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Hqiz and Mogg

Exodus 20:7 - Don't use the name of the Lord in vain. OK, I do my best on that one. Sometimes I slip. Especially when something jumps out at me in the dark.

Matt. 5:37 - Don't swear by anything in the heavens or the earth, but say what you mean - "yes", "no". OK, I'm pretty good on that one. My intention is to say what I mean, and do what I say.

But, like unsalted meat, or one of those never-sufficiently-to-be-accursed puffed rice cakes, language without color is flat and tasteless. So when one comes nigh unto breaking a toe, or whanging one's thumb with a hammer, or any number of other tear-jerking vicissitudes of life happens to happen, what does a weak soul, struggling to live in True Choice and act like a Compassionate Samurai, do for comfort?

In the heat of the moment, as one's thumbnail turns an angry red and black, and one's vision clouds with coruscating sparks of high-voltage energy, it's hard to talk like O. Henry or Eudora Welty. These people, among many, many others knew how to use language that fills the mouth and the soul at the same time. Thus far, I have found few things that are as satisfying as calling upon The Man Whose Middle Initial is Reputedly "H". But having been asked by Him not to do so, I've been constrained to look for other alternatives.

Enter Mogg, a fictional deity inspired by two comic strips by Bill Redfern and the late Paul S. Gibbs (Haul Trek, later morphing into Freighter Tails). The God of a race of felines with so many relatives and so many parts that one can never run out of things to swear by, and not lose a moment of sleep worrying that one might get smitten. By Mogg's tufted tail, by his diamond-tipped claws (with a tip of the hat to E.E. Smith's Klono), by the holy skull of his grandmother, and by the silken breast of his mother, finally I have things to say when words fail me and/or I wax less than poetic.

When a single word is all that's needed, "Hqiz" (pronounced /hqɪz/, with that voiceless uvular plosive in there) does very nicely, and like other Anglo-Saxon lexemes can function as multiple parts of speech. I've tried many other substitutes for an echoing, resounding scatological reference, but most of them have failed me. So this one is mine, and mine alone (Google it - mine is the only semantically significant hit) - thus it works. I can use it freely, and nobody is offended. Unless they have a filthy mind, for which I'm not responsible. In which case, by the fuzzy ears of Mogg's sister, they can shut the Hqiz up.


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Jun. 30th, 2009 09:24 am (UTC)
holy Mogg :O
Jun. 30th, 2009 11:36 am (UTC)
oh electric fence, why must you weaken me so! I beg forgiveness of the universe for my temporary Tourettes Syndrome!
Jun. 30th, 2009 02:58 pm (UTC)
Jun. 30th, 2009 03:16 pm (UTC)
Incidentally, for years I've known a teen with Tourette's who never swears. His religiosity probably helps.
Jun. 30th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
I was of the understanding that Tourettes doesn't always manifest itself in swearing, but can manifest in tics or obsessive repetitive behaviour.
Of course I could be wrong.
Jun. 30th, 2009 06:12 pm (UTC)
That's correct. I'm just concerned that less knowledgeable people think of Tourette's as all about random swearing, as shown on TV.
Jun. 30th, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
Aye, but you're not. I knew a lovely lady in Hall in Tirol who suffered from same, and a sweeter person you would not care to meet. But she had more tics than a West Virginia farm...
Jun. 30th, 2009 10:39 pm (UTC)
One has a watch for tics.....(sorry, wind up!)
Jun. 30th, 2009 02:02 pm (UTC)
I keep catching myself blowing this commandment completely away on numerous occasions. I can say that at least I immediately catch what I am doing (And usually ask forgiveness after the moment is past) which is a lot better as when I used to just #&$%^& away and not even bat an eye.

I am still helpless to stop. Which is a crock because I have the control to not swear in polite company, so I am not helpless in reality. Just one of those annoying things.

I am a lot better though then I was. That blessing I can say with certainty.
Jun. 30th, 2009 02:57 pm (UTC)
> I am a lot better though then I was. That blessing I can say with certainty.

You'n'me both, bro. I fell into some seriously rotten ways from a ridiculously young age, for a number of reasons - and it's been a thorn in my flesh for a long time. Keep on keeping on!

> I am not helpless in reality Good notice!
Jun. 30th, 2009 03:14 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I'm actually more shocked when someone uses a substitute for God's name, at least in sci-fi. "Oh, Ford" in Brave New World indicates an unfortunate shift in conventional worship. "Oh, space" in Foundation is just retro-future silliness.

I make a point not to take the Lord's name in vain anymore, but that leaves two of the most censored terms in modern America acceptable for provoked exclamations. I use those sparingly, but at least I feel no compulsion to repent if I say them privately.

"Don't swear by anything in the heavens or the earth"? Does that mean that "What the hell" is okay?
Jun. 30th, 2009 05:40 pm (UTC)
What the Heck? Hell not nice place want not to discover for detailed comparison.
Jun. 30th, 2009 09:02 pm (UTC)
If you're heard saying "Oh my Heck!" there's a high probability you're from Utah...

Note the sticker pasted on the book listed here, so that its sale within the "Pretty, Great State" might not take a hit. Robert Kirby and Pat Bagley are a Humorist/Cartoonist duo working for the Salt Lake Tribune, both of whom make a career of trying to get members of the dominant faith to lighten up and take themselves a bit less seriously.
Jun. 30th, 2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
Ever seen "What would Satan Do?" by Pat Byrnes?

Speaking of local sales hits...
Alen Coren had a book called "Golfing For Cats" a collection of Punch pieces....it had a supremely irrelevant swastika on the cover....
The Germans don't allow those....

Another great author (our Pterry) in "The Truth" I think had a character whose favourite sweary was -ing. Just that, *glottal stop*-ing.

Billy Connelly in earlier cruder times invented a few words... bassa was one... as in "aw look at the wee lil' bassa"
Jun. 30th, 2009 05:42 pm (UTC)
By the brazen balls of Uncle Poppem!
I tend to use By the beard of ***** ******** (one of my MDs long past, who had no beard and was actually a fairly standard MD for that corporation... about 50 - 60, square jawed, grey haired, be - wire framed spectacled, and probably with an abacus for a soul.
Suuun of a peeeeg does well.
"B*st*rd" "B*gg*r" and the Anglo Saxon of my rude forefathers serves more often than it shoud. My coworker doesn't like me using fowl language. Pecker.
Jun. 30th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)
Re: By the brazen balls of Uncle Poppem!
As the Sainted Milligan once said, it isn't piety that makes a gunner scream "J**** C*****!" when he drops a shell on his foot.

Interesting point though... Swearing is referred to as salty speech, or salting ones speech. And yet salt is a seasoning, valued and indeed used as wages (salarum? it is where salary comes from). Of course to salt ground excessively is to render it infertile.
One can pepper ones phrases with invective to spice 'em up....

There is money to be made in a kitty hire service, if in a fraightful bate, ring up 1-800-KITTEH and you get a mog to stroke for half an hour.
Jun. 30th, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC)
By the proscribed verb of Captain Corcoran!
Prof Higgins lets rip with DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN.....
There is always the Big Big D.... which one should never never use whatever the emergency...(Tho' "Bother IT" you may, occasionally say, you Never use a big big D)
Jun. 30th, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
Re: By the brazen balls of Uncle Poppem!
> There is money to be made in a kitty hire service, if in a fraightful bate, ring up 1-800-KITTEH and you get a mog to stroke for half an hour.

Beware! It's a government plot to save money...

Jun. 30th, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
Re: By the brazen balls of Uncle Poppem!
Had you stroked the matted belly hairs of the Late Lamented your blood pressure would have gone down too... occasioned by the multitude of leaks he would have put in the system
ZZZzzzzyock! Aieee!
Jul. 1st, 2009 01:07 am (UTC)
Re: By the brazen balls of Uncle Poppem!
Haha... he must have been related to Twee of blessed memory. I started giving blood at a tender age, I did.

Jun. 30th, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC)
Re: By the brazen balls of Uncle Poppem!
> abacus for a soul

That's a good one.

My ex could tell you my favorite expoStulatiOn without Batting an eye, which I am trying intend to expunge from my ideolect.

As mentioned previously, when I was younger the appellation "potty mouth", applied to me, would have been litotes. Brother Clemens wrote, speaking of a frustrated bluejay, "He just had strength enough to crawl up on to the comb and lean his back agin the chimbly, and then he collected his impressions and begun to free his mind. I see in a second that what I had mistook for profanity in the mines was only just the rudiments, as you may say."

I recall once when I was a teenager, I had gone skiing and found myself in trouble on a slope that I couldn't handle. I remember lying on the ground after my 179th fall, frustrated to tears and pouring forth a stream of (as Peter da Silva once said) "juicy and anatomically unlikely expletive(s) that would surprise an experienced rural veterinarian" - the people going by above me on a ski lift were not amused, and I find it amazing that I was not hunted down and shot by the ski patrol.

Women cry to keep from swearing, men swear to keep from crying

Ah weel, the Greeks knew it best: "Η γλώσσα κόκαλα δεν έχει και κόκαλα τσακίζει," and Lor' lumme if it ain't true...
Jun. 30th, 2009 10:33 pm (UTC)
Re: By the brazen balls of Uncle Poppem!
The Greeks as always kept it to themselves AS WE WILL KEEP THOSE BLASTED MARBLES!!! Sorry....
There's a Punch cartoon of a wee laddie who has a little cart pulled by a string, and the wheel of it has come off... he's bawling of course, and a solicitous gentleman says "Now now my little man you mustn't cry!"
"*sob**Sob* well, I must do sumpin' - and I b'aint old enough to swear!"

Ahhhh GROKK it!
Jul. 1st, 2009 01:16 am (UTC)
Re: By the brazen balls of Uncle Poppem!
Been listening to the ongoing row about the marbles on BBC... don't really know what's the right thing to do. In the end, it doesn't really matter as long as they are well-cared for and folks get to see them.
Jun. 30th, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
In truth, I do appreciate the use of creative exclamations using real words that aren't normally interjections. Today's "Pooch Cafe" has one, but more out-of-context randomness can be just as much fun.
Jun. 30th, 2009 08:20 pm (UTC)
Ha, that's a good one. I have been known to use "Great Caesar's Ghost" on occasion... it's fallen out of favor since Perry White morphed out of his 50's persona, but still satisfying on occasion. Others that have been useful at times:

  • Thunder and scissors!

  • By the sacred scrolls of Babylon!

Oh, yeah - and how can I forget "Holy Flapping Scrith!"

Edited at 2009-06-30 08:24 pm (UTC)
Jun. 30th, 2009 08:32 pm (UTC)
Your "Thunder and scissors" reminds me: A teacher of mine told about the time he asked an exchange student how to swear in Cambodian. Not wishing to say it aloud to a teacher, the student wrote the pronunciation instead. When asked what it meant, he shakily said, "It means... 'You are thunder and lightning!'"

The War of the Flowers offers some nice Fairyland oaths: "Shite and onions!" "Blood and iron!" "By the Trees!" Interestingly, if you mention anything from a human religion (as the protagonist found when swearing), it causes nearby fairies pain, even if they don't hear you.

Sometimes I want to use Harry Potter terms in exclamations. "Blast-ended Skrewts" seems particularly well-suited.
Jun. 30th, 2009 10:35 pm (UTC)
Shite and onions?
on a sesame seed bun....
I'm Lovin' It
Jun. 30th, 2009 10:44 pm (UTC)
Are you saying something about the quality of McDonald's beef? >:)
Jul. 1st, 2009 01:17 am (UTC)
Yas, I wondered about that recipe myself...

... - - - ...

... - - - ...

... - - - ...
Jun. 30th, 2009 10:22 pm (UTC)
I guess one of the "Good" things of my bad language practice, is I am able to have the By the Saints foul mouths, like the NCO's, and particularly Tannet, go off rather spectacularly. Of course nearly everyone Uses the "Saints Blood" which is not exactly polite dinner language.
Jun. 30th, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC)
Any worse than "'SBlood!" or "Gadzooks!"... both popular in their day, altho "A turd i' your teeth Sirrah" has fallen into disfavour.
Jul. 1st, 2009 01:09 am (UTC)
The Bard had a way with words. I love the random insult generators out there... Thou misbegotten hedge-born clotpole!

I remember losing it while watching "Shogun" when Rhys-Davies' character shouts at Anjin-san, "Thy tongue in the Devil's hqiz, Inglez!" and Chamberlain came back with "Thy mother was there first!"

Edited at 2009-07-01 01:12 am (UTC)
Sep. 30th, 2009 09:14 pm (UTC)
If sufficiently proficient in an obscure language--or just with access to the right sort of book or dictionary--many languages have scads of profanity. However, it does risk having some other speaker nearby being offended.
Sep. 30th, 2009 10:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Profanity
A very valid point. I've used Russian, German, French and Irish expletives on occasion, but one never knows who might be listening!


The Old Wolf

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