31 March 2005

March

Whilst still on holiday on 1st and 2nd March, a few more swear words were muttered (partially audibly) whilst on the ski slopes. On these occasions I convinced myself that I would easily be able to remember the times and sentences said, when I got back to our apartment in the afternoon. In the past when I had similarly convinced myself that I’d remember, swear words have been forgotten. But on these two occasions I did remember.

I believe this is because I was on holiday and my brain was completely empty, with absolutely nothing else in it to remember. I was not doing any sort of work and these two small sentences were the only information I needed to retain. It made life quite simple.

Birthday Blues...

The 11th March was my 26th birthday. In the daytime I had been working at Nottingham Trent University and had given a 45-minute lecture about my work. After we left the college we headed straight for the pub. I had a glass of wine. Later in the evening I went on a trip to Derby and had a few more glasses of wine. Over the course of the evening three swear words cropped up, but each for very different reasons: one through pure anger, one slipped-in in conversation and the third was said as I was referring to a specific part of the male anatomy (more about this later).

I attempted to lodge the three words in my memory. It proved easy to remember the first two, because they happened just before and just after a specific Red Arrow bus trip to Derby, leaving at 19:00 and arriving at 19:35. The times of the swear words were recalled in relation to the bus timetable. The third swear word, which was said in conversation in the pub later in the evening after the majority of the consumed alcohol, was not so memorable. The next day neither the exact time, nor the exact sentence of this swear word could be recalled. I was very annoyed at myself as this could have been the perfect opportunity to trial the ‘voice memo’ device on my mobile phone. I had my phone on me and I could easily have used it to record what I’d said. I think that this incident will insure that I do remember to use the device in similar situations in the future.

The following day was Saturday and I felt a little worst for wear. I was determined to have a relaxing day and stay in bed. As I was lying there I kept thinking about the three swear words that I had said the night before. I felt compelled to get out of bed and write them in the notebook, before I forgot, but I was just too tired. In the end I had to wait until Sunday before I had the energy to record them.

Replacements...

In March I started to notice that I had begun to favour using replacement words that were not on the list of defined swear words. In particular the word ‘turd’ often cropped up in place of the previously frequently used ‘shit’.

Male Chickens...

I have been thinking about some of the defined swear words and their alternate meanings in different contexts. Some of the words on the list also refer to other things such as: parts of the male and female anatomy, a male chicken or the act of covering your salad with dressing. I am still debating whether or not these words should count as swears when said in these contexts…

I have also begun to think about words, which should be on the defined list which are not. ‘Dick’ is one that springs to mind. This word can be quite offensive when said directly to somebody’s face, but at the same time I can also be somebody’s name!

In April, I plan to continue thinking about making adjustments to the list of defined swear words. I am reluctant to do this on a whim, because if the new word fits in high-up the Subjective Hierarchical Order Of Offensiveness, then it means that the ratings (and levels of acceleration) of all of the words below it, will have to be altered. By the end of March a total of 73 swear words have already been said. Any change to the Subjective Hierarchical Order Of Offensiveness would result in many of these words having to be altered inside the virtual Swear Box in Flash.

Transport Troubles...

I spent 6 days from 20th – 25th March in London. I had predicted, from my previous experience of living in London, that this stay in the capital would result in a larger than average number of swear words being uttered. Sure enough, I found myself swearing more. Two of the recorded swears were aimed at vehicles of public transport (tubes and buses) which had pulled away, just as I was running to get on to them. I find this particularly irritating.

The Shortcut...

In mid March I made an exciting discovery. I was messing about with my mobile phone one day and accidentally pressed the small silver button on the outside of the phone, whilst it was open. As if by magic this button turned out to be a shortcut key to activate the ‘voice memo’ device. Whereas previously it would have taken some time to access the ‘voice memo’ using the Main menu then the Applications menu, now it only took a split second. This breakthrough is certainly going to make using the 'voice memo' function to record swear words a lot more simple and efficient.



At Long Last...

On 28th March I finally used the ‘voice memo’ device on my mobile phone to record a swear word for the first time. The swear word was said whilst I was walking into town with Jon. I didn’t have a bag, pen or paper with me. All I had was my purse and my mobile phone in either pocket. It seemed the perfect opportunity! I reached into my pocket, almost immediately after I had said the swear and grabbed my phone. I pressed the silver shortcut button that I had recently discovered and I spoke discreetly into the phone microphone. I listed the exact time then repeated the sentence I had just said, replacing the word ‘Arse’ with ‘A’ so as not to say the word again unnecessarily.

When I got back home later in the day, it proved very easy to listen to my recording and extract the information I required to add to my ongoing notebook and spreadsheet. I compared, what I remembered the swear sentence to be, with what I had recorded, just a minute after it happened - there was a discrepancy of one word. This is proof that my brain is unreliable and that using the mobile phone ‘voice memo’ device is surely the way forward for complete accuracy!

I enjoyed speaking and recording into the phone. In Jon’s company I felt a bit like a secret agent. He was confused and didn’t have a clue what I was up to. Having just watched Dr Who on TV the previous night, he had assumed I was communicating with aliens.

April Swear Diary >