… And Other Bad Words

  • The following words must be interpreted at the user’s own risk

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The phrase in question was this: “F— society. I’ll park a truckload of sex offenders into the anus of society.”

It was the opening sentence to an article I had written for a well-known alternative news website. Needless to say, the article was never published and is now doomed to an eternity as the opening sentence to this article, which I assume will also go unpublished, except, perhaps, via the most obscure and irrelevant of platforms.

The editor was not happy and I wasn’t surprised. I stood by the sentiment, but this was crass even by my standards. Jokes about sex offenders? That could only have been funny in 2003 and if it were 2003 it still definitely wouldn’t have been funny at all.

But serious journalism is a war and once engaged in conflict there are protocols to follow. I didn’t want to admit that I was in agreement with him, partly because agreeing with an editor is morally abhorrent and partly because that’s just how I do business.

But maybe in this particular skirmish a greater victory could be gained through defeat. I told him he could cut the sex offender bit.

‘Oh, no. I don’t have a problem with sex offenders,’ he said

‘it’s all the f—ing that I don’t like.’

The combat zone went quiet for a moment while I tried to figure out whether he was joking before I remembered that editors are not allowed to make or understand jokes; it goes against the IPSO Editors’ Code of Practice.

Sex offenders are people too, don’t you know, and an anus is like an opinion: everyone’s got one.

It was all about the f word. Just a single use f—. Four little letters.

And maybe he was right. What did it add? What was its purpose? Do we swear because it gives our words power or have we just run out of intelligent things to say? Is bad language an emphatic linguistic tool or a crutch for our crippled vocabularies?

Perhaps we should take the time to think about what we say and what we mean and how that could be perceived by other people, people we don’t know, who we may never meet and are defined by knowledge and experiences that differ from our own. Context can change everything and words used in the right way have the potential to connect all contexts to create a universal language that is inclusive, not exclusive, and transcends the boundaries of regional and international dialect.

Perhaps we should strive to be something more than we are.

One world; no borders. One people.

Or perhaps fuck it.

Yes, fuck it. Fuck your context, fuck your borders and also fuck your fucking fuck.

Consider the following game: Player 1’s mission is to swear a lot, while Player 2’s mission is to not like it. Player 1 is breaking subjective rules that are defined by Player 2, but adhering to the objective rules of the game, i.e. to swear a lot. Player 2 believes that the objective rule of the game is to make subjective rules that will inevitably be broken by Player 1, but this belief is erroneous as Player 2 could easily win the game by not being a dick, but never will because of their unjustifiable sense of self-importance. Therefore Player 1 will always win the game.

Contextual differentials work both ways and people always fear the unknown. The most effective cure for fear is full immersion, so here is a list of common swears you may have overheard in conversations on buses:

Fuck – to engage in intercourse of a sexual nature

Shit – feces; bodily waste, can be solid or semi solid

Piss – urine; bodily waste, usually liquid

Cock – penis; male genitalia

Pussy – vagina; female genitalia

Ass – Equus africanus asinus; a hoofed mammal of the horse family

Asshole – a space previously occupied by a hoofed mammal of the horse family

Arse – buttocks

Arsehole – anus

Straight away we can see a thematic arc emerging: all malediction (except the terms ass and asshole which were popularised in North America and therefore redundant in any logical argument) originates from the human body and its basic anatomical functions.

Even words to describe expletives are rooted in a fixation with the usually beclothed regions of the body. For example: the word profanity derives from the Latin profanus – literally one who is fixated with (pro) the rectal opening (anus).

Thus we arrive at the fundamental paradox of obscenity: humans have outlawed their own bodies.

The human body is a mandatory condition of continued existence and to continue to exist it must shit and piss and fuck and all those other ordinary things that have been assigned such terrible verbs and adjectives.

It is the one physical object that not only connects the mind and inner self with the external world and shapes a person’s perception of reality, but is the only common denominator for all people, of all generations, in all countries across the globe.

Yet the human has designated this as its central source of disgust.

Females are considered much more offensive than their male counterparts in most human cultures and are subject to far more stringent regulation. This is curious since the female is typically superior to the male in almost every way.

The average surface area of an adult male is around 1.9 m². Approximately 0.34 m² or 18% of this is considered offensive. The average surface area of an adult female is around 1.6 m². In contrast to the male, a staggering 1.14 m² or 71% of this area is considered offensive.

The result is endemic oppression, culturally sanctioned economic and legislative inequity and a far greater glossary of unsavoury, though not technically expletive words relating to women. Tits, minge, bitch, gash, george bush, slut, slit, schleem, whore, slat, twat, scunch, chevron, and bandersnatch are examples of anti-female lexicon that have been incorporated into everyday language to the point where they are often no longer seen as anything other than normal.

But the holy grail of all obscenity, a word that even the male fears, is cunt.

Cunt – vagina; female genitalia – the worst swear of all

There is no word in any language worse than cunt. In fact, just by writing it here, most humans reading this will be spun into a delirium, quickly losing control of cognitive faculties pertaining to logic and reason and begin an almost involuntary and certainly unsolicited moral monologue, a pastiche of other people’s ideas and opinions, recycled and fragmented to the point of total incoherence.

We have arrived at the nadir of humanity, folks. The worst, most disgusting and shocking and shameful thing that could ever be; ladies and gentlemen behold: female genitalia.

Gross.

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In the end, the editor of said well-known alternative news website chose to run a story celebrating what would have been the 90th birthday of a man called Che Guevara.

Che Guevara killed a lot of people, but it was ok because of politics.

In politics, every person is either good or bad. If you are a good person, you can kill, rob or rape any bad person and that is ok because bad people always deserve to be killed, robbed and raped because good people are good people and bad people are bad people. If there are too many bad people then good people can just drop bombs on them which is much easier than having to kill lots of bad people manually.

It’s easy to see why the editor chose to run a story celebrating one of the world’s most iconic murderers over one which used the word f— on moral grounds. It’s simply a matter of good taste.

We all love a sexy bit of death, but a sexy bit of sex? Well, I’ve said it before and no doubt I’ll say it again: nothing good can ever come out of the end of a man’s penis.

Sorry, I mean cock.

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