When I was a teenager, I read Cyrano de Bergerac, and just fell in love with him because he was so clever. What specifically impressed me was the fact that he could develop such amazing insults. Today, it seems that people just cuss. But to Cyrano that wouldn’t be good enough. Oh no. He who could come up with 19 and more ways to insult his own nose surely would never stoop to simple cuss words. If he stubbed his toe, he would most likely exclaim, “What table hath now attacked my toe? Be firewood ye knave!” or something much more brilliant. Methinks something much more brilliant.
A friend of mine is giving up cussing for Lent (and taking the Lord’s name in vain), or attempting to as Lenten sacrifices aren’t always those things which are easy. But we continue on and take no fail, always progressing. She said a few lovely phrases: Let’s see, there was “OH SWEET FRIGGLE STICKS” and “fudge monkeys and butternuts” and “holy hellhounds in a handbasket.”
I myself, when I stub my toe or hurt myself in some such way, find that I like to yell out “Pain! Agony! Distress!” and when I am finished with said phrase, find I am in much less pain than when first I set out on my exclamatory journey.
Personally I’m a fan of no cussing because I find most of the cuss words out there make beautiful things ugly. Who we are, how we are designed, and how we love are given by God and sacred and lovely, and it saddens me to see them defiled even in speech. (I don’t have as much problem with calling ugly what is ugly such as poo.) For me, there is also something about using alternative phrasing that just seems to refresh the mind. When I use it, it is the difference between venting to heal, or complaining and staying in the problem. It uses my brain power. It increases my creativity, it expresses the frustration, and it helps to bring me out of the problem.
I understand not everyone sees or uses cussing this way. Hopefully you had a laugh. But whatever you are dealing with today, if it is a simple frustration, why not sillify it a little and see what it does for your mood?
May God bless your day. 🙂
CLICK HERE for the insults of Cyrano!