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Lost in Tulgey Wood

"I warn you, if you bore me, I shall take my revenge." J.R.R. Tolkein

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Location: Canton, Ohio, United States

The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure --Mikhail Baryshnikov

Monday, May 01, 2006

A Bold, New Initiative

Alice, it is time we made a request of our fellows for the betterment of civilization. I realize we may be labeled a prude for our efforts, but better to be painted broadly by that brush than to continue suffering in silence and hoping a fashion of the vernacular will exit of its own accord. Like an insensitive houseguest, this little four letter word refuses to note that making coffee is a sign that the hostess is ready for its departure, and the pot is brewing. This word has lingered around since at least the early 1990's and shows no signs of going for its keys.

Are you ready, Alice? OK; here we go.

I kindly request the the word "anal" be banished from the lexicon, excepting its use when describing medical conditions between doctors and patients, and I further request it be replaced by the equally descriptive yet less offensive "fussy".

For years I have been waiting patiently for the word "anal" to go the way of the dodo, remembering that the English language is constantly in flux and hoping that this word shall soon become passe. Nearly twenty years later, I'm still being surprised by its use in polite society, in particular, business meetings.

"I'm so anal about data," someone will proclaim.

Shocked by the casual remark referencing the nasty nether-regions of my colleague, I can think of nothing else for a few short seconds but their ass, imagining them reaching for the Preparation H whenever someone brings them a report. I don't want to go there, Alice, to coin another dead turn of phrase.

So join with me, won't you? Start today. When you are in conversation with anyone but your physician, make a point to describe someone's nitpicky behavior as "fussy". Try it as a game. See if you can change the tide of vulgarity and gently guide the lexicon away from this ambush of yukiness awaiting you at your next team meeting.

I have shared very much with you here in the Wood and have asked very little in return. Kindly consider joining me in my quest to forever rid us of the anal invasion that crosses our tongues, assaults us in the workplace, and makes itself insidious in our minds. Join the fussy rebellion. Afterall, fussy is only one letter longer, the same amount of syllables and equally descriptive without being offensive to anyone, unless they are more fussy than I am about language.


Blogger Big Orange said...

you know what's interesting? both ANAL and GOLF suddenly surged into popularity at roughly the same time and NEITHER have shown ANY sign of fading out or going away. Methinks there's some sort of connection.

I wonder if POKER is the next anal/golf of this dawning age??

9:27 AM  
Blogger Doc said...

"Kindly consider joining me in my quest to forever rid us of the anal invasion that crosses our tongues," What? Yuck! I want no anal invasion and most certainly, I do not want it to cross my tongue! Thank You for this early morning ickiness. Ewww!

9:33 AM  
Blogger Flannery Alden said...

I was speaking figuratively, of course.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Flannery Alden said...

Also, note, that those words were so powerful as to ruin your morning and thus should be used with care. Also: that's my point.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Big Orange said...

I dunno... I've seen some VERRRY intersting movies tounge-crossed... Uh, parts. That's usually what *I* see when I first heard the A-word.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Redneck Nerdboy! said...

Now Flannery, you're being very fussy about this. After all, there are just some situations that cannot be described with any word other than what was intended for it! However, in the interest of created a more civilized civilization, I vow from this moment onward to omit the A-word from my vocabulary unless describing a medical procedure or the sexual happenings of Brokeback Prison. And in its stead, I will use the word Fussy!

I actually might start using that word in other situations too. Situations like...

"Hey mother fussy! You cut me off!"


"What the fuss was that?"

or just


I'm likin' this more and more!

1:01 PM  
Blogger Redneck Nerdboy! said...

...creatING a civilized civilization. Not creatED. It's creatING Jas...

1:02 PM  
Blogger Flannery Alden said...

I guess I am a prude. I forgot about the other application of the word "anal" as in "anal sex." But I guess you can forgive me that and make allowances as you see fit. Personally I prefer to use the word "buggery" in that case. Makes me sound more British.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Redneck Nerdboy! said...

"Come John, let us go to Cell Block Six and forego the system rules by putting on a bit of the ol' buggery!"

Hm... I like the word! You've revised my vocabulary once again! Buggery it is... of course, I don't exactly have that kind of conversation every day, you know. But if it ever comes up, Buggery will be the word of choice!


1:49 PM  
Blogger Flannery Alden said...

It has come up with me on an unexpected occaision. I was travelling with my boss to Columbus or some such place and she was bemoaning the fact [get ready, B.O., this will really get you ranting] that the gay lifestyle was becoming so acceptable these days. She feared that young people would become gay because the lifestyle was glamorous.

I measured my response. I told her that yeah, maybe for girls, the gay lifestyle has been hyped as glamourous and I understood her concern. But for guys...I don't know. It would take most people more than glamour to cross the line towards buggary.

That seemed to shut her up on the subject, which was a delicate one, and one on which she had preposterous notions. We were able to travel to Columbus, after a brief awkward pause, in relative conversational comfort.

So, the word buggery saved me from a conversation that promised to become one awful, long, pseudophilosophical discussion on a long, boring trip to a long meeting.

It's nice to it have in your back pocket. ;-)

3:51 PM  

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