Skip to main content

There are fine lines these days between polite language, vulgar language, and politically incorrect language

Joe Maddon, the manager of the Cubs, was asked a while back what the Cubs' game plan for the season would be. "Try not to suck," he replied. The phrase became the theme of a T-shirt sold to benefit charity.

And the Cardinals- who have an aversion to the word "suck," not allowing T-shirts using the word into Busch Stadium even when they refer to cancer- promptly banned the shirts bearing the Maddon phrase as well, asking Cub fans wearing them to the recent series between the two teams to either remove them or turn them inside out.

On one hand, in today's culture, the word even when as a synonym for "behave or perform badly" is not considered vulgar. Maddon- perhaps tongue in cheek- claims not to even understand why anybody would consider it offensive. The reason, of course, is that the term achieved its meaning in the sense that Maddon used it as a synonym for fellatio. I find it a little hard to believe that Joe doesn't realize that.

But it's a sign of the times. "Friggin" is commonly used these days as if it were to a certain other word beginning with "F" as "darn" used to be to "damn," back when "damn" was considered bad language. Of course, it's not. It's a synonym for the other "F" word and in its original usage every bit as vulgar. But a great many people with limited vocabularies didn't know that and mistakenly took it for the equivalent of "Battle Star Galactica's" use of "fracking-" a word which people might understand to stand for a vulgarity without actually being vulgar itself. Popular culture working the way it does, it soon became in common usage exactly what people mistakenly took it as being in the first place. Nobody, even on network TV, bats an eyelash at a character saying "friggin" anymore. It's become an accepted party of polite discourse pretty much everywhere.

Interestingly, my spelling correction program even knows the word. I originally wrote "friggin'," which is, of course, the original form of the term, a contracted gerund. It responded by underlining the word in red and asking, "Did you mean friggin?"

On one hand, I deplore both the ignorance which leads to this sort lexicological mutation and the coarsening of the culture which makes the use of such words with their original meaning so common. And I can see the Cardinals' point. I suppose an additional reason for the team's special sensitivity to the term might be political correctness, seeing its pejorative use as an affront to the gay community. Actually, I suspect that is likely the real issue, which is sad in still another way.

But c'mon, Joe. I find it hard to believe that you're naive enough not to know where the term comes from.

HT: Yardbarker


Popular posts from this blog

McMullin, Kasich, Hickenlooper, Huntsman, or somebody else sane in 2020!

I don't expect to be disenfranchised in 2020. I'm looking forward to Evan McMullin running against President Trump and whatever left-wing extremist the Democrats nominate. McMullin may or may not run for the Senate next year, and he may or may not run for president as an independent again next time around, but the nation can't afford to lose its most eloquent and intelligent critic of the populist takeover of the Republican party and the Executive Branch. We need the man in public life.

But interesting alternatives have developed. Ohio Gov. John Kasich has been mentioned as a potential primary challenger for Mr. Trump. I hope somebody continues the fight for the soul of my former party, even though I believe it to be a lost cause. Entrepreneur Mark Cuban is reportedly also considering a challenge to Mr. Trump. While I tend to see him at this point as somewhere to the left of where a candidate I would feel comfortable supporting might be, I would wish him well. Still, I see…

A modest proposal for a shocking innovation which is completely within the rules but which would, if adopted, revolutionize college football

I call it defense.

The idea- crazy as it may sound- is to supplement the scoring of points by your offense with an attempt to stop the other team from scoring them. Yeah, I know.  Really "out there," isn't it? But it has a history of winning not only games but championships. Modern college teams should try it more.

I'm a bit bummed about the Rose Bowl outcome but amused by the score. It seems that certain conferences aren't sure whether they're playing college football or high school basketball! I've noticed that in the scores of Sooner games. Last season the nation's college teams set a record by scoring an average of slightly more than 30 points each per game. That's a lot. Historically, that's a REAL lot.

The final score of the Rose Bowl was 54-48, though to be fair that was in double overtime. But to get there, the teams had to be tied 45-45 at the end of regulation! Last year was even worse. Southern Cal beat Penn State 52-49- in regulat…

Reflections on the present and future of my Blackhawks

As this season from hell creeps to its close at an excruciating pace and makes all of us devote more of our attention to spring training for the Cubs than we otherwise might, there are calls for the heads of Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman and even the greatest coach in Blackhawks history, Joel Quenneville.

No general manager or coach could have made Marian Hossa and Corey Crawford healthy or prevented Toews and Keith and Saad from having the worst seasons of their careers or foreseen that a series of trades most of which made perfect sense at the time wouldn't pan out. The Hawks are one season removed from the second-best regular season in their history. This will be the first time in a decade that they haven't made the playoffs.

With the exception of the Pens, maybe the Kings and (for different reasons) the Golden Knights, every other team in the NHL would kill to have won three Stanley Cups in the past decade. In fact, only the Hawks, the Pens, the Kings, the Wings, and the Brui…