What is an Inner Flaneur ?

The Flaneur is a French word for the stroller of the 19th century who often walked his pet turtle though the streets of Paris, with no agenda. The internet is a Flaneur spot where people metaphorically stroll and link from site to site along the roadways of the web.

As an inner flaneur, I stroll in my thoughts. I use my thoughts to pen my ideas, my worries, my life story and my travels though this lifetime. I welcome all Flaneurs to stroll by my site and stop awhile or simply move along at whatever pace they feel may comfort them in their journey.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I am a bibliophile. A lover of books. Good thing too, as I am a literature teacher. Or maybe I am a literature teacher because I love books. Such juxtaposition of words!

I also am a lover of words in general. ALL words, the sacred, and the profane. And I find profanity is something WE have deemed to be in poor taste, words do not decide to be a bad words one day!

I love the word shit. It simply is what it is. And it describes many things other words cannot do.
On Martha's blog Albert wrote all the words we use for defecation. Shit is one of them. But to be in "deep shit" really is the best explanation of someone in deep trouble. Also shoveling shit or pissing in the wind is a good explanation for things.

People really have a hard time with the "F" word. Do you know it is "fornication under consent of the king" or "for unlawful carnal knowledge" as well as 4 other acronyms? I can understand people hate others using it as an adjective, a verb, a noun and as a way of shocking others. Overuse of ANY word gets annoying!

Who decided what words are swears anyway? It seems like we infuse too much energy into condemning words and not enough into understanding them.

Now if I bitch about something it seems to be ok, but if I am called a bitch, we get insulted. Sp perhaps it is the energy of the words use that is problematic? What happened to our mother telling us "sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me?"

Suck used to be an offensive word when I was younger, but now I hear how things suck all the time, especially by the younger people I teach. This instructor sucked. This weather sucks....

George Carlin had the 7 words you cannot say back in 1974 or so, that curled many peoples toes. His overuse of the F word has made many people feel uncomfortable, but not me. I think he is funny. But it is personal choice. The words he uses have no power over me. They are merely words, albeit society "dirty words"....

Love is a four letter word. What if someone decides one day it is profanity to say the word love? Who decides? Some people ARE uncomfortable with this L word. There are people who do not wish to ever utter it to another human being. It implies commitment, another dirty word to some.

Fear is also a four letter word. And we know people full of it, like others are full of shit. I would rather be full of shit than full of fear! How about you?

Here is an interesting spin on the F word by the Hindi mystic Osho: Warning: the F word is used here. But it explains a lot about the use of the world, done humorously!

Types of swearing

Steven Pinker's book The Stuff of Thought breaks profanity down into five categories:

* Dysphemistic swearing - Exact opposite of euphemism. Forces listener to think about negative matter. Using the wrong euphemism has a dysphemistic effect.
* Abusive swearing - for abuse or intimidation or insulting of others
* Idiomatic swearing - swearing without really referring to the matter.. just using the words to arouse interest, to show off, and express to peers that the setting is informal.
* Emphatic swearing - to emphasise something with swearing.
* Cathartic swearing - when something bad happens like coffee spilling, people curse. One evolutionary theory asserts it is meant to tell the audience that you're undergoing a negative emotion.

I think it incumbent upon us to remember we are the ones that give words their power. They are merely words after all. They do not choose us, we choose them. and we choose our reactions to them. That being said I think we need to think and choose wisely when in the presence of young children, old people, and those who do not understand or agree these words are nothing more than ways to describe things in a colorful and expressive manner.....

And that is my thought for the day!

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