When cunts collide
July 8, 2010 6 Comments
Cunt is a word you’ll hardly have read on this blog in the last couple of months, and then it’s usually been because I’ve quoted dear inimitable Obo.
It is particularly interesting that a blogger in the ‘enemy camp’ has rallied the defence.
I think this misses some of the nuance of cunt, some of the depth and character that this word can bring that no other can. If you really want to denigrate, really want to express your disdain then there really only is one word.
First of all there’s the visceral sensation of saying it, from the click at the back of your throat to the burst of spittle from your tongue bouncing of the roof of your mouth, it is a word which feels like an insult even before you know what it means.
It is also not just any other word, it has a heritage that few other words can match. It dates back centuries and has had an impact across all our towns and cities and great literary masterpieces.
Don’t believe me?
What ails you that you grumble thus and groan?
Is it because you’d have my cunt alone?
Why take it all, lo, have it every bit;
Peter! Beshrew you but you’re fond of it!
That’s Chaucer and The Wife of Bath’s Prologue from Canterbury Tales. Cunt is no ordinary swearword it is dirty word that your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-granddad knew and knew well.
And if there isn’t even that payoff, what chance of persuading a 14 year old boy to read and digest Chaucer?