who expect their kids to excel beyond them, Think AGain…the apple rarely can fall far from the tree…Not because the apple doesn’t want to, rather, very difficult without major external force. Do not expect your kids to be a better person than you…Not likely…In fact, they very likely manifest all the worse of their parents’ hidden selves who pretend they have done nothing to make their kids so screwed up.

    Humans like any other animal can breed…it is a god given ability even for insects…But to breed intelligently and discimantly…that is what determines the fate of mankind, the planet and evolution as a whole…No wonder the every religion predicts the end of days to come…Count the number of stupid parents and you know when it is all going to hell…. Last but not least, UGLY and STUPID are the dominant genes.
    Saturday, November 03, 2007 6:38:00 AM

    Megan ?????, 13 , ready to kick bad parents butts ☺ said…

    wow your so cool
    great way
    seeing as i am a kid
    13 actually doing a project and well you said it all
    good on yer mate!
    spot on
    you should run a campaine
    well done!!!
    jog off stupiod parents
    Sunday, December 02, 2007 7:45:00 AM

    Anonymous said…

    Cultural barriers? I wonder why parent’s all act the same, Hmmmm I wonder why you guys get so mad about this and get offended that they are real people, perhaps evolution isn’t true. Perhaps because you do believe in absolute morals, making relativism self-defeating. I agree that most parents are stupid, they have kids just for there own pleasure and they have to deal with crap because of their parent’s irresponsibility. Everybody has the wrong ideas about family, and mostly because people are cynical, ignorant, and don’t care because they are cynical.
    Thursday, April 17, 2008 3:45:00 PM

  2. There is an awesome quote out there that says.. “the only people who seem to know how to raise children are those who dont have any.” I think its true and hilarious. I’m sorry you cant have a child.. but if you did I imagine you would see a lot of your parenting ideas just go down the drain. Its actually a little scary thinking that your an idealist and want to have children. Depending on to what extremes your idealism takes. I say that because children are chaos. Pure and simple. I dont mean running around and making messes chaos.. I mean that once you have a child you realize that there is a very very small amount of control that you actually have in yours or your childs life. I am not condoning the klingon language being taught to an infant instead of another viable language let me also say that. But it alarms me that you say you have been reading and preparing for children since you have been a child and in all that reading over the years it seems you have taken the notion that you know or are atleast prepared than most others for having children. There is no amount of reading that you can do that gets you all the tools, or even most of them, that you will need for raising them. The best advice that anyone can give or receive to someone that has or is going to have a child is to practice and become an expert at adapting. Because you will always always always be adapting to something as a result of children.

  3. I did not mean to imply that I would be a perfect parent, or that I believe parenting is easy. My point was that parenting is not easy, and you should understand what you’re getting into when you choose to become a parent.

    I cannot have children. But I expect that if I did have them, I would fail. Repeatedly. I would be overwhelmed. I would cry. I would not know what to do.

    But I would learn from each mistake and move forward. I would be committed to doing the best I could do. I would place the children’s well-being above all else and do everything in my power to raise them right.

    It angers me that some people don’t seem to understand the responsibility they’ve so carelessly taken on.

  4. All right all right. Here’s something, maybe a bit fresh, that apparently no one is willing to consider.
    This child is going to pick up English naturally from the world around him. His father may not speak to him in English, but everyone else does/will. He probably already knows as much English as he does Klingon, so what’s really happening here is that the child is doing things that expand his mind. Just as I sometimes eat with my left hand (I’m right-handed) or take a different route to work, this young person is doing things that may not be useful or practical but actually enhance his ability to learn and adapt and keep his brain developing. I hope he learns French next year and Hebrew after that. I hope his dad encourages him to do all sorts of stuff that isn’t practical, and that he expands far beyond all of your extremely limited and hypocritical perspectives. Yes, you are hypocritical because it would be impossible for you to only teach your children completely practical things. This guy is expanding the child’s exposure to reality, even if that’s through something that is fabricated.
    Your child will learn from your example, and you’re here on the Internet criticizing a person for doing something that you clearly are incapable of considering logically and outside of groupthink. Great example for your kids. I’d rather have KlingonDad as a parent than any of you judgmental creeps.
    Come on, get off it and stop judging other people’s parenting decisions. And you are especially mad if you compare teaching a child Klingon to leaving children in cars or driving without insurance. Ugh.
    People who make comments like this scare me far worse than people who teach their children Klingon. The worst part is that you completely justify your opinions. If people like you made important decisions, we’d still be living in the Dark Ages.

  5. I wouldn’t care if the dad was teaching the child a real language. I love that idea. But Klingon isn’t real. I doubt learning it will help the child learn other languages. We do not understand language development well enough to build a realistically robust language, and since Klingon is pretend it also will offer no insights into other languages. If the dad spoke only French, on the other hand, the boy would gain underlying grammatical knowledge that would help if he ever wanted to take up Spanish, etc.

    I came away from the article with the impression that the father was not doing this to help his son learn, but as an experiment, and I think that’s wrong.

  6. You “came away from the article”? It wasn’t an article on the parent, it was an article on Klingon that had ONE sentence about the parent. You have no idea what his motives are. You’re just cocked and ready to judge. You “doubt learning it will help the child learn other languages”? The authority to doubt this is given to you by your doctorate in linguistics, right?
    Regardless of your opinion, which is clearly uneducated in these particular matters (not a low shot, simply an accurate observation), it WILL help the child learn other languages. You don’t have to learn Latin to learn its derived languages, you have to wake up the language centers in the brain, which is now done, more robustly than in a child who DIDN’T learn Klingon early on. Yeah, it would be awesome if they taught him an actual language, but the effects are similar. My parents taught me Esperanto when I was young, and also taught me that Jesus is the son of God but that the Jews were God’s chosen people and the Muslims pretty much believe in the same God as the Jews. I consider both of those useless, and the latter somewhat irresponsible. However, I learned alternative views and English from other sources, and did find that learning Spanish when I was 15 was a breeze, and French when I was 19 was too easy, and now German when I’m 25 is like riding a bike I haven’t ridden in a few years. How many people do you know who learn language for fun, and find it extremely simple? Maybe it’s children who are taught to appreciate diversity in language from a young age and keep an open-minded approach to learning…

    And again, the worst part is the first sentence: “I wouldn’t care if…” You shouldn’t care AT ALL. It’s not your child and seriously, I can’t stress this enough, regardless of the father’s motives, that child is smarter and his language center is more active now. Read a book on linguistics followed by a book on the brain. We DO know quite a bit. I would be happy to recommend books to you or even lend you some of mine.

    I’m afraid of women like you judging women like me as mothers. There are people out there who beat their children, starve them, rape them, kill them, ignore them (probably the worst of all) and of course do stupid things like leaving them in hot cars with the windows rolled up…and you dedicated an entire blog post to ridiculing someone who expanded his child’s mind. He did that right? The child’s mind is more expanded for knowing Klingon, more expanded than most kids who only know English from the TV or from ignorant parents who talk to them like cartoon characters. Can you at least admit THAT? Can you then admit that the child has and will continue to learn English from EVERY other place he goes, and that it’s very unlikely that knowing Klingon will HINDER that process? It’s very logical and based on fact, but your judgment is sensational and I think based on misplaced bitterness or anger or fear. I can’t have children naturally either, but that doesn’t mean I get to ridicule people who do and who responsibly think outside the box when it comes to their parenting.


  7. You should watch the Earthlings DVD (http://www.earthlings-movie.com/). They talk to both d’Armond and his son, who is a very well adjusted and intelligent child (I think he’s getting close to 10 now) with two very loving parents. He doesn’t speak any Klingon anymore and he even says on the DVD that he wish he could still speak some Klingon.

    Also, you call d’Armond a stupid parent. The guy has a PhD in computational linguistics and is building a plane from scratch (http://www.speers.nu/Holtej/). Can you make either claim?

    While Klingon is a fictional language, learning additional languages beyond your first is always a benefit (Sapir–Whorf hypothesis) as it teaches you more about your own language and the way humans think. d’Armond’s goal was to expose his child to something that most parents can’t, an expanded world. By teaching a child that there is more than just English out there you can hopefully encourage them to learn to understand other languages, and indirectly other cultures too. This allows the child to grow up with a wider mindset than most children do.

    As someone who works for a non-profit that helps inner city kids (some who have never even left the city they live in) I can easily see the benefit of exposing a child to a larger world.

  8. Jordan, you’re right. I admit I didn’t check the article to refresh my memory when I commented. I honestly haven’t thought much about this issue since I wrote this post five years ago.

    I’m pleased that the article is still there, since lots of news organizations delete them after only a few weeks.

    qurgh, you are correct, I do not have a PhD in linguistics, just a bachelor’s degree. Thanks for the information about the DVD!

    To tell you both the truth, I really don’t care about this issue anymore. Five years ago I was very hurt and angry over being infertile. It still hurts, but I am not nearly as passionate as I once was about it. It’s kind of surprising to me that people are only finding this piece now, and are reacting so strongly to it.

    Thank you for your thoughts.

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