Darn

Darn: (adj) a more proper version of the word “damn.”

Anything that’s worth a “darn” should be worth a “damn.”

Anything that requires a “shoot” might be better stated with a “shit.”

The problem is not whether the words are profane.

It’s about whether the words are appropriate.

Being unable to find your keys in the morning isn’t worth a “damn, fucking shit-to-hell.”

But seeing an evil done to another human being requires more incrimination than “darn you, jerk.”

We just don’t seem to understand that evil isn’t spoken or enacted, but rather, reveals the intention of our heart.

That means you could be complimenting someone but you’re so insincere that you might as well have criticized them.

The words should match.

You don’t become a better person by saying “darn.”

But you do become a better person by having fewer and fewer people that you want to damn.

 

Dang

Dang: (v) euphemism for the word damn 

Added into the anthology of my journey through the ridiculous and sublime is a one-hour class I was required to sit in on when I was a sophomore in high school, with the subject being, “Better Choices.”

According to the principal, there was an outbreak of bad language in the school, and he wanted to explain how frustration could be handled with much more grace, using terms that, although meaningless, were also unoffensive.

I don’t know how this man knew there was a plague of naughty talk all over the campus.

I think he was fuckin’ stupid.

But speaking of that word, three suggestions were made for when the inclination might rise up to use the word “fuck.”

  • “Fudge.”
  • “Forget it.”
  • And “feathers.”

Now, I don’t know how one was supposed to restrain the tongue from spitting the original gem, substituting the new language, but the instructor explained that if it was accomplished and sweeter sayings could be offered, then it was generally regarded among the American populous that your morality was immediately deemed honorable, and you gained at least thirty IQ points.

Shit was shoot.

Goddamn was golly.

Ass was bottom.

Bullshit was baloney.

Dick was private areas.

Pussy skipped vagina and went to lady’s parts.

And of course, damn was dang.

At the end of the session, four students were called up to do a demonstration, with the first pair using the foul words and the second pair, the more respectable lingo.

They probably could have gotten through the whole class without too much ridicule–but it was really a bad choice to do the demonstration. All the gathered students hooted and howled with the ala natural dialogue, but not nearly as much as they squalled in laughter over the dainty terms, which seemed as awkward as a Baptist family having an audience with the Pope.

Because of that forum, I have never used the word dang.

I don’t think that was the goal.

So I apologize to the educators.

Damn

Damn: (v) to declare something to be bad, unfit, invalid

 “…and he that believeth not shall be damned.”

I think I was eight years old when I read that for the first time.

I wondered why.

Why does God need to damn anyone?

I wasn’t sure what I believed about God. It is an evolution. Matter of fact, to this day our love affair is a private matter.

But I was pretty sure, from my understanding, that He was “man enough” to survive an unbeliever.

After all, I do. There are many people who don’t believe in me. Some of them have gone so far as to declare their unbelief and pronounce damnation on my soul. But I never had the inclination to toss my own rendition of ultimate rejection back their way.

It’s not because I’m noble. It just seems very childish to be really mad at someone because they don’t believe in you.

The instinct may be there.

Perhaps hurt feelings.

A bit of confusion.

But fury? Rage? I don’t think so.

And why would God, who has so many devotees, focus in on the few who decide to be reluctant, or even rebellious?

Why would God damn anyone?

Hell, if He started damning people, I don’t know where He would stop.

So yes—I’m pretty sure if damnation is part of the nature of God, we all are lost and abandoned.

No, I just have to believe that somebody wrote that. Maybe they were trying to scare their congregation into being faithful. Maybe they wanted their race to seem better than others who did not believe.

I don’t know.

I just don’t reckon God is so insecure that He has to retaliate apathy with judgment.

Wouldn’t it be funny if each one of us received an eternity that matched our own choices? Those who believe heaven is “streets of gold and mansions” would discover that they are surrounded with great wealth—but nothing really to do.

And those who believe we come back again through reincarnation to be other creatures would find themselves on that merry-go-round.

And of course, those who believe there is no God, and the grave is the end of the journey, would be allowed to decay in peace.

Colloquialism

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

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

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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

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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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