Re: “Trump branded a racist after his ‘shithole countries’ slur”, World, January 15.
How refreshing to learn that the s-word, together with all its compounds and variations, has finally been liberated from the politically correct shackles that once confined it!
Hitherto, wordsmiths seeking to use it were forced by sternly puritanical editors either to euphemise it (as “excreta” “faeces”, “waste matter”, or “poo”) or to abbreviate it (as “sh*t”, “s—t”, or even “s---”). Now, thanks to the prestige conferred upon it by presidential usage, it has emerged from the stygian darkness of universal opprobrium into the clear light of respectability. We see it blazoned in The Nation’s headlines and hear it falling from the chaste lips of CNN’s talking heads.
Now if we could only do something to liberate the much-maligned f-word! I have long advocated softening its robust bluntness by substituting what I believe must be the French spelling: “phuque”, as in the expression “phuquez vous”. But this, like most of my linguistic innovations, has always been rejected by a callous and unfeeling world.
Ye Olde Pedant