Toilet Humor (Part Two)

You ready for this?

Language can tell you a lot about the people that speak it, and something struck me about the aforementioned exchange I told you about yesterday.

In the current incarnation of the English language, you have four basic options to refer to the more common bodily functions by:

1.  Euphemism – phrases like “going to the bathroom” (where presumably you shall just “powder your nose” perhaps), or “seeing a man about a horse,” or if you’re on the other side of the pond, “going to spend a penny.”

2.  Baby Talk – words like “pee” or “pee pee,” because some functions are too important to NOT be able to talk to a young child about them, but I personally find it jarring to hear those words coming from the mouth of an adult in the absence of children (which is why I decided to get snarky when I overheard the word being used).

3.  Clinical Talk – While a doctor may legitimately ask you to “urinate” in a cup, and teachers may talk about “urine” and “urination,” I’ve YET to have someone excuse themselves from the table claiming they have to “urinate,” even if that is precisely what they have to do.

4.  Vulgarity – While the word “piss” is at least in sight of the rough PG-13 guideline I tend to follow when I write, it’s not a word considered polite to say in front your priest during your wedding vows, for instance.  But if I wished to discuss “defecation” (to use the clinical), I couldn’t refer to the some words in this category at all under those guidelines.

So in other words, there is NO polite, common parlance, adult, DIRECT word in all of the polyglot of the English language to discuss the subject of “going number one.”

Take a moment and think about just how weird that is.


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