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Inspirational Reads

Abuse of Language

April 5, 2008

The other day, I was in lab talking about something, some reaction or such, and I said, "What's the worst that could happen? An explosion?" The labmate with whom I was speaking and I had a nice chuckle, and then he said "Well, I guess we could always crank the heat up and see what happens." To which I replied, "Don't blame me when it goes 'Poon!'" I then used very large, sweeping hand and arm gestures to pantomime the billowing clouds of fire and smoke as I wrapped up my sentence.

Then I realized what word I used to recreate the onomatopoeia of the explosion. My labmate and I had a good laugh over that, too.

I realize I'm going to probably offend my female readers here, but this little exchange got me to thinking. We have a perfectly lovely and utile language here in English, and yet we seem to spend most of our creativity on developing and inventing clever words to describe our sexual organs. Take, for instance, poon. Said in a deeper, almost airy way, it's a lovely way to describe the sound made during an explosion. However, I think we all know its "true" meaning--actually, the word "poon" is often used to reference a certain group of trees from the East Indies known for their solid, durable wood. Yep, that's right. You get hard wood from poon.

*taps microphone* Is this thing on?

It's not even taking another word and twisting it to some perverted means, like hooters. We all know what hooters are, thanks in large part to Al Bundy and that rather mediocre restaurant. I prefer to think the Al Bundy had more to do with it than the restaurant, but that's just me. We can make up any number of words to describe a body part, and instantly one knows what it means. Such as, if I were to say, "Wow! Look at those mugumbas!" you'd know instantly that I was ogling some girl's breasts.

Of course, this doesn't stop with just the female body. It works for the guys, too, lest we forget James Van der Beek's soliloquy from Varsity Blues in which he lists a very long stream of words, phrases, and descriptors for the penis. Or the wangdang. Or the John Thomas. I think I've made my point.

If nothing else, I've proven on this here little blog that I'm fairly proficient at throwing around words that some people consider offensive. So, it might seem like I'm a hypocrite, complaining that we're using our creativity to come up with new words for our naughty bits--especially when I use them every day. Maybe I am, maybe I'm not; that's for you to decide. However, in all the words used to describe genitalia, there is one used to describe female genitalia that I find completely and downright terrible, and thus I never use it.

Yeah, that one.


Ψ*Ψ said...

Wait, what exactly was supposed to be offensive here? I'm confused...

The Ex said...

Cooter is such a shit word. Thank you for not using it.

Noel said...

Isn't it strange that all derogatory speech boils down to the woman? Bitch is seen as offensive. Slut targets women. But you never hear as a real insult "you are such a man." It's strange though even though women outnumber men, women have longer lifespans and women are seen as more physically capable of resisting pain, they are seen as inferior.

Hi Mr. Jenks. Long time no talk.

Frank said...

I just don't understand what's wrong with the words "penis" and "vagina." There are so many euphemisms for them, but it's not like that makes it any less offensive to some people. You can call it what ever cute and cuddly word you want, but it's still a vagina.

Hehehehehehehe...I said penis.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Ψ*: some people find the word onomatopoeia highly offensive. That, and egregious use of the word "poon".

Ex: Word to the wise...even if you use the character's last name, you're taking your life in your hands when doing a google images search for the term.

Noel: Good to see you, man. And, yes, there is an awful lot of derogatory language revolving around women. Although, bastard is kind of a cruel, cruel word.

Frank: It's because the sword isn't nearly as mighty, so we don't use the term "penis".

Lisa-tastrophies said...

I linked this post in my latest blog. Just wanted to let you know. If you want me to remove it, please let me know and I will. Thanks

Lisa-tastrophies said...

I have no idea why my original comment did not show up. So here it is re-phrased.

I seriously laughed for five minutes at the thought of this Poon-Paux. And I had to tell everyone the story. :-)