The older I get, the more I agree with people that non-stop use of foul language is pretty tiresome, and often displays a paucity of imagination. Sometimes it can be funny: some years ago, an after-sales engineer turned up here to repair a French oven that was still under guarantee.
A little pre-explanation. Two very common French expletives are ‘con’ and ‘merde’. Con is indeed the C-word, but as a swearword it is nowhere near as bad as the Anglo-latin equivalent: used by the French as an insult, it means ‘pillock’. Merde means ‘shit’, but again is quite common and acceptable as a generic word for ‘useless’ or ‘crap’. Your French worker’s conversation consists of both words used in profusion, with occasional link words in between.
So the engineer turns up, and discovers that ‘the office’ has given him the wrong part. A part in French is often referred to as a ‘truc’, which means ‘thingy’. Among non-self employed French jobsworths, ‘the office’ is seen as roughly on a par with the Devil incarnate: it’s completely interchangeable with war criminal, badger gasser, drug dealer or other equally heinous descriptions.
This was the bloke’s response to the discovery of being in possession of the wrong part:
“Oooh quelle merde le truc, quel con la merde…merde, merde, merde, le truc se trompe, quels cons au bureau, toujours la merde, toujours les trucs qui sont merdes, ils sont tous les cons, oooh merde, le truc c’est merde, les cons sont merdes, partout on trouve les cons”.
But the problem today is indeed that those who would pretend to rule over us are almost all merdes and cons. However, we have no device in English for expressing that reality without descending into dialogue that sounds like an excerpt from Derek & Clive.
So my proposal tonight is that we Brits should develop a series of words that aren’t euphemisms as such, but merely an alternative to latin and Anglo-Saxon swearing – with equal critical force, but less repetitive tedium.
For example, on meeting Jeremy Hunt, I could say the following – and he would be in little doubt as to my feelings:
“You sir, are a bodsock…the fruit of a tinthistle’s loins, a courtier of the Canute persuasion, and an allround fickwutted hubblegoon”.
There is a certain elegance to that kind of insult that would allow Waspi women to greet ‘Jewels’ Altmann with:
“Greetings o blingstrimpet, what hypoclitoral fibulous winkdribble of bogdroppings do you have for us today?”
Other less sensitive souls like Jean-Claude Juncker might require more use of the minimal-syllables approach:
“Bonjour schlud, I’m going to stick my Brexit up your smello”.
And finally tonight, onto my pixotheday on Twitter.
This one made me grimace, laugh and sigh all at once – not terribly convenient, as I was eating a bowl of porridge at the time:
Many’s the time I’ve referred to my car as a mobility service, and the garden spade as a manual mixed-materials excavation provider. Where do they find these langua-stangula idiots?
This was my own effort a couple of days ago in support of Waspi Women:
Here’s something slightly more serious but nevertheless equally blunt and correct:
Never thought I’d ever thank Sky, but tonight’s debate has done an enormous disservice to the Remain cause…and brought the Bubble Dwellers face to face with what real Britain thinks.