[Dixielandjazz] "The 'S' word".

Bill Gunter jazzboard at hotmail.com
Fri Feb 14 17:52:22 PST 2003

Hi listmates,

This may seem indelicate to some, but the definition of the word "shit" has 
been questioned.

Ben Fowlkes writes (regarding playing two or more songs at once with the 
result that it sounded like shit):

>Say, teach', I know what it smells like,and I have I idea what it feels 
>but sounds?  That escapes me.  Just how close to it do you have to get your
>ear to hear it?  . . . Inquiring minds wanna know.

If you really do have an enquiring mind I will take just a moment to address 
that question. In the interest of propriety I will refer to this particular 
word as "The 'S' word".

It is a noun - That looks like "The 'S' word"
It is a verb - Don't "The 'S' word" me, dude!
It is an adjective - What a "The 'S' word" head!
It is a gerund - Bull "The 'S' word"-ing the public is a political art.
It is expository - That's a bunch of "The 'S' word".
It is interrogative - No "The 'S' word"?
It is exclamatory - "The 'S' word"!!!

It is a simile for anything:

  That looks like "The 'S' word"
  That sounds like "The 'S' word"
  That feels like "The 'S' word"
  That seems like "The 'S' word"
  That tastes like "The 'S' word"
  That smells like "The 'S' word"

Basically, "The 'S' word" is one of the most useful and ubiquitous words in 
our vocabulary. This makes it extremely powerful, partly because of its 
basic excretory unpleasantness, but mainly because everyone in the world 
understands it and knows specifically what it means by the context in which 
it appears.

To do as Ben did, narrow the meaning of the word to the one concept of 
malodorous excretia, puts too narrow a definition on this otherwise 
versatile and expressive addition to our native language.

If I say something sounds like "The 'S' word" I'm sure Ben knows exactly 
what I mean and so do you!

Respectfully submitted,

Bill "No "The 'S' word" Gunter
jazzboard at hotmail.com

ps - and the above is just the short version.

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