Commanding the English language

Growing up I was taught by my parents that people who swear are really just showing their ignorance of the English language as well as their own general ignorance.   Also in those days, my older brother Ian taught me that the short school bus was more correctly referred to as the “retardo bus.”   Vastly different sources and motivation,  but both life lessons that have carried through the years.

I remember that if I feel like swearing, then I need to pause, take a look at my situation and choose a better option.  I also remember that Jeanne, who suffered severe scoliosis (I think) as a young child grew up to become an active and intelligent cheerleader in high school.  I’d  guess that she remembers those, my brother included, who referred to her as an “R” because she rode the “R-bus.”    I wonder if any of those guys had the nerve to ask her out?

Fast forwarding to 2010 I see that those life lessons are still true.

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel apologized to the head of the Special Olympics today after the Wall Street Journal reported the fiery Chicagoan privately called a group of liberal activists “f—ing retarded.”


Today, just as much as yesterday, people who swear and name call are still showing their ignorance and in this case it is also says a little about the president who appointed a person of this character as their White House chief of staff.

Oh, and here’s an off color audio clip that oft pops in my head when I run into someone who cannot help themselves, but to use of the “F” word.

Fair Warning: Don’t hit play unless you are an adult who has heard the word before and isn’t afraid to hear it again.

the amazing f word

Does that help identify the quality of Rahm Emanuel’s character?  or a close friend of yours?  or yourself perhaps?

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7 Responses to “Commanding the English language”

  1. citizen says:

    Hmm. Maybe stupid,
    maybe relaxed and adamant,
    maybe off-guard and honest.
    But words don’t make a man anymore than a lack of words diminish one and
    I wouldn’t trust you to judge anybody accurately especially based upon language or its misuse.
    Also Stats need facts and
    ping pong balls need context.
    You seem to be unable to distinguish the two.
    Oh well, next subject!
    And I sincerely hope nobody poops in your drinking water in the meantime!

  2. wally says:

    Yes, it does take a specific type of person to utilize certain words at certain contexts during speech. My opinion is that people who use the F word make themselves look stupid.

    Colored Ping Pong balls are standard stats class fare.

    I don’t think Rahm Emanuel’s choice of words defused anything.

  3. citizen says:

    You mean it takes a specific TYPE of person to utilize certain words at certain contexts during speech?
    That’s an organic Calvinism stretch at its finest.
    So what TYPE of person refuses to employ the God-Given intellect that allows them a reasonable chance to disseminate an argument without resorting to Ping Pong balls?
    Or mock a figure of speech meant to defuse anger?

  4. Bojangles says:

    Why put that audioclip in there for humor if your intent was to show that swearing was serious business?

    People making a case against homosexuality don’t finish with a link to a gay comedy.
    People making a case against violence don’t finish with a link to Pulp Fiction.
    People making a case against promiscuity don’t finish with a link to Coupling.

    So why finish this with that link? All it does is show how it’s funny and not to be taken seriously, exactly the opposite of what you were attempting. Taking it seriously and reading into it now looks humorous.

    • wally says:

      The clip is there because it makes fun of people who use the F word in place of real words. It’s satire.

      It’s a humorous reminder of how people, including myself, look really stupid if they use that word in place of so many perfectly good words.

  5. wally says:

    Uh, I commented on the type of person who would use these two words rather than something that might show a little more character and command of the English language.

  6. citizen says:

    Uh, He called the action effing retarded,
    not the actors.
    There’s a little thing called context that makes all the difference in English and it’s a vital part of commanding the language.