8 August 2006
A linguistic Venturi effect, as it were
Sister Mary Discipline gave me the Evil Eye once for saying that something or other sucks. Forty years after the fact, Seth Stevenson jumps to my defense:
Sucks is the most concise, emphatic way we have to say something is no good. As a one-syllable intransitive verb, it offers superb economy. Granted, some things require more involved assessments (like, say, James Joyce: I find his early work unparalleled in its style and its evocation of emotion, while his later writing became willfully opaque in a manner that leaves me cold). But other things don't require this sort of elaboration (like, say, John Grisham: He sucks).
Besides, "sucks" fits in well with a vernacular that also allows for things that "blow" and "bite," though Bart Simpson, a reliable cultural observer over the past couple of decades, would be amazed were you to come up with something that simultaneously sucks and blows.
(Via In Theory.)
TrackBack: 10:09 PM, 8 August 2006
» SUCKING IT UP from Population Statistic
Three years ago, Dr. Ink pondered whether the expression “suck” could still be considered truly vulgar after three decades of casual use: In the words of the great political scholar and U.S. Senator Patrick Moynihan, “deviance”......[read more]