© Santosh Subramanian – Some rights reserved - Under Creative Commons

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dysphemism, Cacophemism & Swearing

What happens when somebody swears at you? From the time it hits your ears, through the message getting transmitted to your brain, the brain deciphering them and you understanding the message, the message getting registered in the encyclopedia called your memory; working like a neural network, continously assimilating information and learning from the day to day activities...

Pretty interesting thought - right? Well, I had somebody swear at me very badly (for what ever reasons that I dont want to mention here) that it would be my last {something} before I die. WOW! What if people had such powers like the old saints in the epics of the Indian civilization - that somebody could turn somebody into a rock, or a buffalo or whatever according to their whims & fancies.

I was initially angered, then pained and then saddened by what I heard and I thought that 'time', the super healer would take away that from my mind. But wait! There is a new emotion that started to play after this incident. The emotion called fear. An unprecedented fear have started gripping me in every activity that I do. I had never felt such a fear based on swearings before (Now, dont start thinking that I am so bad so that people are continously swearing at me... LOL - just being candid) like I felt this time.

I had had a very close brush with death in the year 2003 which was a rude awakening for me. I learned that all it takes is just a few seconds... irrespective of what ever fort or career or money or muscle power that you have built up in life. And this is probably the first time I am being sweared at - after that incident. It kind of makes me feel how vulnerable I am - when it comes to matters like my need to live, the need to support my family, the need to support my kid until she gets on her own feet... I realize that I am not able to drive confidently and every other minute I think of a truck coming crushing on to me. I don't feel confident of getting into the pool or the beach - though I am a decent swimmer... I don't even feel comfortable walking on the foot path!

It is a psychology thing - I understand; and may be the more amount of the perpetual healer (time) will get me out of this... In my mother tongue (
Malayalam) we say something like "Aram pattunna vaaku (അറം പറ്റുന്ന വാക്ക്)" and I used to brush off that out saying that it is just a 'mind thing'. And 'just a mind thing' can create so much of imbalance in a person's day to day life affecting everything in his/her life.

Words are very powerful - handle them with care.

A few research on wiki on
Swearing took me to the following words - Dysphemism and Cacophemism - hence the title


Chitra said...

Hi santhosh,

It's a nice post. Indeed mind plays a very big role in our well being. I think we let our mind control our body and emotions very easily where we need to be taking control of our mind :)

Santosh said...

Thank you Chitra - for stopping by.
Yes, things that are very easily preached aren't very simple when it come to us personally