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Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Words We Hate

Do you ever hear an oft repeated phrase that is annoying enough to make you squirm? There are certain disorders that cause individuals who hear "trigger words," certain  emotionally powerful words or word combinations,  to feel nauseated, enraged, or otherwise overstimulated. Sadly, I don't know anyone who's shot their wife or lover for saying the words "Snicker's Bar," but I do know some people with interesting word hang-ups, myself included.
  If you've ever seen that Monty Python movie with the "Knights who say neep," then you can, in part, imagine a pal of mine's torment and visceral disgust at my use of the word..... well it means the same thing as buddy and rhymes with bend. I once used the word repeatedly, directing it at him, doubting  true revulsion to so basic a word, but in truth I was being cruel. He really does hate "the f-word." In his ideal world, when children are asked what they did "today" by parents, they would respond, "Oh, I just fucked around in the sandox with some associates of mine." The "F-word" you and I refer to as "The F-word" is of no import to him. It's the root of the word "amicability" that bothers him. If he sees John McCain greeting a crowd of supporters in such terms on C-Span, he flips off the television screen without fail. If he hears a song played on the radio, he flips off the radio, then turns it off or twists the dial. To his credit, he puts his hand in his pocket when he flips off people who unknowingly transgress to his face. To be offended at the very existence of the word seems extreme, but I do understand some annoyance with how insincerely the word gets used. There are a lot of people at work, on facebook, in the twitterverse, old aquaintences, familiar waitresses who describe me using the non-traditional "f-word," but if most of these people saw me in person, or on their doorstep, or out of a comfortable situation, chances are they would avoid lengthy conversation or even eye contact. Which is to say, if you call Big Ray Ray a "fri--d," be aware that I will show up to your home next Friday  with some chips, soda, and a few of my favorite Star Trek DVD's-just saying. One last parting shot on this word: have you ever noticed how bad guys in movies often address someone they're torturing or trying to kill as "My old friend"?


 Perhaps life in Mr Montoya's neighborhood is colorful. Someone else I know used to be averse to being called  "human" or "female." The individual in question is not triple XXX material but she is definitely XX material, thus the use of the pronoun "she." Neither of the individuals I've described are psychotic or at all insane, just distinctive. The woman who at times preferred not to be thought of as such viewed her physical body as a small part of her greater self, a detached consciousness waiting to be made whole.


 The words we love is another post, but I, myself, also have a few words and phrases that irk me. I'm throwing myself to the wolves with this confession, (if you can call 6 buddies who feel sorry for you and read your blog "wolves") but the record will reflect I often get uncomfortable around people who use words that end with a long "e" syllable. I feel like I have to scratch and itch just thinking about some of those words. My demanding father used to tell me to gather up the "empties" into a paper bag before we went to the store, and all I could think was that he was being too lazy to say the words "empty pop bottles and cans." I hear pretty  young ditzes refer to machines, techonologies and penises as "thingies," and I, uncharitably and sometimes inaccurately, think "damn, she's sumdumbitch." Then there's the word "icky." Again, that's a word used by sumbumbitches (misogynist much?) who usually think animals, bodily functions, and thinking are "gross."

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