Bad Words

Assalam Alaikom,

I began writing an article on Friday, when I happened to be in a good mood for a while. Soon enough I found I don’t like it so I deleted it and began a new with my usual spirits returning gradually. I was in a hotel room and didn’t have my laptop so I was using the app version of WordPress and I hated it. I was with friends, at the time, which limited the amount and nature of bad words I might have used to describe the application, and the keyboard layout, without attracting much attention. This got me thinking about an argument I used to have with my self. Why are there bad words ?. We all know some words we aren’t supposed to say in public. And we have, at least once, been smacked and flogged for uttering them. They aren’t given to us in advance like George Carlin was wishing they were, but most of us can recognize a bad word when we see one.

Which is a curious thing in itself too, that brings us back to my question. Why are there bad words ?. Most of the bad words people say, not me I’m a saint, are a variety of descriptions for genitalia, feces, butts and the act of coitus. But you can still refer to those same things with other words. A sentence back I did it and no one smacked me. I’m very sly like that. So, we can establish there is nothing about the objects we refer to when using a word that make it either bad or okay. There has to be something wrong with the words themselves then. But aren’t words a group of characters that we assemble in different ways to convey a meaning?. Take the letters s,p,i,n,e they make that part of your body you torture when sitting, standing, walking, sleeping and right now. Spine. Play with the words a little and it’s a penis. This becomes shit, and many I’m sure you will enjoy finding them as I do. So perhaps it’s not the letters that make a word bad. What then ? Context ? Maybe we should never mention penises and human waste altogether. I can’t imagine the stress medical students go through not to write dick jokes on their exam papers.

One last point before I start thinking whether to press publish or move to trash, which is also dump, litter, junk and scum. Despite the fact that what every reader, numerous as they may, understood so far with no trouble is that I want to justify cursing aloud in the street wearing nothing but my Sponge Bob boxers while running frenziedly to deposit a fist full of human waste in the face of chairman of SCAF Tantawy wiping that smirk clean of his face, despite that, it’s not true. I’m well content with doing that without the cursing. I do not want to justify using bad words. I only don’t understand why there are bad words. Did they do something terrible in a previous life to be reborn as a bad word ? How did the first bad word come about ? How did the recipient of it know it was ?. I could describe any man right now that he is with all due respect a horse’s number 2, and he won’t beat me half as bad if I exchanged ‘number 2’ with good old ‘shit’. Even though we have the same understanding of me insulting him, and probably his mother after that if I cared enough.

I don’t want to eradicate bad words either. It’s hard to do that after they are already there, and until the ESPER gift pack I ordered of epay arrives I can’t effectively erase memories without the use of a bullet. I want to either find an understanding of why they are the chosen ones to be bad or everyone should accept my doing a nasal sound with a flick of my hand when they talk about ‘bad words’.

3 thoughts on “Bad Words

  1. hmmm, peculiar as usual, but rather unpleasant.

    Well, “bad words” are nothing but curse words or “words used to curse/insult people”, they are an icon for moral degradation with a hint of a distinguishing lack of intelligence and vocabulary. I’m guessing that their etymology would start from something as petty as a mistaken word or an overused method of cursing.

    See, an educated person could insult you in a million ways, like you said, without ever needing to use curse words; an uneducated buffoon would not be able to do so, they could only resort to mainstream swear words….

    Furthermore, ask yourself this, what is the most famous stream of “English” words “Egyptians” say when they try to “act like westerners” and “speak English”? Curse words!
    Try speaking with another random Egyptian in English and observe their language….most likely, it’ll be a stream of curse words to fill in for their lack of vocabulary.

    Personally, my religion advises against usage of such language and I have taken a liking to elegance in speaking….in addition to the idea of being able to completely insult a person in the most elegant of ways which is not too shabby.

    Last but not least, a writer with a rich bank of vocabulary would not find the need to resort to such cheap words to be able to express what they mean.

    ….or at least that is my take on the matter.


    1. Not quite. You strayed a little from the point I meant to make, or I did while delivering it. I’m not talking about cursing. I’m arguing away the words they call bad. Mostly they are used as curses but even if you used them in a normal conversation you are looked upon as a vulgar and common man. Some words are tabooed even though they perfectly mean the same thing as others celebrated worldwide in books.
      I agree with you on the fact that you may not use these words at all, and even without being especially talented you can deliver the meaning and feel of a bad word without ever using it. But if I despise people who spit the tangerine lobe after sucking the juice, it’s my problem to either go away or deal with it. I can’t deny them whatever sick pleasure they have of it, mainly because the next lobe will act as a projectile accelerating towards me.


      1. hnmmm, the words ARE “taboo” because they WERE used as “curses” and hence they become taboo with time.

        Oh, and I specialize at targetting the suckers, giving them a piece of my mind and elegantly avoiding their projectiles.


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