Jul 29, 2014
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Sugar. Fudge. Darn. Heck.

A guide to words the FCC should actually bleep

Occasionally, I will slip and use profanity in front of my daughter. And of course when I do, she is quick to chastise me and let me know I should not use that sort of language. While I can appreciate the reminder to remember my audience, I cannot help but think of many more generally acceptable terms bandied about in everyday conversation that are significantly more offensive than swear words.

 Words like, “moist” and “dabble” and (obviously) “appletini.”           

As much as I detest those words, there are no suitably concise alternatives for them, so I am somewhat accepting of their usage. And by “somewhat accepting,” I mean if you use them in my presence, they better be in the following context:

“I’ve made millions dabbling in pork belly futures, the bulk of which I want to give to you. Let us celebrate with a moist appletini.”

I’m much less tolerant when people use dreadful sounding words and phrases that have perfectly appropriate synonyms. To illustrate what I mean, please consider the following:

Unacceptable

Acceptable

Reason

lover

boyfriend/girlfriend/beau/significant other/special friend/sweetie

I will vomit. On you and your lover.

stool softener

laxative

The graphic nature of the term will make me think about this. I do not want to think about this.

pamphlet

brochure

No one looks good saying the “phlet” sound at the end of this word.

engorged

swollen

Most of us do not work in porn.

anklet

ankle bracelet (only conditionally acceptable)

I’m showing my anti-ankle bracelet bias here.

pustule

blister

Really? You require an explanation?

venti

large

We do not live in Italy. American newscasters pronouncing “Colombia” with a Colombian accent is similarly unacceptable.

panties

underpants

I really don’t have anything against the word “panties;” it’s just that “underpants” is hilarious.

unguent

salve

Do you really want someone to describe what you say as “guttural”?

luscious

delicious

If you use the word “luscious” you are probably using it to describe the ribbon candy in the milk glass dish on your coffee table.

luncheon

lunch

Why the three extra letters? It’s wasteful. And inefficient.

I believe we would be a more peaceful, gentle people were we to agree upon the replacement terminology I’ve suggested above.

And if you don’t agree?  Well, I don’t really give a sugar.

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