Bitch on the Blog

January 18, 2012

Inconducive

Filed under: Communication — bitchontheblog @ 09:57
Tags: , , ,

Totsy, and quite rightly so, laments that no one appears to have noticed her having washed out her mouth with soap, keeping her copy as clean as a Swiss cheesemaker’s floor. Lorna, tartly, logically, comments that she never notices swearing – by its absence. If it’s any comfort, Totsy, I did notice but decided to let sleeping Totsies lie by not mentioning your omission(s).

I was brought up in the belief that swearing is only permissible if you are a man and a hammer hits your thumb whilst trying to nail something.

Life has since taught me that a bit of judiciously applied swearing adds gravitas to our sentiments; affords us light relief with little effort and energy. Which is why I allow myself – and only in earshot of the Angel, the now dead cats and myself – the odd and most sublimely heartfelt missive.

I am in awe of people who intuitively, subtly, manage to hold a whole conversation in which every other word is of the f…ing variety. As only recently witnessed by me from the comfort of my own living room, middle of the night, middle of the road. It was too dark to make out who exactly was involved. I’d say three parties. All as eloquent as each other. It pains me to say that the female voice was the worst, peppering her rather limited vocabulary. Bringing shame on my gender. I now know why people say that “effing is blinding” because I went deaf not three minutes in. Which proves that overuse of anything will blunt the desired effect. I resisted the urge to open the window and shout down: “Shut the fuck up, will you?”

U

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14 Comments »

  1. I do not remember who it was first said to me that the use of swearing and the word “fuck” in particular is a sure indication of a paucity of vocabulary. I do find it amusing when highly educated students of the English language affect what used to be called “shop floor(or factory) language”. I ask myself if they are seeking to express solidarity with the working class or today more likely the welfare class….

    I once used the f expletive, and it was to a woman, and it nearly resulted in my losing my livelihood. I was accused of sexual harassment!

    I have often told children that if they really want to they can turn any word into a swear word just by saying it in the right way.

    I remember one woman friend who has survived breast cancer saying, “They really get on my tits.” and then roaring with laughter at the expression on my face.

    Comment by magpie11 — January 18, 2012 @ 13:15 | Reply

    • Now, now, Magpie: Welfare Class? You show your English roots. And they need retouching. If you don’t know what I mean ask your barber/hairdresser/wife. Don’t ask me because I leave my hair alone.

      In fact, you are in good company: Only yesterday someone dear to my heart published the immortal words, and he will not hear the end of it:

      “On the Titanic, the survival rate for poor immigrant women in steerage was higher than it was for wealthy men in first class.”

      Naturally, those reading at all, slowly not scanning, will gloss over that sentence. Not lingering on its words, its meaning, therefore not quite comprehending. Still, that’s the English for you. You can take an Englishman out of class and the Empire – but you can’t take class out of an Englishmen. They know their roots. And where they belong. Happy are those who can claim UPPER middle class. I yet have to find exact demarcation lines.

      Then there is inverted snobriety of those associated with climbing the ranks, later and proudly, proclaiming that they are firmly rooted in “working” class. Lazy bastards. A bit like people now, bashfully, priding themselves on having a teensy weensy drop of Jewish blood in their veins. Congratulations.

      U

      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 18, 2012 @ 19:14 | Reply

  2. Cuss words are like spices. When used sparingly and appropriately, they can enhance and bring out the flavor of the conversation in a way no other words can; overuse them however, and the dish becomes rather unpalatable. Speaking of hammer and nails, I’m reminded of the old maxim that if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. It appears that the trio you speak of only possessed hammers in their toolbox of vocabulary, and so hammer away at each other they did.

    Comment by Phil — January 18, 2012 @ 14:25 | Reply

    • Quite. Do join me in the kitchen at an oven near me.

      I wouldn’t know about hammers – from a male point of view. When I need to bash in a nail I just do. My thumbs are still intact. Pictures have yet to fall off the wall. Other than that: This minute I have to rethink prejudice with regards to nationality – my landlord is Italian. He doesn’t know it but he is gorgeous. And we were only discussing dustbins. Good job neither of us keeps horses. And I have forgotten who my godfather is.

      U

      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 18, 2012 @ 19:28 | Reply

  3. I hear that a burst of profanity is good for the nerves.

    Comment by bikehikebabe — January 18, 2012 @ 17:13 | Reply

  4. I rarely cuss or swear. The “F Bomb” is not one that explodes from my mouth or fingertips–ever. Call me a prude or swear at me. I don’t care. I know lot’s of colorful adjectives, adverbs, nouns, and verbs. I prefer flexing my vocabulary muscles and communicating to general audiences.

    “Comics” who use foul language to make people laugh make me nearly as upset as the audience who laugh when s/he uses that language. Ellen DeGeneres is one funny person who doesn’t have to cuss to bring laugh-tears to your eyes. That’s who I admire. ‘Nuff said. I’m getting hot under the collar and I don’t want to start using words like heck, gosh, or darn it… 😉

    Comment by Lorna's Voice — January 18, 2012 @ 22:05 | Reply

    • “Heck, gosh and darn it”, Lorna, the blushing understudies of that which turns the air blue. The Litmus test of language. Invective and its euphemisms a subject dear to my linguistic heart.

      U

      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 19, 2012 @ 09:50 | Reply

  5. Resistance is futile… Next time open the window and shout it out,
    trust me you will feel a lot better after that and although you would
    have resorted to swearing it would certainly have helped, a little…

    Of course butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth as I am so innocent
    and never ever, ever, swear not even when I bash my thumb with
    the hammer, DIY is definitely not for the swearing type you know?
    I mean even the local Vicar might cuss a little but would he admit
    it… Would he Hell as like. Now what were you saying about using
    swear words, ahhh yes you were not brought up to use them, and
    that is very good my friend, okay I know you will miss me but I am
    out of here… Skeletons to train and Ghouls to find jobs for… You
    know how it is for the wicked types, well maybe? Must dash…

    Have a wicked rest of day
    and a very nice evening also…

    Androgoth Xx

    Comment by Androgoth — January 18, 2012 @ 23:10 | Reply

    • At risk of inciting your gothic wrath and making your teeth grow, Andro, I disagree: There are fires that need not be stoked. Trust me.

      Also I do not stoop to levels which would dwarf my stature. I rise and do one better. And never ever believe that stupid saying not to look someone in the eye because it might make them even more aggressive. It’s complete nonsense. No one, not one stranger, has yet said to me “Looking at me, sunshine?” “Yes, indeed I am. Punk”. One of my talents that I make unlikely friends in dark places.

      U

      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 19, 2012 @ 10:14 | Reply

  6. I had such a bad confluence of horrors happening at work one day and just needed to say the ‘f’ word but couldn’t bring myself to so I mouthed it – you know without sound. Of course about six people were watching me and read my lips. Might as well have said it aloud.

    Comment by writingfeemail — January 19, 2012 @ 03:40 | Reply

    • Funny. They might have even been reading your mind, Renee.

      I will swear. But not in public. I do – occasionally – on the written page. But then what are exclamation marks for if not to make a point?

      U

      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 19, 2012 @ 10:18 | Reply

  7. I was brought up with the same maxim about the man and his hammer so even now I find difficulty in swearing unless the situation absolutely screams for it. I hear fuck-laden conversations all the time but it still doesn’t loosen my own inhibitions. The famous Pete and Dud conversation in which they use fuck every other word made a big impression on me at the time, but I couldn’t imagine doing the same. I use the word quite freely with Jenny (not at her, but at other people, I hasten to add) but in the outside world I’m usually scrupulously polite, despite whatever venomous expression I’m dying to use instead.

    Comment by Nick — January 20, 2012 @ 12:17 | Reply

    • Oh, Nick, thank you so much for reminding me of Pete and Dud, completely forgotten about them. They (other than reruns of “Rising Damp” and Arthur Daley) were my introduction to British Comedy. No sooner had I landed in Milton Keynes (yes, really) ca. 1982 I was taken to a Billy Connolly live performance, Bletchley. Oh my god. Barely understood a word or two. I was an innocent then. Loved the guy. Sweet man. He exuded such joy of life. Who the fuck cares what he says: It’s how he says it. Needless to say that Connolly’s love of swearing and all manners of diving into bodily functions not shared by FOS (father of son).

      Which reminds me, and please do borrow it off my shelf: Peter Cook’s Autobiography: “Tragically I was an Only Twin”. Snort.

      U

      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 20, 2012 @ 13:09 | Reply


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