Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Cufk, Tish, Sips

The day after the guy who got shot in Forest Gate said "fuck" on Radio 4's The World At One (but he was quoting the police officer who was allegedly trying to throttle him, so that's OK), the engagingly preposterous Zoe Williams tries to reclaim "cunt" in The Guardian.

David Baddiel once said something quite interesting (there's a phrase you don't hear much these days) about the c-word. He suggested that the main problem with it is aesthetic, that it's a nasty, ugly, angular word, entirely inappropriate to its primary meaning. (Is there a word for the opposite to onomataopoeia?) As such, he wanted to reclaim it solely as a term of abuse, and forbid its association with the female genitalia. Unfortunately, the cogency of his argument was somewhat blunted by the fact that, even on Channel 4 in the early 90s, he wasn't actually allowed to say the word itself.

In any case, it's all slightly academic. As any fule kno, there is one super-expletive that banishes all others to the nursery slopes of offensiveness. And that word (sorry about this) is...

10 comments:

Robert A. Swipe said...

As you and the other regular Swipe stalkers may already know know Tim, I've been actively attempting to reclaim the word cunt recently, using it in every comment I post, regardless of its relevance to the topic in hand. Howard Devoto once sang, "this week's been all ears and edges...", but for me, this week's been cunt, cunt, cunt, and more cunt as I've liberally sprinkled that coarse, angular word wherever I have left my snail-like trail of cyber slime. I think it's working, you know. Spinny's been cunting away like a good 'un (mind you, that was ever thus...) and now I am pleased to see you joining the campaign Tim. So, let's get those cunts as visible as we can and hopefully end the taboo once and for all. And then we can have a jolly good go at reclaiming tw*t too!

Tim Footman said...

"...tw*t too..."

An owl with Tourette's?

And, by happenstance, the WV is "fkshf"

The Blind Flaneur said...

The missus has started peppering her conversation with the C-word.

That's my girl, he says proudly.

Robert A. Swipe said...

Slightly off subject here (well, I have a reputation to maintain, dun-I?) but have you noticed how there seems to be this little clique evolving around a few of these blogs? You know - us three, Spinny, Windy "Miller" the Triffid, Pratoclus, Oye Billy, Karate Girl II, Curly Wurly Girl, Blind Lemon Judas Priest Pie on a Unicycle - all that lot. The list is, if not endless, worryingly long and I for one feel very much out of my depth here amongst all these literary types with degrees in Economics, maths, physics and bionics etc. I think it's high time I legged it back to Myspace to gawp at scantily clad goth girls in ripped lingerie with fek blood oozing from every orifi.......dang, these were clean on.

Well, as the late great Bryan Ferry once sang,


"Ta ra, ta ra, ta ra ...ad infinitum" (well, he didn't sing the last bit obviously - that's just a musical instruction, but it does go on for ages..."

Which reminds me - Mr. Timothy, have you finished your Roxy Music homework yet?

Billy said...

I was quite annoyed that they don't seem to be allowing comments on the cunt piece, sorry the "cunt" article.

Joel said...

Can't we use the word Moyles instead?
"You fucking Moyles!"
I think it used to be someone's surname but the meanings of words change with time...

tom l said...

it must be more popular among the british. in america you almost never hear it. you're even more likely to hear "tamagotchi"

Tim Footman said...

Bob: Please, sir, the dog ate it, along with Paul Thompson's one-shoulder leopardskin top.

Billy: What a bunch of... ah, you won't get me that easily.

Joel: 'Moyles' rolls off the tongue. What an unpleasant image that is.

Tom: But you guys have other words for female bits. Like 'bush'.

The Curve said...

I don't understand, are you dissing Belgium? It's one of my favourite European Countries I'll have you know. Glad to see you met Slaminksy in the flesh, if you are ever in NE Spain...

ps I'll be back, just undergoing a Bowie/Neil Young style reinvention...

Tim Footman said...

Good to see you back in action, Curve. 'Belgium', according to The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, is the vilest swearword in any language in the known universe. I think Zaphod says it. Once.

And it's nothing to do with the fine home of Rene Magritte, Secret Army, Audrey Hepburn, fruity beer, etc etc....