First introductory sentences are my Achilles Heel. I loathe them much like politicians hate being accountable for their words. Now that the first two are out of the way, conveniently sneaking “words” in at the end for a blatant segue opportunity, we can get to the whole title thingy. Where other blogs of mine in the past died in obscurity thanks to a lack of focus, and therefore a lack of sustained interest on my part, this one is dedicated to abusing the English language the right way… and maybe the art of the crafted insult.
Let be stated here, once and for all, that I recognize that I will piss off as many people as I cause to piss themselves from laughter. If you find yourself in the latter category, I offer this one-time apology: I’m sorry for your inadvertent incontinence and the clean-up. If you find yourself in the former category… well, I offer this advice (as I won’t be listening): direct your concerns to someone who is interested in coddling small minds.
There might be section-break pictures in later editions. Haven’t decided yet.
I’m not looking to be the last bastion of linguistic standards, because capricious flouting of the “rules” can sometimes be more effective than eloquence. No, as a man who has the tendency to use “fuck” like a comma, I’m better suited to going on offense. Verb(al) Abuse is about weaponizing words. From my skewed perspective, as touted by grammas across history, it’s not what you say– it’s how you say it.
Which is of these pairs has a better chance to stick in your mind longer than five minutes?
- I told my boss to fuck off.
- I told my boss to eat a bag of dicks and choke on the last one.
- Today is not my day!
- If it weren’t for today’s relentless pounding, I wouldn’t have a sex life.
- How stupid are you?
- Your family tree looks like a telephone pole, doesn’t it?
For me, it comes down to strategic leveraging of the relationship between denotation and connotation. You might understand my point, but I’ll illustrate it for the learners. I’m taking a general example here, and it’s meant to be basic (and yes, I realize that it isn’t perfect, just go with it)… “Walking” is just that. Yes, it is an action, and actions are important. Besides telling the reader that they walked, big deal, nothing else comes to mind.
Along those lines, when you’re writing dialogue, “said” falls in the same category. Yes, it has a purpose, but it doesn’t do anything else aside from stating a basic action. The words are flat, like Ozzy Osbourne when he’s not shitfaced. They don’t carry any implied meaning, no inflection, not a single fucking bit of extra oomph. It’s what I call a pacing word– but I’ll get to that idea someday in the future.
Instead of blowing white space with words that are even less interesting than a blank page, choose words that convey more than a definition. If you’re going to say something, and by fuck if you’re intending to write something, don’t waste your energy being boring.
So yeah. Welcome to Verb(al) Abuse; I’ll be the sardonic narrator sticking his grubby fingers in your think-jelly. With any luck, someone might sprain a neuron or six.