There are words that I hate, not usually if ever the words that other people hate. I loath ‘poorly’ but am fond of ‘cunt,’ a nice friendly word, blunt and purposeful. I find the word vagina a bit yucky in the same way that ‘bowel movement ‘ sounds far more disgusting than the plain word ‘shit’ which is nearly onomatopoeic in my opinion. At home nobody swore or used rude words and I remember being shocked when my friend’s mum said fart, at home the family said ‘breaking wind’ which sounded rather dangerous and always made me snigger. I discovered the word ‘bastard’ in a book by Alexander Baron when I was about twelve and tried it out on my brother who grassed me up to mum who told dad and I got one of the few whacks of my childhood but no explanation of why I shouldn’t use the word.
I understand that some people are shocked and distressed by various words and I suggest that they don’t use them and I realise that this may militate against them reading some kinds of books – including mine. They must decide for themselves what is ‘acceptable’, In my turn I choose not to read books that I know are going to annoy me – unless I want to be annoyed and sometimes I do. But I don’t expect anybody to limit my words for me.
I love words. Words fascinate me. Melancholy is quite beautiful and can induce a nice mellow sadness whereas the word ‘basically’ uttered in my presence can produce an inchoate rage when used more that twice in any conversation. I count the word and was at a meeting recently when the organiser used the word fifteen times in one evening. I am afraid that this means I hardly hear what he is talking about so busy am I counting and I do realise that this is a neuroses. I once wrote a poem: We speak jargonese with a consummate ease that has to be heard to be disbelieved is the first line and I wrote it so many years ago I can’t remember the rest so it is a long term foible on my part. ‘At the end of the day at this moment in time (where else would you find a moment eh?? In space?) See? I’m getting colicky even as I write so I will return to words I love.
I first heard ‘motherfucking cocksucker’ in the open air where the sound took off and gracefully landed in my ear. The fact that it was uttered by a delicious guy may have something to do with it and the fact that it became rather overused notwithstanding I adopted it for its resonance and varied it with Cocksucking motherfucker. The scene was a dice game on a pavement outside a club and the organiser did a runner which caused rather too many repetitions but it stuck as my favourite term of abuse forever, and the fact that I seldom get to use it only makes it more precious. It is quite a different proposition for a girl of eighteen to gob off (another good phrase) with such words but for an ancient bird it is absurd (but don’t worry I am THINKING it HARD) The meaning is slightly absurd because a man performing both these acts is an unlikely character in my opinion – not impossible but unlikely and the phrase has the merit of aggravating as many people as it is possible to annoy with mere words!
Words are powerful, entertaining and dangerous? Or are they? We do presumably choose our own words to use or not. I reckon that words should have an effect, make us question ourselves and above all shake us out of our apathy, not all the time of course and at breakfast if anybody used my favourite curse I would find it unacceptable but not nearly as unacceptable as ‘basically’. We can have adventures with words and few words are sacred though some racist terms are off limits with good reason. I also think that ‘swear words’ should be used sparingly lest they lose their power. My partner of many years was a Belfast man who inserted ‘fucking’ into every sentence with such abandon that it ceased to mean anything. I also spent time with some West Indians who have a line in denigrating a woman’s apparatus and menstrual cycle, which always seemed strange to me because they clearly were very fond of utilising the same. In fact it occurs to me that men are a little afraid of the cunt with all its power which is why they throw the word around in a derogatory way, but we don’t have to accept their intention we can reclaim ‘cunt’ for ourselves – go girls go!
Enjoy your cunt in word and deed!