Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Descriptive language skills
Warning: This post contains bad words.
A few nights ago I went out with two of my wonderful neighbors for ice cream. During our conversation one of them offered an apology for her bad language. Puzzled, I asked her what she had said. The sheepish answer: "crap". It seems that this offensive word occasionally pops out of her mouth and causes great embarrassment.
Oh crap, I am in trouble. My favorite and most used expletive is shit. (Please, please, please, don't any of you report me to the blog police!!!) I grew up with this word. It just naturally rolls off my tongue at both appropriate and (more often) inappropriate times. I think it was one of the first words Athena and Eris learned. I'm fairly certain that each one of my grandchildren is familiar with it and has probably had the experience of soap in their mouth because they echoed my utterances learned when they were entrusted to my care.
My friend Jan is a visual person. For many years she quietly endured my endless "shits". One day she explained that whenever I said the word she actually envisioned a pile of brown, stinky stuff. Oh my heck, I felt absolutely terrible about how she had endured this for so long without speaking up. I tried to get her to say it with me over and over so that she would get used to how it sounded and maybe even use it. Each time she "shhhhhhed" the look on her face was painful. Immersion therapy was not successful.
The air quite often turns blue when things don't go my way. Just as Mary Poppins used to sing "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", I intone "shitfartdamnpeehell" or some other combination of profanities. In the last few years I have advanced to occasionally exploding the f-bomb, but that is rare and saved for those extra special occasions when there is absolutely no other appropriate synonym. Also, I am very particular about who is present at the time. Don't worry, your children are safe.
Which brings me to the point of this post, which hopefully will not upset too many of you. What is the difference between saying "freaking", "flipping", "eff-ing" or "what the f" as opposed to letting loose with the REAL thing? Gosh darn it, I know what you truly want to say.
Oh crap, how many of you have I pissed off?
(Comments will be moderated... my grandchildren read this!)