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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Defining profanity.

Oh, hey, almost didn't recognize you...seeing as it's been a whopping...21 days since my last post! Since then, I have adopted a hippo, filmed a parody for every episode of "Friends," and drafted the next great American novel. (Yes, despite America's numerous failures, quality literature production is not necessarily one of them. And yes, that statement does make me sound like a pretentious schnook. (And yes, "schnook" is in the dictionary.) (Double parentheses.))

So, everyone use your imagination for a moment...and pretend it's Halloween again. This was originally meant to be a Halloween post, but I don't exactly have endless free hours to blog/practice my extreme thumb- twiddling skills (for the INTENSELY BORED). Anyway, I really just have one idea to express about Halloween before we move on here...

Generally, Halloween is when people get dressed up in the costume of their true selves.

Granted, that's not always true. But...it makes sense, you know. I mean, think of all the girls who leap at the opportunity to dress scantily and "not be judged for it." Why doesn't anyone question the internal motivation behind that? I don't get it.

On a personal level, I was a mime. What does that say? Either that I'm so obnoxious that I don't need a voice to irritate people...or that I'm secretly a very introverted, internally expressive being. Hmm. I'm thinking/hoping it's neither of the two, actually.

The really obvious ones are the little kids dressed up as potential future careers. Like a doctor or a movie star or a cowboy.

The really obscure ones are the people who scoot around in a laundry basket full of balloons and call it a bubble bath. Unwrap that one, psychologists.

So yeah...if you want your Halloween costume unpacked, feel free to comment. I'd love to analyze your psychological state/self-esteem/general taste (or lack thereof) based on an anonymous statement. Or, you know, don't. I won't take it personally. Maybe.

Coming up next: defining profanity.

Although this is anonymous, many of you know me from "real life," (I have two fingers. I have four fingers. GrrRAHHHHHHH!) and you know that I'm a big fan of euphemisms. I won't list them all here because it could take days, and...I have plans. Besides, our next little tributary in my stream of consciousness leads not to what is said, but how and why.

I was recently challenged to explain the difference between profanity and a euphemism when the intent behind them is clearly the same. A huge part of language is the fact that we, as its users, give it meaning. In turn, language gives meaning to us and everything we do and say and feel. The only reason certain words are deemed profane is because we, as language creators and users, have come to associate those words with strong, generally negative feelings. So now I'm completely torn.

It's times like these that I turn to either of two books: the Bible or the Dictionary. In order to remain relatively ambiguous (and in order to make a more direct approach to this mess), I'll turn to the latter.

profane:
1: not concerned with religion or religious purposes : secular
2: not holy because unconsecrated, impure, or defiled : unsanctified
3a : serving to debase or defile what is holy : irreverent b : obscene, vulgar
4a : not being among the initiated b : not possessing esoteric or expert knowledge

So, in summary...true profanity is the uneducated misuse of a term that is used in order to desecrate something superior to the nature of the term itself. Or something like that.

Therefore, I will continue shouting "good gravy" and "heavens to Betsy" and "Jefferson's pants!" (I just made up that last one. I think I like it.) Because a) I'm not trying to defile anything, I just like how the words sound together and b) what could possibly be superior to Jefferson's pants?

Just some stuff to ponder. Or, you know...some stuff to forget. Either way, I'm glad we (indirectly) shared the last few moments.

Until the next!

4 comments:

  1. Not So Anonymous Anymore....November 3, 2010 at 9:21 PM

    loved it. love you. thanks. i missed reading your thoughts. your mind would make and interesting movie set.... or an incredibly confusing one.... i plan on re-reading this tomorrow, when i am fully conscious.

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  2. Loved it! Thanks for posting! I had no idea you went to "real life" too!

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  3. I went as my sister for Halloween. She's at college, so I raided her room and wore her clothes. I pulled it off. Thanks for posting!

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  4. I went as Shakira, because someone was already me for Halloween.

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