Friday, January 21, 2011

I don't want to tell you how to swear, but...

It's possible that I have spent too much time talking about swearing. It's been awhile, but I recall a few posts on foul language. But I have something on the topic that I think needs to be said.

I think that we should retire the “C-Word.” It is widely considered the most offensive word in North American English, though I understand that in England, it's thrown around like “brilliant,” but that isn't why I want to retire it. I'm not one to shy away from the offensive. I believe that if something is that offensive to someone, then it gives people power over them. It's also a cheap way for people to claim power: “Oh you've offended me! Now, be contrite while I dramatically sulk over my wounded feelings.” Yeah, cram it up your chute.

The reason that I think the “C-Word” should be retired (if it's still unclear, it rhymes with 'runt') is that occurred to me that it's an inappropriate reference for a curse. I like vagina’s. I think they're wonderful. However, I don't have a problem calling someone a dick, dink, or pecker-head. Go figure.

So now, I've retired my “China Cabinet Word” – the one I break out for special occasions. To my mind, there is only one option for it's replacement: Micro-manager. Stay with me here. Granted, it doesn't roll off the tongue very well in traffic, but these people...I did a post on it once, but I respect that you've got other Blogs to read, so I won't reference back to it, but here's the short version: Micro-managers think they're being helpful, but they're WAY too quick to offer their advice, on every detail of what you're doing. These souls have adapted a vile practice, and need to knock it off!
So are you with me?


  1. One hundred and ten frackin' percent! Your new word of choice is so much more polite, yet at the same time brutally telling and offensive

  2. Of course we all know micro managers are the worst thing there is.. so kudos for the great new swear.

  3. As you know, I am a professional curser. Having said that, I agree 100% whole-heartedly with your idea of shelfing the c-word. I've uttered every foul word in many languages but that filthy "word" has never crossed these sweet lips.

  4. That's a word I have never used - permanent shelving is fine with me.

  5. Yup, shelf the damn thing. It's the only word I won't use, since the only time I did use it (as a quote) the person slapped me in offense :P I've not problem whatsoever with others using it, but I'd never miss it either.

    I remember on a BBC show called 'Balderdash and Piffle' that explained the origins of certain words and phrases, a woman got away with saying the C-word on primetime TV because she used it in the correct context :P

  6. I have to admit that it's one of very few words that I don't use.

    I love that you've nominated "micromanager". Might I also include the phrase "it is what it is". That string of words makes me want to throttle someone.


  7. The C word makes me cringe. Retire it straight away. I'd agree on "micromanager" - but I think there's a small possibility I might micromanage from time to time around the house :-O always with good reason, though ;-)

  8. Agree with carma--cringe factor. Retired! What's next?


  9. Many years ago I did a stint working in auto salvage and you can well imagine the language I heard uttered. Ironically, that is where I learned how not to cuss.
    Never used that word, but it can go!

  10. I hate that particular word myself, not because it is 'dirty' but because it is sexist. It is somehow the worst word imaginible and is absolutely FEMALE. If dick or prick were as bad, I'd probably be okay, but both of THOSE are school hallway approved. Until there is 'as offensive' a word that is distinctly male, I can't condone it. (same with whore, actually, though 'man-whore' makes me giggle) HA! (so I met your soap box and raised it a political-correctness!) *cough* and may I suggest, as a multi-purpose swear word: PANTS!

  11. It was never really a choice for me. It's always been retired. I do keep it in the "pull in case of fire" box. Kind of like situations you'd tell a boy that he played ball like a girl. I can understand using Micro-manager with just the right tone.

    Can you let us know what has happened with what you wrote for NaNoWriMo?

  12. Micro-Manager = the c-word, brilliant!

    I would love to see my micro manager beaten to death by a gaggle of lesbian midget porn stars.

    Nice work on retiring the c-word. good work!

  13. That is a pretty offensive word, and I like your point about not making something as wonderful as a vagina into a nasty word - though I will say that the British can get away with just about anything. They can say "motherfunking cork-sucking runt" and it will sound as if they're only saying hello to the Queen.

  14. I agree. Although I don't find the word offensive in every instance- I think it's really the intention of the person saying that word that decides if it's offensive or not. As for swearing- I am a total potty mouth. The F bomb is a personal favorite of mine. This might be because I live in France and most people don't understand just how vulgar I'm being- I can get away with it. Call it my inner rebel.

  15. That one doesn't get to me - probably haven't used or heard it in 20 years, so feel free to retire it. Now the "P" word. *shudder*. We hatessss that disgusting word. Never used it, never wrote it. I don't even know why I hate so much. It's not nearly as offensive sounding. Maybe for the same reason I don't like the word panties. Or maybe it's just a "p" thing. Hmm.

  16. Rather un-fond of THAT particular C word

    i agree retire it. i don't like it... not that i have a problem with bad language as such just don't like THAT one.

    Happy crusading from another crusader

    @ MAtthew: i loved the "motherfunking cork-sucking runt" so true.

  17. I think you misrepresent the word and the British. I can assure you I sound nothing like the Queen, nor does it mean 'brilliant' in any context that I use. If you call someone it in the UK you are either being aggressive (and its just one of many words used), you are being dismissive (as in 'Who was that on the phone', 'It was just some .... with the wrong number') or you are being affectionate (I love this ...., you know). This is often seen as something more prevalent in the lower classes.

    I won't use the word here since so many people seem to be offended by it, but I do object to a word which describes a part of my anatomy as being portrayed as so offensive. To me it’s no more offensive than any other aggressively stated swear word. It very much depends on tone and intent. You point out yourself that you have no issue using similar words for the male anatomy, so what’s the difference?

    Do you have the same associations with the word 'twat', or is this not is common usage in the States?

    I do think you need to be aware of its implications, though, and like any swear word its not always appropriate.

    I'm with Germane Greer on this one, (revision on Balderdash & Piffle rather than from the Female Eunuch). Don't get me wrong, if you don't like the word and don’t want to use it that’s up to you but it is a powerful word and I for one would not stop using a cleverly placed c...(ha, gottcha!) in my writing or my conversation. If it’s good enough for Chaucer...

    (Sorry, but the attitude towrds swearing is a pet peve of mine. Don't do it infront of my Grandma though)

  18. Wow, that was longer than I thought. Sorry :-/