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 Treatise on the Most Immature Phrase in the English Language by VanGarrett

"My mom can beat up your mom."

I believe this statement to be the single most immature phrase in the English Language. Let us examine every aspect and dimension that this statement holds.

1. Wording, "My mom"
A mature and well-spoken individual would likely choose the word, "mother" over the word "mom". This is because "Mom" is more akin to a proper noun (it is, in fact, a title), than a common noun. "Mother" is more akin to a common noun, and does in fact describe a specific relationship. We can present this as an indication of immaturity as it displays a lesser (though acceptable) extent of consideration when choosing words.

2. Wording, "Beat up"
In a more sophisticated context, something that is "beat up" is akin to something that has taken a great deal of wear and tear due to being treated roughly. It is also a very weak term for the action being described. A slightly more mature person would be likely to emphasize the end result of the "beating" by altering the phrase with a curse. Example, "beat the hell out of," or a bit more of an extreme, "beat the f**k out of."

3. Repetition, "Mom"
Though nearly unavoidable in this particular sentence, the repeated use of the word "mom" causes the tongue to stumble, so to speak. This is why a writer generally tries to avoid rapid succession of the same word, especially in the same sentence. To avoid repetition, it would perhaps be more correct to say, "My mom can beat up yours."

4. Measure of Superiority, "Beat up"
This claim is built around the assumption that the ultimate measure of superiority in the world is in combat prowess. It does not take into account, income, personal standards, wisdom, mental strength, or varied skills and abilities, nor does it consider how applicable the ability in question is to the real world. As far as this statement is concerned, the ability to fight better is the exclusive mark of superiority.

5. Object of Faith, "Mom"
The speaker has concluded that his mother is the most powerful being in the universe he knows. He has not yet stopped to consider his father, firemen, policemen, super heroes, and so on. This suggests that there are still a great many emotional attachments focused maternally, indicating that his mother is still among those that he encounters most in his everyday life. Mother is still the person that feeds, nurtures and protects this individual.

6. Implication, Superiority
The real claim being made here is that the speaker is somehow superior to the listener because his mother has the greater capacity for informal hand-to-hand combat. It is furthermore the glorification of his Object of Faith, and an attempt to persuade the listener to place his faith in the speaker's mother, rather than his own. The speaker wants more followers to join that which he follows.

7. Purpose, Aggression
While many do indeed have a desire to prove their superiority, most have a very specific reason for this, such as trying to impress their boss and get a raise. This phrase, however, exists as an aggressive statement used in a desperate attempt to gain respect. It is presented as a Trump card.

"My mom can beat up your mom," therefore has at least 7 points of immaturity, contained within a total of 7 words, only 6 of which are unique. Even through the use of phonetic mutation and simple structure, it would be difficult to gain so many examples of immaturity in so few words. Therefore, this must surely be the single most immature individual phrase in the English language.

April 15, 2005
Last updated: April 25, 2005