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Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Language Note 

I was talking to someone the other day who evinced surprise at hearing some important yet ineffectual person described as a “douchebag”, seemingly without having done much to deserve it. I thought about this for a bit.

I was raised in a rather strict household, so it always shocks me a little to hear someone say “douchebag”, when they really mean “asshole”. It seems very sloppy and I can't begin to understand it. In this case, the man in question was harmless, but incapable of doing the sort of good that his position would seem to demand, and strangely unconcerned about this failing. So although he hadn't done real damage, he was nevertheless preventing others from doing any good. Therefore “douchebag” is correct.



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