Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Beautiful Words

No breakfast would have quite assuaged that tremendous hunger, which I had built up after a the healthy hikes of 25-10, as did those two words. Normally, after that verbalization, feeling rather chagrined, I'd have run for cover and sat myself in a seat where few would recognize me. But today was different; I reveled in that splendour and basked in that greater music of which my words were but a part. It felt good to swear again.

It is only lately that I have realized, people often mistake a genteel countenance and a civilized demeanour for spinelessness. Putting things into proper perspective again, then becomes the paramount task. Abuses have evolved over the years and expletives have garnered greater efficacy. But constant usage of these oaths as nouns, verbs, adverbs, conjunctions and prepositions have blunted the tips of otherwise sharp shafts. It is then only apt then, that my years of fast were broken by a phrase which caused so much turmoil on the listener's face.

Profanity, though part of everyday parlance, gathers great power when used where it must be. The lesser you use it in everyday life, the better you feel after hurling these savage words. Though, swearing requires little practice if any, it is always useful to keep certain points in mind.

1. Language of choice: This may be a crucial decision and a vital factor determining the effect of an abuse. It is important to use the language you are most comfortable in. While I prefer good old English to Hindi and even Tamil, one may choose from a myriad tongues with German and Arabic being favourites.

2. Communication: While swearing, you must never forget that it is, after all, a form of communication. And communication is listener oriented. So if the listener doesn't understand what you are saying, you have failed miserably in your attempt. Another reason why Tamil or, for that matter, German is not suited for Roorkee. Getting the semantics across is probably the most important task.

3. The Time Factor: Often, you procrastinate. And then, it's too late. Or so you think.
Revenge is a dish best served cold. So, the later your response, it's probably better. And besides, you catch the target unawares. So, it is advised that the user delay his response as much as possible for maximum effect. Studies have shown the seven second deferred expletive causing greatest havoc.
So after the guy accused me of breaking the line in the mess, my response was probably greatly amplified as I spoke only after I had ladled enough sabji into my plate.

4. Kinesics: Your face and body must reflect what you say. So it's best the abuser pauses (see above) to gather his emotions and then let them all out in one short burst. For longer abuses, it is proposed that the person take in a deep breath, so as to not run all out in mid sentence. Fingers, elbows, eyebrows, knees etc. all play indispensable roles in a good abuse. Props in the forms of emblems and illustrators may also be used; Eg. Chains, Sticks, Sarias etc.

5. Proxemics: The importance of distance while blaspheming cannot be underestimated. It is essential that the listener gets the entire effect of what you are saying. However, if the target is much larger than the abuser, it is advised to increase the separation by a few more feet. If this 'large' listener is much faster as well, it may be required to rethink your urge to insult.
I fell short on this front the other day, as I was a more than a few feet away from the listener.

6. Reason: While most abuses are preceded by motive, it is not mandatory that this sequence of events is followed. Often, a motive arises after the first abuse is made. This pattern is often great fun.

The above points are not rigid rules but a flexible framework which guide the reader to better and greater heights in this industry. You may choose to practice here... or better 'here'. I hope these were useful tips in what is, after all, a vast subject. Kindly do let me know the usefulness of the same. Any further suggestions on how to subdue the stuck up half-wit are also welcomed.


  1. As I've strongly maintained over the past couple of months, don't abuse. Ever. No matter what. It's bad.

    The post reminds me of a LitFreak we had in Kshitij last year- "My opponent here is a fine example of what Reverend Spooner would call a shining wit."

  2. You would have been my dream Prof for Technical Communications in 1st year. Your knowledge is what we call youth empowerment.

    People like me use profanity just to spice up the conversations. I'll not debate over the ethical demerits of the same, but this argument can make a valid point for higher research.

  3. When I was young, we used this term "Bad words" to refer to such phrases. It's kinda weird to see how usage of such expletives has evolved over time. Various beautiful words have become nothing more than just mere exasperations, akin to "Oh my god".

    P.S: Does yuvaraj singh have a sister?

  4. @ Mudtha,

    You're greatly mistaken. Abuses, apart from being self-defense mechanisms, attacking and persuasive devices and interjections, serve wonderfully as conversation starters. But yes, what replaces wit? Or better, a natural Spooner!

    @ Dang,

    *accepts compliment gracefully*
    As I have already pointed out, path-breaking research is already being carried out in this fast evolving field.

    @ Shreyas,

    Oh yes, but I'm afraid these "bad words" no longer are what they used to be. Stop using words as time-fillers and you'll realize the true potential of these words when invoked.

  5. And Shreyas, Yuvi scored 24 this match man. Give the guy a chance! Wiki doesn't give you the requisite info, though... It's best you use the words on him and gauge his family structure from the response it elicits.

  6. As far as I see if you swear in English/Hindi there isn't much you can do with just the words which are provided for swearing as there isn't much variety to choose from. What you can do is innovate and create situational humour with auxiliary words suited for the context.

    German and Arabic or even Tamil for that matter have much larger profanity sections in their respective libraries, probably because these languages are some of the oldest known and hence have evolved the most. Arabic, I hear, has more than 40 words just to refer to the genitals! Tamil too has an impressive 15-20.

    Glad to see you're making a meaningful contribution to humankind through your blog.

  7. @ Ani,

    I'm not questioning Tamil's profane superiority da! Though the description is rather crude, it's pretty much true... And thank you. I shall endeavour to further enlighten mankind through future posts.