Colloquialism: (n) a word or phrase that is not formal, typically one used in ordinary or familiar conversation.

When did “fuck” become a colloquialism?

I apparently was out to dinner, and came back and there it was–all over my answering machine, Internet and television.

Was there a meeting?

Did anyone consider that trivializing such a powerful word was taking away the ability to use it when describing murders, mayhem, evil wars and genocide?

If everything is fucked then nothing is truly fucked, am I right?

If you discover that your hard-boiled egg is really soft-boiled, “fucking” that situation removes the potency to rail against some dictator who murders children.

Some words should not be colloquial. They should be saved up for special occasions when we need to rally with just the right word to rattle the room.

And it’s not just the word “fuck.”

I don’t like it when “sensitivity” is overused. Sensitivity is special. It shouldn’t be used when somebody brings you a second napkin.

And how about love? Yes, the word “love” has become a two-bit whore giving a blow job in an alley, or people explaining that even though they beat their children, they really do “love them.”

What? Did I take a really long nap? Am I Rip-van-Something-or-Other, waking up to the world going insane for no particular reason?

If I say “I love you” I want it to mean something.

If I discuss sensitivity, I want you to sense my heart and deep-rooted commitment.

And if I say “fuck,” I damn well want it to be fucked.


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Coarse: (adj) rude, crude, or vulgar.

Fortunately for the human race, if for some reason they do not want to deal with your message or the impact of your words, they can either critique your style or claim that your language is coarse and profane.

I have spent the major part of my professional career trying to determine the words that best describe what I’m trying to communicate, and then attempting to slide those cherished words into the body of my work, without being shunned for foul usage.

Honestly, when describing an atrocity and the need for change, the word “darn” does not replace “damn.”

For many years I was critiqued for saying “crap”–but “bullcrap” is not as energetic as “bullshit.”

The purpose of speech is to communicate. The goal of the written word is to impact. And the mission of the visual is to enlighten.

They must be permitted to do their jobs without being censored, or even-tempered.

I happen to agree that the word f-u-c-k is rarely necessary to communicate and certainly should not be overused as an adjective or an adverb.

But even that stipulation carries a bit of fuddy-duddy, which is not necessarily applicable in the pursuit of waking up the sleepy masses.

Having survived a lifetime which has included living in a society where the word “pregnant” could not be uttered on television, to now living in an Internet generation, where temperance is disdained, I am more than happy to put guidelines on my own soul–using an economy of words to justify the heart of the story, without coarsely tainting it with unnecessary emotions which threaten to condemn it.

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Byword: (n) expression summarizing characteristics

What do people think when they hear my name? That’s damn important.

Even though we try to play down the significance of public opinion, since none of us live an isolated existence, people’s idea of us are pretty important.

Am I so mixed up that those who know me find it difficult to pinpoint a continuing virtue or a clinging vice?

Am I constantly reinventing myself to such an extent that no one is sure what I treasure?

Even though we extol the value of choice, it is actually a blessing. Many times we get no choice. All we have is the overwhelming evidence of how we selected to be known, punctuated by countless irrefutable examples.

What is my byword?

  • Is it selfish?
  • Dull?
  • Is it aging?
  • Kind?
  • Indifferent?
  • Is it oblivious?
  • Gentle?

Each one of these words has attended a master class of achievement.

Frankly, no one assumes we’re oblivious–we have to prove it through our complete mental absence.

No one assumes we’re kind unless we have extended kindness.

No one insists we’re old unless we’re constantly complaining about our pains.

So here’s my advice: pick a profile and profile it daily.


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Burrow: (n) a hole or tunnel

In the great “Wheel of Fortune” of the calendar, this particular essay happens to fall on Easter Sunday morning.

So when I saw the word “burrow,” I realized that throughout history–and especially that fateful weekend two thousand years ago in Mesopotamia–mankind has always tried to dig holes and bury things we don’t wish to pursue.

The interesting fact is that in saner moments, we may even acknowledge we might be better off if the truth we burrow away could come to light and function in our everyday lives.

It’s the process that bothers us.

It’s the loss of our lazy determination that annoys us.

We have grown accustomed to the face of blandness–and even though the consideration of adding make-up to improve our overall countenance is tempting, it seems both unnecessary and exhausting.

Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Our response? “We’re halfway there.”

We love our own ass. Trying to transfuse and transfer that same energy to our respect for others appears overwrought.

So since he was unwilling to shut his damn mouth, we attempted to shut it for him.

It wasn’t good enough to merely kill him.

We also stabbed him with a spear.

We quickly stuck him in a grave.

We rolled a stone in front of it for fear that any of his dangerous organs might try to dribble out.

And then we hired guards to secure the location just in case somebody was interested in collecting the corpse of a beaten and broken man.

Thorough we were–but sometimes the angels our efficiency do mock.

They rolled the stone away and resurrected the “love your neighbor” boy.

So now we are stuck using our selfishness–but having to do so with a clump of guilt.


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Belligerent: (adj) hostile and aggressive.

Dictionary B

I began my journey to becoming a better human being the day I realized that nothing can really offend me unless I privately fear that it’s true.

In other words, you can accuse me of all sorts of evil, but if I have no awareness of such iniquity dwelling in my heart, being belligerent is unnecessary.

I become angry and hostile when other folks stumble upon my insecurities and speak them aloud, making me feel that I must attack them to protect my own delusion.

So for years, I was very upset if someone called me fat. It wasn’t because I was skinny, it was because every time I looked in the mirror I saw a fat man–yet felt that it was nobody’s damn business to confirm the obvious.

On the other hand, you can tell me all day long that I’m not the best piano player in the world, and I will not only nod my head in agreement, but also explain inadequacies of which you may not have been aware.

The presence of belligerence is the absence of confidence.

For when we are satisfied that all is well with our soul, it is very difficult for other people to interrupt our well-being.

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Arse: (n) British spelling of ass.dictionary with letter A

As a writer–and I use that occupational name humbly–I am constantly confronted with the more confounding and contradictory nature of the English language.

There are those who insist that sentence structure is what determines the quality and talent of anyone who composes an essay. Yet honestly, in everyday life, nobody is very concerned about the placement of subjects and predicates.

Other folks believe that intelligence and integrity are procured through using language which is acceptable to your grandmother and rejecting any wording that might make your sixteen-year-old son giggle.

Matter of fact, I have lived through times where using phrases like “my God,” “crap,” or “Oh, my Lord” were deemed by some to be inappropriate.

So imagine my delight when I found out that I merely have to go back to the King’s English to acquire the word “arse” if I want to refer to someone as an “arsehole.”

It frees me of objections and makes me seem quite continental at the same time! And also, while people figure out what it means, I can be the mischievous little boy who got away from the garden toting the watermelon.

Seriously, I will tell you–there are a few words which should never be considered profane because they are so on-point with real life, and describe human emotion better than their more gentle counterparts.

For instance:

  • I’m not going to write that my character was upset when I can say that he was pissed off.
  • When I’m establishing the fact that something is horribly wrong, I am not going to call it bullpoop. It shall be bullshit.
  • When I’m relating a story in which I confess my fault and let you know of my error, I will not call myself mistaken, but rather, an ass.
  • And there are simply some times when a defiant stand demands a “Butlerian” reply: Frankly, I don’t give a damn.

Feel free to disagree with me, and if you do, I offer you some wonderful news. You can send me a note which reads, “You are so wrong…you arse.

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dictionary with letter A

Appendicitis (n.): inflammation of the appendix.

It’s just not damn fair.

Even though I realize that knowledge is a good thing, a little knowledge sucks.

I know I have an appendix, and I have learned enough to realize that it doesn’t do anything for me whatsoever except threaten to become inflamed, requiring my body to be sliced for removal. On top of that, this little booger has such ambiguous symptoms that every time I have a slight twinge in my belly, I’m curious if it is pleading deep within me to exit from its extinct purposes.

Yes, the appendix turns us all into hypochondriacs–because we know it has absolutely no value to us and its only purpose in life seems to be to get sick and die. (The only other part of creation that emulates it are old people playing shuffle board in St. Petersburg, Florida.)

I try to resist being whacked out by it. If I get one of those tummy aches, I think to myself, more likely spicy meatballs than the appendix.

But I am still aware of the danger lying deep within my flesh, threatening a gashing exit.

Maybe we would all be better off if it was just removed. Matter of fact, if somebody came up with a way to shoot a laser through the skin to dissolve it, I might line up for the treatment.

Of course, adding to the paranoia is the realization that because we have limited knowledge, they will find out in five generations that the appendix was actually the key to solid physical well-being. And those future scholars will marvel at the ignorance which existed in our time, which not only failed to discover the intrinsic value of this little organ, but actually removed it–shortening the life of the patient by twenty years.

I tell you–it’s a frustrating mess.

Thinking that it’s worthless but dangerous…or wondering if it’s dangerous because we stupidly think it’s worthless.

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