Monday, April 14, 2008

How To Curse Properly

In honor of the Annual Bloodletting, aka Tax Day, I have have decided that, as a public service, I will teach you all how to curse properly.

But Palette, I hear you whinging, I already know how to curse. The potty words, they are second nature to me.

No, you don't. You may think you know how to curse, but in truth you and cursing are like two virgins fumbling in the back of car on prom night: you have a rough idea of how things should go, but you've never really gone all the way. Mark Twain once said, "Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer." If you haven't felt that relief then, in LOLcat parlance, ur doin it wrong.

Over the course of this week, I shall give instruction on how to Curse With Relief. We will start with simple, PG-13 words and work our way down into the mire of increasingly complex profanity.

Heed, listen, and learn.

Many people pronounce this as one syllable. Many people are wrong. This is in fact a multi-syllabic experience that can take several seconds to pronounce when done properly:


1. The first syllable should be short, harsh, and breathy, as if you were coughing or speaking the "ch" sound in chutzpah. Pay special attention to the pitch, as you should start high and rapidly fall at the end. If you manage to sound like you've just run a mile, so much the better.

2. Now that you're at a low point, shift from breathy exhalation to an alveolar trill, better known as "rolling your r's". You may if you wish adopt a slight accent for this; both Spanish and Scottish work well for this purpose, and I myself favor the latter. Either way, your voice should begin rising in both pitch and intensity, much as Ed MacMahon did with his "Heeeeeerrrrrrrre's Johnny!" introduction.

3. The final syllable should practically explode from your mouth as you over-enunciate the "puh" sound your lips make when forming a P. In fact, if you can eject spittle from your mouth whilst popping your P, you are indeed a curser of the highest order.

Tomorrow: Damn

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