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Jesus Wept!

July 19, 2008

Use as an expletive

In some places in the western English-speaking world, including the UK, Ireland (particularly Dublin) and Australia, the phrase “Jesus wept” is a common expletive, curse or minced oath spoken when something goes wrong or to express mild incredulity.

This usage is evidenced in films and TV programmes including Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Razorback (1984), Hellraiser (1987), The Stand (1994), Dogma (1999) and Notes on a Scandal (2006).

Ah, someone needs to add to the wiki article, because the phrase “Jesus Wept” was also used as an expletive in Cranford (2007). I almost choked on my tea when Dr. Marshland, physically stuck between two Cranford women at a Christmas gathering whispered it under his breath as a self-pitying acknowledgement of his predicament. He had assumed a party with Cranford women would prove more fruitful. He had yet to meet any Cranford women however. In other words, he thought he would have the advantage, the pick of the litter, the rooster in the hen house, etc. Such is life Dr. Marshland. LOL!

Anyway, movie phraseology do rub off on people because I swear I blurted out Jesus Wept just about twenty minutes ago when I read, once again, the word lampoon in someone’s blog entry. I guess blog phraseology influences many in the same way as movies do me. Every week there is a word that makes the rounds, not just in blogs but in print as well. I should start recording my findings. Jill Lepore uses it in her article, “The Lion and the Mouse.” Incidentally, her article is in the same addition of The New Yorker that prompted all these bloggers to write the word lampoon this past week. Is it too much to expect the use of a thesaurus? It is not even a pretty sounding word. It is ugly, hard, corny, and cartoonish. I think of Herman Melville, someone whose writings make me want to strangle a page. I could say lampoon is stilted but not quite, it is the opposite of stilted but not a true opposite but a forced opposite, a stilted layman perhaps.

Ugh, please, I hope I don’t have to read it in such volume for a long time. Make it go away. Oh and I can criticise because for every insult I have suffered due to my grammar I am owed a retaliation, and I prefer to set my aim at criminalising discouraging collective word regurgitation.

2 Comments
  1. lost clown permalink
    July 19, 2008 7:02 pm

    Lampoon always reminds me of those ridiculous movies and hence will forever be connected with idiocy and stupidity. I really can’t use the word, ever.

  2. Anna permalink
    July 21, 2008 3:36 pm

    “collective word regurgitation”

    Ha! That’s good!

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