Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Dirty Words

Just when I thought I had heard all the dirty words, someone comes along and invents some new ones. The scary part is that I don’t have a clue what they mean. To stay on the safe side, I’m not using them. I’m afraid if I hurl one at someone, they could be enraged to the point of doing me harm or smile broadly and want to engage in something icky.

Now you take the good old standards. THOSE are great words and can be used in all sorts of ways, depending on where and how they are expressed. Some one syllable words can be made more emphatic when broken into two or drawn out with gusto. They can be nouns, adjectives or adverbs, depending on where they are used. They can be whispered, spit out between clenched teeth or shouted at the top of your lungs. (Remember when Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid leaped off that cliff? Wow! That one reverberated off the canyon walls.)

It’s kinda sad that today some of the classic dirty words are used so casually and frequently that they have lost their punch. The most sophisticated guy to use a swear word I can think of is Rhett Butler. Now there was a guy who could tell someone off with style. Why I bet after Scarlet got done boo-hooing, even she used one or two classics herself to refer to Rhett’s ancestry.

Nowadays, it’s hard to get through an entire day without hearing profanity on television and from every other teenager. With all these swear words floating around, no wonder by the time a tot is four, his or her parents are in a panic to try to explain what words are “good” and what words are “naughty.” When I was a kid, I remember catching my parents attention when I repeated a few dandy words I heard my father use!

Sometimes things happen in life that just need a good, gusty curse word to relieve the tension. Even my most prim and proper friends let go with a resounding word every now and then. Maybe that’s what we need to pass along to the younger generation – save those words for when they are really needed, not casually toss them out in every sentence. Give them meaning – and if necessary – shock value. Classy cussin’ is what separates the amateurs from the pros.

Rhett would be so proud.

© Copyright 2006 Suzzwords

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