Who gives a fart!

Well, apart from those with colostomy bags, I suspect that probably everyone during the course of an ordinary day lets loose at least one emission of “confidential information.” Yet, it comes as no breaking news that discussing it—let alone passing on that information in public—can be more taboo than ventilating any of George Carlin’s “heavy seven” cuss words?

This was not always the case. And Jonathan Swift (expressing himself under the nom de plume Fartinhando Puffindorst, Professor of Bumbast in the University of Cracow) cleared the air of this sonorous subject in his 1722 opus The Benefit of Farting Explained: or Fundamental Cause of the Distempers Incident to the Fair Sex (Proving, a posteriori, most of the disorders entailed on them are owing to flatulencies not seasonably vented). Meanwhile, the prominent Parliamentarian Whig and wit Charles James Fox tooted his own trumpet on the subject in his 1787 An Essay on Wind, in which he resonantly gushes, “Fart loud, I say, and never more be restrained by example, age, rank, or sex, for it is natural and laudable, wholesome and laughable, humorous and comfortable.” Continue reading

Sweary links #10

Before we get to the links, a brief public-service announcement: We’re pleased as fuck to have been nominated in Babla’s Top 100 Language Learning Blogs contest. That’s right: language learning. Because what’s the point of learning a language if you don’t learn the sweary stuff? You have till midnight (CET) June 14 to vote for us. Do it, dammit. You can vote using the button over on the right, which takes you to the Babla website. (Voting’s closed! And we did pretty fucking well!) While you’re there, check out the other categories–Language Professionals Blogs, Language Facebook, Language Twitter, and Language YouTube. You may want to vote for read some of those fuckers, too. Continue reading

Dirty wine

Wine brands, especially in the upstart, insecure New World, used to strain to sound serious and Frenchy-fancy. You had your Domains, your Clos, your Chateaus (“Pure Sonoma”!). Even five-dollar plonk could seem classy if it had a ridge or a mountain or a gate in its name. As James Thurber’s wine snob put it in the famous 1944 New Yorker cartoon, we may have been drinking naïve domestic Burgundy, but at least we could be amused by its presumption.

If Thurber were cartooning today, he’d change that last word to presumptuousness. Because inappropriate language—from vulgarity to suggestiveness to scatology—is the hottest trend in wine branding.

Here’s a survey of rude wine names, in alphabetical rude-word order. (And, since you asked, I know a bunch of rude beer brands, too. I’m sticking to wine this time.) Continue reading

On the trustworthiness of farts

TrustFart

As four-letter F-words go, fart is pretty tame. That in itself is remarkable, considering how closely related farting is to shitting. Surely life is full of phenomena both offensive and ephemeral for which fart (or a dysphemism thereof) would make an excellent metaphor, don’t you think? Continue reading