Sweet Lebanon Bologna!

David Woods laments euphemisms in the Broad Street Review. I and others write in, wailing. My teeth-gnashing:

This reminds of the “minced oaths” that parents once warned against: golly, gosh, and jeepers creepers all being veiled floutings of the Third Commandment. Although they’re euphemisms, they’re not vulgarities, but along with guarding against offense, they advertise thoughtlessness— which, to me, is the primary problem with euphemism.

Thinking stops when cursing starts. The f-word is the spoken equivalent of the note one hands to the teacher that reads, “The dog ate my homework.”

Mark Twain wrote somewhere that an author can quickly improve by substituting “damn” for each “very” in the submitted text. The editor would then delete every “damn,” and voila.

But a friend hit upon a delicious oath that I’m trying to popularize. He was driving west, in Amish country, saw a billboard, and exclaimed, “Sweet Lebanon Bologna!” It works in so many situations.


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