Thursday, February 17, 2011

Never Do Any Research

...using Urban Dictionary, at least.

The story: Today's post was going to be a quick "my confessions" category entry: "Instead of swearing when something goes wrong, I started to say "tssk." But now I saw the word "titch."" And that would have been that. More nonsensical than actually humorous or confessional, but they can't all be winners.

Then I looked up "titch" in the Urban Dictionary. For those unfamiliar, Urban Dictionary is an online dictionary specializing in pop culture slang. Each entry is user-contributed and first definition you see for a word is the one that is most often given a "thumbs up." So, conceptually, it's like Wikipedia with a rating function. In practice, what you get is a dictionary in which every entry means porn, or some variation thereof. As a cultural artifact and a collection of cultural artifacts, Urban Dictionary is fascinating in the way it utilizes the anonymity of the internet and the profane and socially unacceptable margins of language to form a database. As a tool I use, it makes me feel unclean.

The first definition of "titch" is "a small quantity or a "tisk-tisk" noise, which is fine. The next was ""a measuement; equivalent to the height of a tit/nipple." Now, I'm not sure what a measuement is, but if you're going to attempt to create a profanity substitute, saying "tit inch" in public is probably a step in the wrong direction. The next definition is worse: "little annoying person. especially a girl. Tiny + Bitch = Titch." I
1) I am vertically challenged myself, and have no business deriding others for a lack of upward growth.
2) I have, to my knowledge, never called anyone a bitch. All joking aside, it's not a very nice thing to call a person (and yes, there's a whole debate about why it should be derogatory for a human to be compared to an animal, and a gender debate on top of that, but it's all very long and very involved, and it's easier to just agree that it's not a very nice thing to call a person.) So to go from occasionally muttering "damn" under my breath to uttering the portmanteau of "tiny bitch" is once again a step in the wrong direction.

I need, clearly, a new swearword substitute. Maybe I should try that curseword on "Red Dwarf." What was it again? Smeg?
*A quick UD search later.*
Nope, not going to be using that. I need, clearly, to never use Urban Dictionary again.

Later Days.


Ryan said...

Just go the Fantastic Mr. Fox route and start replacing all your curse words with "cuss".

Starbuck said...

Join the fleet of Battlestar Galactica: "FRAK!"