Angry with those who disappoint?

Published October 10, 2013 by A.J.B. Johnston

I’m thinking particularly of those in the public domain. Certain disgraced Canadian Senators come to mind, or Toronto’s Mayor Ford. Or Lance Armstrong in the world of sports. Each of us has our own list.

What I’m wondering if we should not take the names of those who anger and disappoint and turn their very names into swear words? It works for me. One element of swearing is found in the tone of voice, the way the curse is muttered or said aloud. Try it. Mutter Mike Duffy or Rob Ford and shake your head or raise your fist.

In English Canada we have long tended to curse with terms that relate to the body in some way, some of which go back to Anglo-Saxon roots. In French Canada the swear words often come from a religious context. But why not from contemporary events?

With swearing now practically everywhere — films, TV, office and the street — words that once shocked or gave vent have lost their power. So just select someone who has annoyed you or let you down and use their name as a curse.

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