Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Bad Words: A Lesson in Dictionary Usage
Once when my little brother and I were small children, our mom and dad called us both into the dining room for "a talk." Since our family never had discussions or talked about anything important ever, we knew this was a seriously serious situation. We entered the room filled with trepidation and anticipation. Whatever could be so important to cause us to be called upon to this parental conference?
Our mother and father held forth a large red hardbound book. "Kids," my father intoned, "This is an unabridged dictionary."
Little bro and I must have looked skeptical or perhaps confused because my father had to go on to explain, "That means it has all the words there are in it."
Yeah... little bro and I still weren't seeing why this meeting was called together. I don't know about bro, but I knew dictionaries had words in them. We had them at school.
My mother couldn't wait for us to connect the dots so she jumped in, "That means it has bad words in it too and under no circumstances do I want you to look up the bad words in this dictionary!"
My little brother and I looked at each other. You could tell what the other was thinking, "Holy shit! You can look bad words up in the dictionary?! Who would have thought?! Wow! Can't wait to do that!"
Again, I don't know about him but I was smart enough to wait several days before conducting an audience with the dictionary. Of course I rushed right to the F's to look up the mother of all bad words (at the time, I understand the C-word trumps the F-word these days). And immediately I was disappointed. The definition was not at all enlightening. Not to be deterred I decided to look up another bad word, only I couldn't think of one. Finally, under extreme pressure I looked up the word "shit" but since I already knew what that was it was really anticlimactic. Thus ended my looking up bad words in the unabridged dictionary.
The Fine Print: More Club Scrap stuff from the "Big City" December 2012 kit. No dictionaries were destroyed in the making of this card but in reality I have two disheveled red unabridged dictionaries that would make awesome background papers. I could be really crazy and use the pages with the bad words on them.