Exposure to the internet is something like that where, in the course of five minutes, you might have extreme information flash past. You do with it what you will.
Conversely, when the same word, phrase or idea comes into your ken from extremely diverse sources in mere minutes, you take note. Such happened to me in a ten minute period a couple of days ago. It was the word ‘cunt’.
This is a word I don’t use and, after a degree of thought, don’t think many (if any) of my characters use. Maybe someone once in five years. I never restrict my characters’ vocabulary.
However, there it appeared. Not only unusually, but from two unusual places.
The first place was in an article about the names of places in London. I might expect a bit of raunch here, but I was taken aback by Gropecunt Lane. Actually, that was a bit of a double whammy, as it is both action and noun. Yet, there it was, complete with provenance and description.
What is now an incredibly rude name for a street actually served a purpose when it first got its name. Even back in the Middle Ages, plenty of towns and cities had a red-light district, including London. The C word, of course, is a pretty offensive word used to describe female body parts. A name like this implied this was a part of town with many houses of ill-repute. Other towns with this name have since changed it to “Gropecount”, “Grapecount”, “Grape Lane”, and more.
Then within five minutes, as I was reading a sports site to find out why Lionel Messi, the great Barcelona soccer player, had received a four game suspension, I found out he is a bit of a potty mouth.
Enraged by a decision by an official, he said: “la concha de tu madre” which translates as “your mother’s cunt”.
The power of words.