Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.

Name

E-mail

facebook Canyon News twitter Canyon News

Canyon News

Bel Air News

Beverly Hills News

Brentwood News

Hollywood Hills News

Laurel Canyon News

Los Angeles News

Los Feliz News

Malibu News

Melrose News

Pacific Palisades News

Santa Monica News

Sherman Oaks News

Studio City News

Topanga Canyon News

West Hollywood News

Westwood News

Woodland Hills

Celebrity News

State News

National News

World Headlines

Deaf News

Entertainment

Film

Television

Music

On the Industry

Star Gazing

St. John's Confidential File

Theatrical Musings

Life & Style

Event Listings

Tech Talk

Looking Good For Lots Less

Spirit & Creativity

Miller Time

Books

View from the Hill

NY WEST

Chrystal's Recipe Corner

Career and Life Coaching

Gardening With Tony

Life According To Lenson

Real Estate Realities

Food

Sports

Marathon Running

Keeping It Bruin: A Look Into UCLA Athletics

Baseball

Basketball

Football

Hockey

Pets

Vi's Corner

Pet Tips

Point of View

John Armor

Message to America

Critic At Large... Ruta Lee

Labor Week

Ramblings

10 Degrees Cooler

McConnors corner

Edge of the west

The Physics Wizard

Auto

Kyle's Kars

Travel

Susan Michelle's Compass

Advice

Ask Deanna

Dear Lily

Ask Oona

Features

Dancing with Earthquakes

Archives

Sports Schedules

Traveling Beyond the Canyon

Edge of the West

Law Man

Ask Us

Nathan Tabor

The Angry Economist

Truth Probe

As I See It

Columnists

Truth Conquers

The Live Wire

Notes from Exile

Letters to the Editor

Dog Training by Anthony

Canyon Mews

Speak!

Sponsors

America's Most Wanted Dogs

World Recipes

Vegetarian Lifestyle

Humor

News Briefs

Local News

Books

News

Canyon Fodder

Bad Movie Night

Critical Projection

Ed's on the Town

Fitness Quests

Flashback Films

Stories of the Strange

Gourmet Grandma

He Said/She Said

Home Matters with Yvonne

L.A. Etch-a-Sketch

L.A. Ruminations

McConnor's Corner

Mommy Minute

Musically Speaking

My Back Pages

Publisher's Pages

ResourceINK

Scene and Heard in L.A.

Silly...But Wise!

Sunset Diaries

Table Options

The Paws Cause

TV Stuff

Cartoon of the Week



As I See It

Say What?
Posted by Jill Chapin on Apr 23, 2006 - 5:20:00 PM

Have you ever noticed how our vocabulary has somewhat eroded over the years? Even as our dictionaries have grown larger with the addition of slang words that are now woven into our general vernacular, too many of us prefer to fall back on the time-worn basics in our language repertoire.

For instance, don't you find it remarkable that so many negative emotions are expressed so frequently and with such ease by simply calling forth the "f " word? That obscenity crosses over into most parts of speech, flowing freely from a noun, as in "You dumb f...," to an adjective, as in "you f...ing idiot," to a verb, as in "F... him." Actually, so many emotions are conveyed by so few expletives that it is remarkable how we can maintain the ability to differentiate among the subtle nuances in meaning when conversing with others. Or can we? Maybe we have lost a greater measure of understanding between each other than we realize.

Perhaps we are witnessing a decline in intellect and civility, and an increase in laziness. More likely it is a combination of all three, and they add up to a diminution of verbal repartee, especially when your emotions run from angry, insulted or hurt, to any number of unpleasant feelings. It's too bad, because the right phrasing of common polite words, arranged just so, can inflict a cut to the psyche that is not only dramatically more effective, but also far more entertaining. And the burst of laughter those words would evoke from your listening audience would go far in cooling off your temper.

For instance, the following are some authentic comebacks expressed by those who were, shall we say, not holding the warmest regards for the objects of their disaffection. See for yourself how unimaginative we have become, compared to our compatriots from the past.

F...ing idiot: Used to describe one who is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. But Winston Churchill, feeling the same way, opined: "A modest little person, with much to be modest about."

Or Walter Kerr who explained: "He had delusions of adequacy."

Forrest Tucker's is another gem: "He loves nature in spite of what it did to him."

Finally, Billy Wilder's is a delight: "He had Van Gogh's ear for music."

F... him: Used to describe intense feelings of dislike and an underlying need to exact vengeance. But how much more delicious would it be to offer Stephen Bishop's zinger: "I feel so miserable without you, it's almost like having you here." Or Irvin Cobb's: "I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial." Groucho Marx is another champion at displaying what seems to be fine etiquette at first glance: "I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."

It takes a little forethought and an acquired comfort level to be able to quickly rearrange familiar words to convey an utterly clever and profanity-free response. Can we begin to imagine how much more scintillating and electrifying our conversations would be if every other word was not simply a boring, grossly overused excuse for a retort?

So if you're ever in the mood sometime to playfully dis someone (I mean criticize or ridicule or denounce), file Oscar Wilde's line away for future use: "He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." You'll either be the life of the party or the brunt of one of Samuel Johnson's best lines: "He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others."



 

Cliffside Malibu

-------------------------

-------------------------

 

MANHATTAN BEACH

Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.