Friday, April 13, 2018

On Cussing

Some people can make anything sound like cussing because it's really as much about the attitude and sound as it is the actual words.

Once when I was at work at my job in Times Square, the guy who sat next to me, a very worldly low-life type who had nonetheless had a Fundamentalist background, suddenly slammed the table with his fist and exclaimed with venomous anger: "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego!"

I just about fell out of my chair laughing. I'm sure I was the only person in the office who had a clue where that came from.

Mark Twain was well known for his cussing in speech (not in writing). His wife, on the other hand, was one of those prim and proper ladies who doubtless never said a naughty word in her life of her own origination. One time Twain was in a mood and spewed off a string of invective in her hearing.  Ostensibly to shame him, she carefully and precisely repeated every word he'd just said. Twain said, "Well, my dear, it seems you know the words, but you've got the melody all wrong."

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