Tuesday, 20 April 2010

"Do you think I meant country matters?"..... Hamlet, Act 3, scene 2

The c-word is in danger of going the same way as ‘con’ in French where despite the same likely derivation, its use as an insult conveys nothing stronger than ass or idiot. Its lost power means the word can be used in a movie title, as I have illustrated opposite.
I swear more than I should. It displays a poverty of vocabulary. But after a lifetime in the newsroom, it is a habit hard to break. But I'm trying and certainly I can’t see any necessity for bad language in my own posts. I can’t give the same assurance for some of my links such as Natalie Portman’s rap in my ‘videos clips I rate’ section.
The Vagina Monologues attempted to reclaim the c-word for feminists. But if the fuss that followed 11-year-old Hit Girl’s single use of the word as a shocking expletive in the recently released Kiss-Ass movie, the effort failed. Good.
The world needs one last killer swearword now that the f-word has all but lost its authority. The cause failed once French Connection called itself fcuk.
These days the television watershed can be only minutes old before a material-lite stand-up is pepping up his or her act with a liberal sprinkling of f-words. Lily Allen has a song that consists mainly of the word.
The c-word is on the same slippery slope, so to speak. There was only humorous comment recently when a MP’s wife was reported to have used the word to describe her husband’s male rival.
Once reserved for gritty television dramas, in the last few days I watched Scots comic Frankie Boyle and the ‘roasts’ of Joan Rivers and Pamela Anderson and the c-word was flying in all three. Where Derek and Clive once shocked in the 1970s, the word is becoming commonplace in so-called adult humour.
Here is not the place to discuss why to be compared to the vulva – the female genitalia through which we enter the world and the organ that galvanises most healthy males – should be the worst Anglo-Saxon insult.
But it’s ours so let's use it sparingly and appropriately and anyway what do the French know about language or anatomy? ‘Le con’ is masculine.

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