Currently, I am going through a session where nothing wants to go right and lots of things are determined to go wrong. The simple matter of ringing a telephone number to get an optician appointment, for example – the phone is engaged for ages. Then it does absolutely nothing. Then it finally rings and is answered, and they can’t hear me. They take my number somehow, repeat it accurately, and say they’ll phone me back. They don’t. I decide to try my relatively new mobile. Fully charged, but it won’t switch on. I travel to the far ends of the earth to collect a proof from the printers promised for today. It isn’t there. Neither is anyone responsible that I can vent my feelings on. Then a book format just wouldn’t stop going haywire in the PDF.

  All this is typical of how today went, and I hope you are enjoying my pity party.

  The day started so well, too. In my usual fashion, I woke up by plunging into what I have even more handy than the ocean which is out the other side – my trusty puddle. I bet you thought I’d post another of my bright blue sea – or even river – ones for the BLUE photo challenge? Nope, this is it:


  Now, of course, the sort of day I’ve had makes the other WordPress topic of SWEARING rather appropriate. Did I do any of that? Not really.

  I am a member of the fraternity that is convinced habitual swearing indicates a lack of intellect, a lack of vocabulary, and a lack of imagination. Also, a tendency towards exhibitionism. People who constantly swear are the ones who would go flashing if they had the nerve. Swearing is verbal flashing. ‘Ooh, hear how naughty I am!’

  The pro-cussing crowd will point out in justification that a number of people who are actually respected for intellect, vocabulary and imagination are inveterate swearers. My response is that in that direction they are still demonstrating the lack of those assets, together with unforgivable laziness.

  I concede that one can relieve annoyance and frustration by a verbal outburst. However, it doesn’t have to be confined to the tiny selection of words originating from blasphemy, (such as ‘bloody’), or relating to sex or sexual bits and pieces, or to bodily functions of the less pleasant kind. A little invention can come up with far more satisfying exclamations.

  I remember with admiration some Coloured colleagues who had a wealth of invective consisting of quite innocent terms which were chosen because of having sounds which one could really inject volume and venom into. Immensely satisfying.

  I do confess with shame, though, that on one notable occasion many years ago I spent about a week on taking apart, fixing, and reassembling, a cuckoo-clock of which we were very fond. Finally I completed the job, tested it, and proudly hung it on its peg in the wall – which came out. I looked at the bits and pieces all over the floor, and said, ‘Sh..!!’ with great feeling. The whole family came running in utter shock, and still speak of it to this day.

  It was, however, a mind-numbing experience and I think that reverting to something so unimaginative on that one occasion was justified. 


© Colonialist April 2012 (WordPress/Letterdash)

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
This entry was posted in Language, Personal Journal, Photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. paul says:

    I cant get used to the way people seem to just throw in a couple of swear words in a normal conversation. Especially when I can see that the person is just doing it to impress the opposite sex!


    • colonialist says:

      Almost invariably a form of exhibitionism until it simply becomes a bad habit people don’t even realise they have. They can hardly formulate a sentence without a swearword in it.


  2. Patti says:

    I’m sometimes amused by the imagery suggested by a liberal sprinkling of swear words – if the words are taken literally, it is often more interesting than the speaker intends – or ridiculous enough to significantly less the impact of whatever sentiment they were attempting to emphasize.


  3. Nicola says:

    Agree with others that swearing is quick substitute for something more imaginative. In Turkish they were some cuss words too, but you could often hear things like essoglu esek (son of a donkey) which always sounded better – a bit more Arabian Nights 🙂


  4. evea192 says:

    Yes, i think swearing in general is bad, but, like Gabrielle say, when pain is inflicted, there are no better words then to swear. How will this sound.” o my, i hit myself with a hammer on the finger…”


  5. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: “Blue” « Just another wake-up call

  6. Oh, your poor clock…..what a coincidence! Do hope your weekend is better than the last few days have been, Col. Very envious of that beautiful pool.


  7. I hope the weekend will be better, Col! Nice take on the “swearing” topic! I love the pool – it is stunning!


  8. optie says:

    Excellent post Col, I have heard it said that swearing out loud when for example hitting your thumb with a hammer lessens the pain actually felt.


  9. Ruth2Day says:

    verbal flashing, I love that!


  10. melouisef says:

    What did Mark twain say When angry, count four; when very angry, swear.


  11. Great photo – and a fun take on the challenge with this post!


  12. Og, Col! My sentiments exactly! I will direct you to a post I made a while back on the very subject! However, I have changed a bit from my upbringing in that I have found that “S–t” to be one of the best and most descriptive words to use given the appropriate occasion! My Dad and Mom raised me with the phrase, “Swearing is a lack of vocabulary!>” Hence I was completely restricted from using any 4-letter word not considered standard English – including “darn,” or heck.” When i was 13 years old I head my Dad speaking on the telephone (he did not know I was nearby), and I figure the conversation must have been inordinately frustrating and infuriating for him, because in that conversation, shortly before he hung up the phone, he said, “The heck with it!” I thought I would absolutely die with astonishment. I was so embarrassed for him that I never told him that I heard his outburst. Believe me, his use of that word was to me stronger language than any foul word you can possibly think of, because it was from the mouth of someone who NEVER used foul language. Anyway, my post that discusses this very subject is found here::


    • Although i sort of like it, my opening phrase, “Og, Col!” should read, “Oh, Col!” Perhaps I will coin it and use it in future when appropriate. It will include people who do not wish to be exposed to MY God (as in OMG) but will be useful for pantheists and other sorts of theists with just a simple “Oh god!” OR, it could be a return to caveman language – also appropriate at times. . .


  13. That’s a lovely puddle you have there 😉 I’m with you on the swearing front – unimaginative and boring (only necessary when having a lot of pain inflicted suddenly or a near miss in the parking lot).


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