Tim Ireland has started a campaign to end the use of “Cunt.”
Obviously, if your intention is to abuse/offend as many people as possible, ‘cunt’ can get you halfway home without difficulty, but if your intention is to abuse only one person (or a small group) where is the justice in any potential/widespread collateral damage just by using the wrong word?
I think this misses some of the nuance of cunt, some of the depth and character that this word can bring that no other can. If you really want to denigrate, really want to express your disdain then there really only is one word.
First of all there’s the visceral sensation of saying it, from the click at the back of your throat to the burst of spittle from your tongue bouncing of the roof of your mouth, it is a word which feels like an insult even before you know what it means.
It is also not just any other word, it has a heritage that few other words can match. It dates back centuries and has had an impact across all our towns and cities and great literary masterpieces.
Don’t believe me?
What ails you that you grumble thus and groan?
Is it because you’d have my cunt alone?
Why take it all, lo, have it every bit;
Peter! Beshrew you but you’re fond of it!
That’s Chaucer and The Wife of Bath’s Prologue from Canterbury Tales. Cunt is no ordinary swearword it is dirty word that your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-granddad knew and knew well.
There’s more of course. You might live there, you might think there’s nothing cunty about living on Grape Lane, but there is.
You see, Grape Lane hasn’t always been Grape Lane. It used to be Gropecunt Lane until the 16th Century PC brigade began changing the names. Place names used to reflect what happened there and Gropecunt Lane was where you went to grope cunt and procure yourself a prostitute.
That’s what makes it a good swear word, it has a weight of history about it. Survival isn’t easy when you’re a word. There’s always upstarts trying to take your place so it takes real class to survive, and cunt has class in abundance.
So when Anton Vowl says that Littlejohn isn’t a cunt he is right, the man is a cynical bastard. Cunt gets overused, people like Obo and DK cheapen it a little because it is a world with gravitas it should be used sparingly.
Cunt should be saved for special occasions. Like this:
Sometimes nothing else will do. Sometimes you need centuries success to ensure your message gets across. The Express and The Star and their owner the gay pornography Richard Desmond aren’t just scum, they’re cunts.