Vulgar Words

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Inviting an artist such as Cee Lo, whose signature song is “F You” and expecting G-rated, milk toast, lukewarm entertainment is a bit like expecting the same from a comedy concert with George “Seven Dirty Words” Carlin. 

Had Carlin been invited to this year’s Riverbend and actually appeared, I would definitely have wanted to see that.

It was in late grammar school or else junior high after hearing repeated lectures about “vulgarity” from various adults, sometimes directed specifically as me sometimes not, that I actually looked the word, or rather the word from which it is derived (vulgar), up.  The meaning of “vulgar” is “coming from the common folk.”   

Since I knew even then that there were Latin-based words with the exact same meaning (for example, the first four of Carlin’s seven words would be defecate, urinate, copulate, and vagina), I strongly suspected that the reason these words were shunned in “polite” society was their origin in the Anglo-Saxon tongue vis-à-vis the Norman French tongue imported across the Channel from the Continent.

I wasn’t able to confirm my suspicions beyond a reasonable doubt until I was at UTC and had access to the Oxford Dictionary of the English Language, which included “those” words.  Sure enough, they are all rooted in the Germanic languages of the fifth and sixth centuries invaders of the Isle of Britain as opposed to that of the later eleventh century Norman (and Breton and Flemish) invaders of the eleventh century speaking the Latin-based French language who became the ruling upper class. 

I have noticed that in the past couple of decades quite a number of British (Yiddish too, by the way) “swear words” on prime time T.V. here in the U.S.A. that across the water are considered equally impolite and profane as Carlin’s “seven dirty words.  But rather than being outraged most of those who would be shocked and awed at use of American-style vulgarity respond with “Oh, how cute!” since they’re “British.” 

So, the bias against these words had more to do with pretentious snobbery than the actual meaning of the words themselves.  In response to the protest against this conclusion that it is not the words themselves but how they are used, I ask why then the focus on these words when there are so much more hurtful ways of speaking to others that cause much more harm?  A bit hypocritical, wouldn’t you say?  

To some people, though, appearance, rather than reality, is what matters.  I seem to recall a rather noted historical figure who condemned such an attitude and find it ironic that most people throwing stones at Cee Lo probably believe they are acting in his name. 

Chuck Hamilton


An Open Letter To Tennessee Electors Of The President

This an open letter to the following people who are Tennessee's presidential electors this year: Joey Jacobs (Brentwood), Beth Scott Clayton Amos (Nashville), Jason Mumpower (Bristol), Susan Mills (Maryville), Liz Holiway (Harriman), Lynne Davis (Lascassas), Tom Lawless (Nashville), Mike Callahan (Monterey), Pat Allen (Clarksville), Shannon Haynes (Alamo), and Drew Daniel (Memphis).  ... (click for more)

Is Poverty Inherited?

Is poverty inherited was meant and is meant as query to all of us.  The school system is a mess. Yes, a mess. Teachers in most of the schools in both the inner city and the fringes deal with behavior problems of some magnitude. The obvious solutionm rid the troublesome student and all will be well. That argument accomplishes little. Lil Joey in the back of the classroom ... (click for more)

Lawsuit Says Girl Received Severe Traumatic Brain Injury In Woodmore Bus Wreck

A new lawsuit in the tragic Woodmore Elementary School bus wreck said one girl on the bus suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. Attorneys Joseph Fried and Michael Goldberg of Fried Rogers Goldberg LLC filed a lawsuit in Hamilton County Circuit Court on behalf of the minor daughter of Shanquatta Byrd. The bus driver, Johnthony Walker, was transporting 37 students from ... (click for more)

Officer Who Was Shot Returned Fire; Is Recovering Well; Shooter Still On Loose

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher said Monday morning that the officer who was shot three times on Thursday is recovering well.   Chief Fletcher said the officer was wearing a bullet-proof vest and one bullet hit the vest, which protected him during the shooting.  The officer was able to return fire, although Chief Fletcher would not comment on how many bullets ... (click for more)

Mississippi State Quarterback Nick Tiano To Play At UTC

Former Baylor School quarterback Nick Tiano announced Monday that he is transferring from Mississippi State to UTC. He tweeted, "I'm very excited to announce that I am going back home to play for The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga! # GoMoc" Tiano had announced five days ago that he was leaving the Bulldogs after his freshman year. Tiano appeared in four ... (click for more)

Jones Will "Thoroughly Examine Everything In UT Program"

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee football coach  and seniors Joshua Dobbs and LaTroy Lewis met with reporters on Monday in their first press conference for the Music City Bowl in Nashville. Unranked Tennessee (8-4) will play Nebraska (9-3) in the Dec. 30 at Nissan Stadium. The game will feature a 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff on ESPN. The Cornhuskers are No. 21 in the ... (click for more)