The N-word, the Q-word, and the C-word

by Regis Boff

I have all these bad words in my head. They are causing problems.
A friend at a dinner party in front of people said she doesn’t want me to use the word “cunt” around her. Being me, I knew that this was now a question of her or me.
My mother dragged me into our basement and washed my mouth out with Ivory soap for saying “shit.” There were lots more bad words in the fifties than there are now.
We currently are replacing offensive words with letter warnings like the N-word, the Q-word, the C-word, etc. I have a long time N-word friend who once told me, “The thing about Americans is that they love to get into each other’s shit.” It stuck with me. It takes courage here to think.
When I listen to people, speaking to each other nowadays, it as though they are using laughter tracks as symbols of what they mean. Like we are far too stupid to “get” a joke. Or also, too frightened.
Nearly seventy years later, I still, even blindfolded, would know the taste of that brand of soap. Being hurt by stupid people is scary. They always have like-minded mob friends.
I don’t blame my mother. She just wanted me not to get scolded by the speech bullies of the time, one of which was God Himself.
It has become apparent that our children consider their work on language control finished and have migrated onto tearing down monuments. I suppose they figure we are up to impermissible things inside our minds. I am pretty sure the C-woman believes this to be a great idea.