Not so much brain as ear-wax

Currently cuss-down and buse-up are of a very low standard. We need new and more imaginative swear words. We need to lift the level of vituperation. The cursing you have heard while the garbage in this potentially most beautiful of capital cities plumbs disreputable new lows and the excuses given for the scandal also plumbs new depths of absurdity – the cursing you have heard is very ordinary and boringly repetitive.

The nouns are varied – scandal, shame, misery, murderation, nonsense, disgrace, confusion, shambles, chaos, mess – but the adjectives attached to the nouns never vary very much. Indeed 90% of the time a single, ancient, Anglo-Saxon expletive, which I see has been allowed to appear in the latest edition of Webster’s dictionary, serves to define whatever sort of mess, chaos, scandal, or disgrace is being described. This is not good enough. Surely we can invent subtler and more descriptive language.

In this search for better swearing, we may be well advised to follow carefully the investigations of Professor Edgar Gregerson of City University, New York. Professor Gregerson worked for years on his seminal book on insults of the world titled Your Grandfather’s Mouth which is, apparently, the worst possible thing you can say to someone in Sumatra. Professor Gregerson at last  …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.

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