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Audience participation post: "steal" or "sell"?

By J. DeVoy

Certainly many readers have seen this video of a 15-year-old who wants a baby.


Many years after its release, it is now the contentious subject of debate on Facebook. At 0:16, she says “If I can’t support it then I guess I’m gonna s[unknown] it.”

Is she saying “steal” or “sell”?  In the video, you can see her tongue move to the back of her top row of teeth, as if making a “t” sound.  Contextually, it makes sense: If she can’t support the child, she’ll steal for it — as would any parent.

But here’s just the audio, where it’s much less clear whether she’s saying “steal” or “sell”.  Much like the first JFK/Nixon debate, as people have completely different reactions based on video or audio recordings.  Contextually, “sell” is also plausible.  In some cases, selling things that one can’t afford, like cars, houses and luxury items, is rational; such thinking would be consistent with the thought processes of teenagers committed to a course of action, however destructive it is, without grasping its consequences — in this case, selling a baby.  (Really, it’s like selling the Mona Lisa: So obviously illegal that virtually nobody would buy it.)  The nonchalance of just selling a baby is funnier on some depressing level, too.

So is she saying steal?  Or sell?

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