Thursday, April 10, 2008

Does 'Profanity' offend?

What is the point of profanity? I suppose swearing has always been part of my life because its fairly common in both agricultural and sporting environments. I've never been a habitual offender myself, because my parents rarely swore, nor does Mrs D - so none of our children do. I've been trying to cut it out altogether since an unfortunate experience before the last Assembly Election, when I telephoned Brynle Williams in a state of high agitation, and let fly - not knowing that David Cameron and Cheryl Gillan were in his car and the 'open mike' was on. I've never been able to look Cheryl in the eye without a twinge of embarrassment ever since.

But profanity doesn't offend me either, though I've no time for public performers who use swearing as a form of humour. One of the best speeches I ever heard was by the great Welsh ex-captain and coach, Clive Rowlands, at a dinner in the Coal Exchange in Cardiff. The dinner was to honour the Pontypool Front Row, and he was following the great but 'colourful' Bobby Windsor, and a lot of other 'colour' as well. Clive brought the house down, without a single swear word in a brilliantly funny 30 minute speech. A very special man.

Anyway, this 'taking offence' at profanity is something of an issue in the village of Lunt, where a prospective Conservative councillor is trying to get the name changed, because vandals are changing one letter on the village signs. I wouldn't mind being in attendance when the Parish Council discuss this issue. It seems that the alternative name suggested is Launt. Well, I suggest they consider how French tourists would pronounce this if the resident vandal just added an apostrophe after the 'La'. This need to be aware of translation occurs to me because Mrs D tells me this particularly offensive word, when translated into Spanish is entirely inoffensive. She used to attend Spanish classes in Cardiff, and her tutor assured the rather shocked class that it was a rather endearing word that his respectable granny would use freely back home in Spain. I should also add for the benefit of all those of you who are travelling to South America, that the Spanish translation of the word 'wallet' means the same as the word causing such a problem in Lunt, and is even more offensive. It also occurs to me that its fortunate that Lunt is in Merseyside and not in Buckinghamshire. The Parish Council would be in an awful tiss.

6 comments:

Left Field said...

Talking of vandalised signs, it amused me a couple of years back when someone added two beautifully printed 'S's to the sign for the village of Pant.

My favourite though are the warning sign for cows near the Brecon Bypass. On the eastbound sign someone has done a speech bubble and the word "moo." On the westbound sign, I thought they had done the same, so I was tickled to see that it says "Quack". Bilingualism, I guess!

Unixman said...

I remember a chap -sadly long dead now - who was ordained but worked up at the Orthopaedic in Gobowen. He swore like a trooper but never ever blasphemed ....

Glyn Davies said...

Left Field - Something to do with BSE perhaps. A cow came to Wales, caught Mad Cow Disease and went home thinking it was a duck.

Unixman - and I know a farmer who's a serial curser, who became Chairman of his local Council. He represented his Council at an airshow and had to report back. He spoke for 5 minutes without a blemish but lost it at the death. The airshow ended with a 'loop the loop' manouvre which he described as two planes going around in a circles "up each other's ar**s. Laughter convulsion followed.

Anonymous said...

think of Lunt, wonder how the opposition is?

eric said...

the towns of Gimpie in australia is worth a visit and three cocks in breconshire is a cracking place.

Glyn Davies said...

Eric - I know Three Cocks well. It used to be represented on the Council by a renowned man of the cloth.