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.


Bossy: (adj) fond of giving people orders; domineering.

Is “bossy” somebody telling me what to do, or is “bossy” somebody telling me what to do, displaying a bad attitude?Dictionary B

When I was growing up, it was assumed that some people would be bossy. They were given the authority to do so; it was expected of them.

It never occurred to us that our teachers would try to find a nice way of instructing us. No one would have dared go to the principal’s office and complain about a teacher having a nasty disposition.

So it seems that a luxury has slipped into the emotional bank account of the average American: “Since I don’t want to do anything other than what I’ve conjured in my own brain, I will consider anyone who tries to tell me what to do bossy and mean–even if they have the right.”

So basically, progress has slowed, as we run every suggestion through a filter of, “How did this make me feel?”

Sometimes orders and commands are so important that they can’t be homogenized.

In other words, some people aren’t bossy–they’re just in charge. I may not like their tone, but I need to submit to their wisdom.


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Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Allotment: (n) the specified amount  of something allocated to a person

Sometimes it’s not that words are bad. It’s just the company they keep.

I remember when I was in school. We had a principal and a vice principal, and I discovered after a while that the job of the vice principal was to wander the halls and tell the students why certain things couldn’t be bought for the school. It was because there was no allotment in the budget.

Yes, he was there to douse all hope for improvement, blessing or pleasure.

Somewhere along the line, good news has to be brought to human beings or we become old way too soon and cranky without needing to manifest such a negative emotion.

I know there are people who make their living teaching others how to budget money. Actually, there are famous public speakers and motivational authors who travel the country, instructing in financial solvency and ways to make sure that you don’t “live beyond your means.”

It’s difficult to find fault with them, but in some ways, I still do.

Because the thing I know above all else is that coming out in the black at the end of the month can often be a reflection on your mood. The amount of pain, struggle, scrimping and self-righteous hoarding often done to achieve a balanced budget is certainly admirable, but not very pleasurable.

Sometimes you have to step out of the “allotment” and go with the moment’s sensation of celebrating the goodness of life. I know it’s irresponsible. I know it’s the kind of thing that maybe our ancestors would have frowned upon, but I occasionally find out that there isn’t an actual allotment for anything of value, yet value is still required.

And if faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen, then to believe that we cannot launch out in faith without peering at it in our wallets may be against the whole concept in the first place.

Sometimes what we need, require and dream is more important than making all the aspects of our lives add up.

  • I know it’s risky.
  • I know I’ve been foolish and ended up looking fool-hardy.

But life is more than allotments. It’s reaching the last breath of your time on the planet … and smiling because you did it well.


by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Accomplice: (n.) a person who helps another person commit a crime.

I have a piercing memory of the word “accomplice.”  In this recollection, I see the crimson cheeks of an angry principal at a high school, huffing at me, insisting that I was a criminal and that I had turned my ten-year-old little brother into an accomplice to my law-breaking.

At the time I believed that he was overwrought, but I was still intimidated by the dramatics.

You see, what happened was that I was supposed to get into the high school to set up some equipment for a performance. When I arrived, the janitor had not showed up. Being sixteen years of age, I patiently waited four minutes and then began to figure out the best way to enter the school without breaking glass or brick.

Someone had told me there was a window down near the back staircase where the boiler room was located which was always open, although it was extremely small and difficult to enter. Fortunately for me, I had brought my little brother who was more than willing to be on an adventure with his cooler older sibling.

I had no trouble finding the window and as promised, it was open. But there was no way in any kind of physical world of my awareness that I would be able to get MY frame through the tiny hole.

On the other hand, my little brother fit perfectly.

Here was the problem: the inside of the room where my little brother would be entering was dark, so it was impossible to determine how FAR it was from the window to the floor beneath. This did not deter me. After all, what good is a ten-year-old brother if not for experimentation?

So I lowered him through the window, holding his hand and reaching down as far as I could to suspend him. He whined up at me, “I still don’t feel the floor…”

My thought was, how much further could it BE? So I yelled back, “Hang on!”

And then I let go of his hand and he dropped.

Now, this younger brother was not a good athlete. He hit the floor hard, fell back and bumped his head on a nearby metal something-or-other. (After all, it was dark. Who could know?) He was dazed but was able to get to his feet, stumble up the stairs and open the door for me to enter.

But I didn’t consider that when the janitor DID arrive, he would be curious about how I entered the school without his key. I attempted a creative lie on the spot, but honestly, needed more time.

So I found myself standing in front of a screaming educator who wanted to impress on me that I was a renegade and a rascal and had involved my brother, making him an accomplice in this hideous crime.

Even though I did not believe it was nearly as serious as the principal insisted, I have since refused to participate in such capers and have never, to my knowledge, made anyone else an accomplice to my misdeeds.

That is, unless you want to count my wife–and the four mischievous sons we conjured.