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| Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Cindy A. Rose |


As Long as We Remember...

May 31, 2016

Etymologists and Expletives Deleted?

Harry M. Covert

I’m not quite certain, but the use of vain and profane babblings has sure become prevalent on every venue these days. This has been brought on by the political vernacular in use on all levels. Now, no one even flinches.


Seems like the dominant figure on the national scene has made modern use of “hell,” not hades, proper and accepted. I could not get the full count since the other seekers like the h-word as well. Okay, it’s for emphasis.


Nowhere are etymologists jumping up and down highlighting “expletives deleted.” As I’ve heard many times, “hellfire and damnation.”


Before these modern times of openness and transparency and “speaking from the heart” gained popularity, boys and girls, men and women, commentators of all sexes – male, female, transgender and whatever – using scatological terms and good old cuss words generally were muted. Not so any more.


Recently a mother in a Frederick grocery store corrected her son for pulling down some canned foods, causing a mess. The boy said “FY” (expletive deleted), whereupon mama smacked the little tyke. Other shoppers just grinned. I wanted to give the mama a good smack.


We news junkies can flip our remote controls, turn off the radio. The talk shows of all subjects – including the sports gabbers local and national – aren’t shielded from spouting damns, hells, p-o’d, screwed, crap, heck. They dare not bellow “whistling Dixie” any more.


The commonplace becomes embarrassing to some. Call the sports broadcasters and complain. They think complainers are “numb n**s” and “ignernt.” Instead of using doppelgangers – durn, heck, ticked off and others, it’s more cogent and popular to use real Anglo-Saxon terms for attention.


There was a president known for profanity-laced meetings in the Oval Office. I won’t name him. Actually there are several who enjoyed language freedom. The nation’s major newspapers and wire service edited the commander-in-chief’s comments with “expletive deleted” in almost every paragraph every day. Lots of diligence was required for readers to figure out the indignities of speech. Well, it wasn’t difficult.


For true political lovers, completing the words tapes are available on C-SPAN. Listening to the Texan president put the arm on congressional leaders was full with delight. He spoke often about peckerwoods in the south, peckersniffs, too.


Today words like mad dog killers and thugs are looked upon like f-words, n-words, b-words associated with S-O-B, *itch, *astards” or m-effers. Too many have become accustomed to such conversational expletives. As Lt Joe Kenda says, “My, My, My.”


We good people have become immune to the names of “sporting houses” legal in various places. Sounds a bit better than “brothels,” “Houses of Ill Repute” and “bawdy houses.” This scribe is unfamiliar with such facilities in Frederick City or county or from Charm City. I have heard such accommodations are known. I guess I’ve been living in a dream world too long.


Admittedly the bull-shooting is rampant on the campaign trail from all partisans. Placards at protests around the nation are also descriptive and ugly. Local “peacemakers” have a tough time rounding up the troublemakers and escorting them to the sheriff’s “hotels.”


Will the feds now try to figure a way to house transgenders? Most of the time jailers, turnkeys and professional corrections officers attempt to provide some security for “peculiar” types lest some form of a bawdy house take hold.


It is amazing in these modern days of new thought that the “educated” broadcasters enjoy polluting the American language.


In my day B-western movie lovers never heard the good guys, or the bad ones for that matter, cussing. I did learn about the Three Rs from Hoppy’s sidekick – “readin’, ritin’ and raisin’ a ruckus”. We also knew the good guys from the bad ones. It’s rather difficult to pick ‘em in today’s climate. They don’t seem to know “evil” from “live.”


Maybe the PC crowd, as revolting as they are, could discover ED – expletive deleted.”


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