August 01, 2003

Fuckin' History

Posted by shonk at 12:48 PM in Language | TrackBack

With all due apologies to Petya, I couldn't pass up re-posting this link. Apparently, since Larimer County can take pride in the fact that it doesn't smell like shit (as opposed to, say, Weld County, especially Greeley; no, really, just ask this girl or this one or anybody else in Colorado), its public defenders can instead fill legal briefs with the entire history of the word "fuck" (as opposed to, say, The History of Shit; leave it to a Frenchman to hypothesize shit as the basis of civilization). Needless to say, this is the first time I've ever seen the words "fuck", "Eminem" and "Supreme Court" all appear in the same document.

You'll be comforted to know that the defense attorney actually did a pretty good job of unearthing the history of the word, as indicated by this etymology and the Dictionary.Com definition (look for the "Word History" near the bottom). For those that enjoy reading etymologies of naughty words, you'll be disappointed that "shit" doesn't have nearly so interesting a history as "fuck"; it's pretty straightforward (as one might expect for a stolid, Anglo-Saxon word).

Speaking of fucking, is it really any surprise that the Catholic Church is still against homosexual marriage? Of course, that doesn't really have any effect on the priests, since they're not allowed to marry anyway. Seriously, though, I can't say as I understand the response. I mean, there's no way the Catholic Church could actually back down from their anti-homosexual stance without losing pretty much all their credibility in places like South America, which is one of their strongest areas (they're not the Episcopal Church, after all).

Not being Catholic, this sort of thing doesn't affect me in the slightest; I don't even necessarily believe in the institution of marriage, per se. Put it this way, whose business is it if you and another person decide you want to spend the rest of your lives together? The only organizations that really care now are the church and the state. Not being particularly religious myself, I'm not going to bother with the former and, for the life of me, I can't figure out why (other than a desire to control behavior) the latter should take any interest. Sure, marriage laws establish some defaults regarding dispersion of assets in the case of divorce, but such things are better handled by contracts, anyway (hence the reason pre-nups are such a good idea, especially for males and for either party in a marriage where incomes are radically asymmetrical). My point is, unless you are religious and the marriage sacrament is instrumental to your faith, legally getting married is rather superfluous (except for tax or immigration purposes). Some, of course, disagree.

On the other hand, there is a case to be made for avoiding the entire issue by just staying home and masturbating: you might live longer. Well, for guys anyway. For women, such behavior may actually increase their risk of getting breast cancer (as if that biological clock wasn't incentive enough). By pointing this out, I hope to do whatever small part I can to elucidate the sorts of subtle incentive structures that Ladder Theory utterly fails to take into account. Well, that and I wanted to make sure the words "fuck", "shit" "homosexual" and "masturbating" all made it into this post. After all, that's the way to draw in those hits from Google.

Now, isn't that the sort of useless but entertaining stuff you wish you could have learned in school?