16 Dec 2010

Warning: Contains the Word 'Vagina'.

If this post's title puzzles you, go read this article. If it doesn't, I'd still recommend you go read it. It was quite an eye opener for me.

As far as I can tell, the 'tricky words' situation is not nearly as bad here in Europe as it seems to be in the US, but it's good to be aware, and alert.

Some time ago, I wrote about the 'save the words' campaign. Wouldn't it be a shame if the word 'vagina' would become extinct and we'd be forced to use elaborate flowery descriptions instead?

I don't think 'vagina' is a particularly nice or beautiful word, but it's quite adequate for what it's supposed to do: describe a part of our bodies I for one wouldn't like to live without. And the reasons why it's considered a problem word annoy me.

Therefore, to do my bit (no pun intended), I now adopt 'vagina' as my second word, sibling to my other adoptee: 'buffoonery'. I hereby promise I will try to use it more often, in conversation as well as in writing. Providing it fits. No pun intended here either.

If we put in some effort, I'm sure we'll find that, like with most words, the word's connotations are flexible. Maybe we can even turn it into poetry. Almost a hundred years after Gertrude Stein's 'A Rose is a Rose is a Rose', we can write our 2010 tribute.

Say it with me: 'A Vagina is a Vagina is a Vagina.' You see? Easy. The word is becoming more beautiful as we speak.
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  1. Having studied midwifery I have encountered both the word and the bit (har dee har) quite often and it doesn't bother me in the slightest. Just like the 'C-word' in the UK I suppose, it always made me wonder why it was considered so much worse than any other swear word.

    I think the pun fits the bit very well! (No idea what that's supposed to mean either... What? It's 3 am here. And I am EDITING!)

  2. Yes, weird, isn't it? Still, if words wouldn't have connotations, writing wouldn't be much fun, or much of a challenge.

    This is also why I have a lot of respect for good romance writers or writers of other genres who write love / romance / sex scenes well. You inevitably run into vocabulary issues, looking for the balance between not naming or using terminology that is either too technical, too cheesy or too lyrical.


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