*to my aunts, grandparents, parents, and friends, This isn’t the cleanest post. Please don’t take offence.*
As a server for the last 7 years, I have heard my fair share of “kitchen talk.” The boys back there harass each other, tell rude jokes, and use terrible language as though it were as necessary as breathing. Now, as a lover of language, I am not one to jump up and tell someone to watch their tongue. At the same time, if someone is using one word far too often I will tell them to read a dictionary.
Sometimes, even using the same word in a different language can make it sound so much better because it is foreign to our ears. My personal favourite is “Sharmuta.” It rolls off the tongue, can be spat out gloriously, and although it simply translates to “bitch” in Arabic it is pretty offensive. (Good thing my Jordanian friends only taught me how to say “Marhaba Sharmuta” – Hello Bitch. I’ll make friends fast over there.)
The word that gets used in the kitchen is always the F word. One guy, we call him Squid, says it more often than the others, and by that I mean that he literally uses it as every second or third word. The other night, I walked into the kitchen at the start of my shift and Squid cheerily said “Hello, Sarah! How are you?”
“I’m pretty good, thanks. How ’bout yourself? I replied.
He said “Oh I’m fucking awesome.”
Cue my rant.
“Without the cuss.” I told him. He looked a little taken aback as I continued. “You are awesome. The expletive isn’t necessary in this point, or maybe it is but I would never know because you over use that word. Its a great word! Use it with reason, though. There are so many other awesome words out there and you know them, but you only use one and it makes you appear unintelligent and annoying. Try holding that word in, save it for an amazing moment, a great story, or a big fight and you need to get your point across. You’ve given someone a piece of your mind and you use that word as an adjective for emphasis and then, my friend, That. Is. Fucking. Awesome.”
I smiled and he gave me a big grin and said “My mom says the same thing.” He went to his place on the line and the other two guys came over and just shook their heads at me with big smiles on their face. Its the same look I got when I was 14 and ranting at another kitchen guy and as he shook his head at me he said “You are crazy. Don’t ever change.”
I love words. I can’t retain a second language very well, though I am trying. Great words are great words and theres no way around that, but it is we who make and classify them as “dirty words” or “great words.”
Learn a new word in another language. Better yet, learn a new word in another language that is not translatable into your own. There are many more lists like this one. http://www.wordporm.com/11-untranslatable-words-didnt-know-existed/
Keep learning, World.
All my love,