The most breathtaking insult I have ever come across…


A while ago I decided that I wanted to learn a new word every day. I even subscribed to A.Word.A.Day

It may sound lame to some people (like, really Delta get a life!) but we all have our quirks and mine is that I love words.

I especially love new words (by ‘new’ I mean words I haven’t come across before). New words are stimulating as far as I’m concerned.

So I found myself salivating when I stumbled upon the word: bloviate

I immediately looked up its meaning (although I had a general idea picked up from the context in which it had been used) and some of the definitions were as follows:

blo·vi·ate/ˈblōvēˌāt/
Verb:
Talk at length, esp. in an inflated or empty way
– is a style of empty, pompous, political speech
– to speak pompously
– to speak or write verbosely and windily
There are more; you can look them up if you’re interested but for the purposes of getting to the point (i.e the insult) I’ll end here.

Excited about this latest ‘find’ (words have that effect on me!); I read through several articles online until I came across American writer, H. L. Mencken’s description of someone he considered to be a bloviator i.e President Warren G. Harding.

The description is sooo insulting but elegantly put that I thought it merited a blog post of this nature. But first, a picture of the alleged bloviator to ‘set the mood’…

President G Warren Harding, 29th President of the United States (In office March 4, 1921 – August 2, 1923); preceded by Woodrow Wilson & succeeded by Calvin Coolidge

Now that you have all taken a good look at him; I can now share H. L. Mencken’s view of this President:

He writes the worst English that I have ever encountered. It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash.

I know insults should not be celebrated but for someone like me (who has this thing about words)… that sentence is one of the most elegantly constructed ‘put-downs’ I have ever come across. My only regret is that I can’t seem to get any sample of President Harding’s writing or speeches so that I formulate my own opinion on the matter.

Nevertheless, for fear of being accused of bloviating (I just had to use the word!) I will leave you to either enjoy this paragraph as much as I did or shake your head wondering whether the air in Britain disagrees with my mental faculties!

Happy New Year folks!

When we were virgins…


I have neglected the blog for a while and I apologize for so abrupt a departure without even the courtesy of an explanation. And my return to my cyber-home should be announced by a thought-provoking, scintillating and intellectually titillating piece (I think) but I will do no such thing. Instead, I just want to take a step back from the intensity of thought and poke some fun at life, my self and the naivety of youth. I am one of those people who suffer from the affliction of learning best by viewing life through the lens of hindsight…

When we were virgins, we were curious about sex; particularly confounded by how such a small ‘hole’ could possibly fit that big swollen thing?

And it never made sense how such an ugly looking ‘thing’ (seen from the awkward squint of a strategically angled mirror) could have such a mesmerizing effect on men in the first place?

When we were virgins, we were curious about sex; about what it felt like to do ‘it’ and how there could possibly be anything comfortable about having someone lie on top of you for any length of time?

When we were virgins, we hastily washed our private parts making sure that our fingers did not unnecessarily linger to explore those inconspicuous folds of skin.

We did wonder why they were stashed so surreptitiously between our legs that they could not be clearly viewed – cementing the feeling of shame that was associated with owning that sort of genitalia.

...who controls who?

When we were virgins we did not know that men could summon tears at a whim, cry out in exaggerated agony over an erection while insisting the pain of arousal was so excruciating that we had to ‘relieve’ them because we had been the cause of their discomfiture.

When we were virgins, we knew a lot about sex… gladly brandishing our hand-me-down; second-hand information like treasure troves only to find that the reality distorted these embroidered tales of sexual narratives.

When we were virgins, we envied those who’d gone ‘all the way’ – who bragged about mysterious aches and pains; about the intoxicating feeling of power they derived from refusing with ‘it’ only to surrender ‘it’.

When we were virgins we marveled at the tales of those who were ‘experienced’; who spoke of watching the egos of men ostensibly breakdown begging for ‘just a taste’ of their hidden treasures – never knowing it was all just a ploy to turn their hymens into spoils of sexual conquest.

When we were virgins we thought we’d wait until marriage; give to our husbands what we’d give to no other but the noble resolves often succumbed to the unparalleled powers of male persuasion employed by those who seemed to inevitably know the ‘right’ thing to say – the promise of a ring being to us the guarantee of it.

When we were virgins, we sometimes felt burdened by the status but we were raised to regard it as an incomparable privilege; even though it was like having a constant mark on our backs making us seem like targets for every testosterone-filled male that sensed ‘prey’ and moved in for the kill.

When we lost our virginity – for the wrong reasons or for the right ones – we crossed the Rubicon; becoming women without knowing what we were getting ourselves into and trading the innocence of girlhood for the turbulence of adulthood.

We were virgins once… and free (or did we just have the illusion of liberty?)

Writer’s Note: I don’t really know what triggered this post – perhaps the self-deprecatory humor I entertain whenever I see my youthful naivety reflected in the untainted countenances of my young sisters or perhaps it’s provoked by the sadness of knowing we can never spare our little sisters the pain of being deceived, lied to, used and eventually discovering the disillusionment we call womanhood (or has cynicism gotten the better of me?)