April 2018

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

DAR #25 Aarrrrhh

DAR #25: About a decade ago at a teachers’ lunch table, a proper Language Arts teacher for whom I have a lot of respect said, “I believe that the only people who curse are those without the vocabulary to express themselves more eloquently.” I told her that I used to think that, “but now I think that’s bullsh$t.” I actually think we’re often most creative with language when we curse, perhaps especially when we try to keep it G-rated.

"The Lord called the donkey a fool." My grandmother M. used to say this in response to something someone said or did that she thought was foolish. We still wonder what it means. I think it was her Southern Baptist lady way of calling someone an ass.
When my friend Declan’s first child was just beginning to babble, Declan was driving him around in the car. Another driver swerved and Declan exclaimed, “Oh, sh$t!” His son echoed, “Oh, sh$t Oh, sh$t Oh, sh$t…” and Declan, not wanting to upset his wife, had to drive to the end of the gas tank to get the child to repeat a different sound. Quality father-son bonding, I’m sure. I hope Declan’s told his wife about that.

One of my favorite expressions from teenagers that means, “Darn!” the last few years has been, “Aw snap” or “Snaps!” When I was working with students who struggled in reading, one in particular would say, “Snaps!” every time he got frustrated. I didn’t want him to get frustrated, but I did love that.

A previous student, more suburban, says, “Gosh!” When she was in college, I asked her what career she was considering, “Gosh, Miss Mary, there are so many things in the world I could work on. I just have to choose one I guess.” I loved her use of “Gosh” and her enthusiasm—especially since she’s gone into teaching secondary Language Arts.

My Uncle Tommy T. says, “Well, golly.” Golly has five syllables. Four are on the “gol” part. That “o” just keeps going. It's an expression of delight. In another version of that, Ann last night said, “Golly Pete.” I can’t remember what it was about. Must have been serious to elicit such a dramatic response, though. Ann's version, in conract to Uncle Tommy T's, is one of frustration.

Growing up, I knew when Mom had really had it: “Fiddlesticks!” she’d gasp. This was Mom's f-bomb. Lately I’ve been wondering, what exactly are fiddlesticks?

Back in the day before brain surgery (BITD BBS), I would say, “Dadgum” or “Blast.” When I started wearing an eye patch and small children mistook me for a pirate, I started saying “Arrhhh.” Very satisfying.

The Lord called the donkey a fool. Mary

1 comment:

  1. isabella's first word was shit. she dropped something, she said, "shit." she picked it up, she dropped it again, she said, "shit." she picked it up again, she dropped it again, she said, "shit, shit, shit."
    she hates this story. i love it.

    personally, i find that no word in the english language expresses anger/frustration/unhappiness, in the way that the f word does. isn't that funny that i don't even write it out when i am just thinking about it, but truly, in the heat of the moment, there is nothing more satisfying that saying it out loud. i think it is the best word in the english language.


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