Friday, March 22, 2002

"Let's go". I've always wanted to begin a sentence with the urgent, finger - snapping image those two words together create. I remember it from my Martin Amis phase and recall it was the first sentence in his book Dead Babies. Actually I've just checked and have discovered it is not the first sentence - more a sub-heading for the first chapter. Perhaps more importantly, I think I have just created my first link following my less than successful efforts yesterday. I will not labour the point nor will I try another until I know whether it works!

I haven't read a Martin Amis novel for a while though I have them all on my bookshelf. His style is probably susceptible to phase reading. His words and phrases are perfect to graft onto any smart lad's vocab in the college bar - learned wisecrackery and sparky inventiveness with the total acceptance that the foulest of tongues don't neutralise the sense of cool. But once out of that milieu it's much harder to impress the wife and kids with it.

I wonder why bad language is considered bad. Who or what determines the formal/formal-social unacceptability of for example, the F word. This is a single syllable verb which could be used with greater ease, accuracy and simplicity to describe a natural sexual act than any of its long-winded euphemisms, most of which demand two or three words to describe the same thing. Concision surely must be embraced over verbosity (he says ramblingly).

The problem seems to be that offensiveness has been invested into it and as such its utterance is a taboo. Like all taboos such as acts of crime, theft, assault or worse, it should be shunned by right thinking society. Civilised socities need taboos and language is part of civilised society, therefore certain acts and words must be considered wrong. Consequently the word is adopted as a blaspheme and impolite discourse filler. If it wasn't the word Fuck or one of its scandalous companions which refer to human anatomy or wastage there would be other taboo words in their place. I suppose as there is a line between acceptable and non acceptable practice, likewise with language.


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