10.3.2020 – lalochezia!

lalochezia! emotional relief through indecent language

Somewhere in my reading, an author stated that if you wanted to limit your vocabulary to less than a dozen words or so, good ahead and use profanity. This kernel of wisdom of has been lurking around in my brain for as long as I can remember. At the same time there has been this line from the play “Inherit the Wind” walking hand in hand with the thought on vocabulary. The line is said by Henry Drummond. The play “Inherit the Wind” is based on the famous Scopes Trial over the teaching of Evolution in schools. The character of Henry Drummond is based on Clarence Darrow. In an aside, the real courthouse for the real trial that took place in the real town of Dayton, Tennessee is still in use.
I stopped in to see it and the Scopes Trial Museum once on a day trip to Knoxville.
Though I had to enter the building through a metal detector it was easy to feel the history in the 2nd floor courtroom.
BUT I DIGRESS. In the play Henry Drummond is cautioned by the Judge for swearing. Mr. Drummond responds, “I don’t swear just for the hell of it. Language is a poor enough means of communication. I think we should use all the words we’ve got. Besides, there are damn few words that anybody understands.” Aside from vocabulary, do not under estimate the importance of lalochezia. Lalochezia is the emotional relief through indecent language. Swearing. Cuss words. Lalochezia. I just ran across the word this morning. I was reading the story about a new book by Susie Dent. The book is a collection of word history essays that the publisher said is a brilliant linguistic almanac. Unfortunately in this age of publishing ease, the book was rushed to print and and the wrong file was used. The file used was an uncorrected proof. And the book was released with numerous typos. Ms. Dent says she can now attest to the power of ‘lalochezia’. And the title of the book? What else could it have been but Word Perfect. To quote Mark Twain, “When angry count four; when very angry, swear.”

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