The English language is really quite fascinating.  It’s got a lot of stupid, arbitrary, ever-changing rules.  It’s also got lots of words that sound dirty that aren’t.  Got any to add?  Here’s just a partial list:

moist

exacerbate

rectify

penalize

masticate

angina

But my favorite non-dirty word of all?

Kumquat.

Book publishing giant Random House and children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson are under fire from all the conservative freaks who apparently don’t like the word “twat” and all that it implies. So, the great Dame has buckled to pressure and has changed the offending word to “twit” in her latest work, My Sister Jodie. You can read more about this story here.

Once again, they’re bitching about words. (May I refer you, once again, to the mighty Frank Zappa, from an earlier post?)

If I type the phrase, “I’m going to kick that girl right in the twit”, you know exactly what is implied by the word “twit”. So why not just say “twat”? If you drop a bowling ball and exclaim, “Oh jeezum crow, that freaking hurt!”, why not just say, “Jesus Christ, that fucking hurts like fucking hell and I think I just broke my goddamn foot!”?

Words are tools, that’s it. A means to an end. I don’t believe any one word is more holy or more sacred or more offensive or more potent than another. Do I go around at my place of work and swear like a sailor? No (maybe under my breath occasionally), only because I have been beaten down by the moral code of society and don’t have the balls to be like my uncle Roger, who would shake hands with anyone and say, “How the fuck are you?” He was just a really friendly guy who felt the same way about language as I do – that it’s not the words you need to worry about, it’s the intent. Like George Carlin said, don’t worry about the word “nigger” – worry about the racist asshole who’s using it. It’s like watching an R movie edited for prime time TV, and hearing Steven Segal kick the living shit out of his wiseguy victim, and hearing said victim scream a poorly dubbed-in “oh gosh!” Please. Don’t treat us like we’re brainless idiots (although there are innumerable such idiots all over the place).

I have not read Wilson’s new book, but she seems to be, by all accounts, a highly acclaimed, socially-conscious author, whose older works deal with issues that are of interest to preteens and teens – dating, peer pressure, teen pregnancy, etc. etc. Can we just let artists and writers be artists and writers, and do their part to help enlighten the rest of us heathens?

And don’t these over-protective fascist parents and scaredy-cat conservatives realize that all they are doing, by making a huge deal out of this, is promoting the offending material even further, and boosting sales?

It saddens me that Wilson “doesn’t want to offend her readers or her readers’ parents”, to quote the BBC article. Of course, Wilson was ultimately motivated by British grocery chain Asda‘s decision to not carry the edition with the word “twat”.

Come on, people – don’t be offended by the word “twat” – be offended by the censorship that threatens every single person who can form a sentence or a thought of their own.