Re: "Modern life seems lacking in rectal fortitude", Letters, July 15.
I must thank John Shepherd for solving a problem that has long obsessed my tiny brain. That is the puzzle of how to designate, in socially acceptable language, those individuals who are regarded as embodiments (metaphorically speaking) of the anal aperture. With the term “a**hole,” John has solved the problem.
But hold! That will do for written language, but how about spoken? How do we pronounce those two asterisks? Salvation is at hand, for I recently heard a commentator on TV use the term “a-hole” (pronounced “ay-hole”). This provides an all-purpose solution that can be used in both speaking and writing.
John’s observation that the a-hole population has exploded out of control reflects an insight of my own. Indeed, after considerable thought, and long study of trends both in Thailand and the US, I have formulated Ped’s Law (Ped being my nickname): “Democracy doesn’t work if you’ve got too many a-holes.”
In this instance, the US trumps Thailand, because we’ve got more of them. As in Thailand, many of them occupy high positions.
Ye Olde Pedant