Monday, March 9, 2009

But sin has nothing to do with it!

I have mentioned my discussion group to you all? Last week we were talking about sin. Of course, in  discussing the topic there is a definite risk of personal revelation, and though the context of this group is Episcopalian a surprising number of us were raised Roman Catholic. Confession being so closely wedded to sin in the Roman Catholic mind, we gained a small window into one another's experiences in the confessional. They were singularly banal, and the discussion turned on the strategy of the Church in creating so much guilt in our young minds over actions that a moral adult can not even entertain as being transgressions. One thing that really took me by surprise was the repeated inclusion of "swearing" as a matter for inclusion in the confessional formula.

I was surprised not because I did not also "confess" that particular failing, I think I must have, though in truth I don't remember, but because for such a long time my thinking about it has taken such a different track. (You should be playing Lenny Bruce's "Fuck You" routine as a background to this.) You see, I have no problem saying the words, yet I never, or almost never, use them. This is so much the case that even my clients will apologize to me if they let one slip, thinking they have exhibited some moral lapse.

What such people don't realize is that they have only exhibited a lack of vocabulary. In addition, they rob these very useful little words of all their impact by unthinking over use. I will tell you that when amongst those I know, if I let out an "Oh, Fuck" I immediately have everyone's attention, which is what we desire from that particular utterance. Such expressions seem to be very forceful, but in fact are fragile little flowers that loose all their fragrance when trampled by moronic tongues.

I almost never use them. That of course does not mean that I am guiltless of offensive speech. It's just that, well, to confess, I get much more sadistic satisfaction from speech that offends without the object understanding it's offense, or which leaves the object in that most distressing of situations: confused, but embarrassed to confess their confusion.

"You, You, librating lestrigon"

Even spell check is upset!

"You limicolous troilist"

Another tack is to imply the invective with out meaning anything ill (this is for the penultimate equivocator:)

"He's an henotic escrivan"

"Why, I'll delumbrate the demot!"

These charming words all come from "Foyle's Philavery" which I recommend most highly for your lexical amusement!

 You will now understand that my abstention from profanity, which seems so admirable to many, is actually rooted in a much more grievous failing, and one that was almost absent from our discussion. "Pride goeth before the fall" was the constant refrain of my childhood. I long ago decided that my own fall would be accompanied by the most graceful narrative I could conjure!


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