RE: RARA-AVIS: words you now can say on TV, at least on cable

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 06 May 2004

Many years ago, around 1970, the great Spanish novelist Camilo Jos頃ela wrote a "Diccionario secreto", which contains a large number of words that Spanish dictionaries
(back then, especially) omitted. It's still in print and still worth reading. In the excellent introduction, he wonders why the *word* is such a big deal while the thing
(or activity) is mundane and in many cases pleasurable. This leads him directly to conclude that "there are no real synonyms".

The sad thing about the overuse of fuck and similar terms is that they lose their force. A good writer or speaker doesn't want to squander or debilitate words.

I still haven't found an explanation of the "taboo word vs. mundane thing" paradox or why euphemism is OK even though it denotes the same thing. I recall reading some French references on the subject, but my memory is vague and I wasn't convinced back then.

Best regards,


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