Haught Take: is the rudest word “cunt”?

I’ve just got on to the The Allusionist, the best words-related podcast I’ve found. I highly recommend it.
 
I decided to start from the beginning and the fourth episode from back at the start of 2015 is all about profanity. Host Helen Zaltzman takes a poll on what people think is the rudest word in the language and the winner by a long way is “cunt”.
 
It got me thinking about what I consider to be the most offensive item in the modern Australian lexicon.
Read the rest
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The Haught guide to end-of-year parties

Don't dance at work parties

This may be my last post of the year before Jesus turns 2017, so I thought I’d give you my tips on resurrection from death.

Only joking – that’s blasphemous and requires many more than 500-odd words to properly explain.

I’m actually going to give my advice on end-of-year work parties. I wrote down 16,000 during my lunch break – here are ten of the OK ones:… Read the rest

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How good words turn bad

buzzwords wasteland

The items that we now categorise as weasel words, wank language and corporate buzzwords weren’t always the indefensible, indecipherable brain-slop of desk-shackled keyboard tappers.

Almost every single one began as a word or term that didn’t make you want to chainsaw it alive and throw its corpse into an abandoned quarry.

Some were very good words: think of bespoke, curate and granular.

Some were not quite so pleasing to look at or say, but had delightful original meanings: think of journey, storytelling or kicking goals.

And some were fairly plain but serviceable: think of action (the noun), drive and disrupt

Each of them has succumbed. Action has become an entirely unnecessary verb. Journey, drive and disrupt have reached epidemic proportions and have lost almost all meaning to the point where “Let’s drive a disruption journey” would now be considered a perfectly legitimate (possibly an “innovative”) sentence in many offices. Storytelling is what a lot of people who can’t tell stories profess to do exceptionally well these days. Etc, etc. 

Yes, each of the has succumbed, but not in a single, fell swoop. Instead they have succumbed in a relatively lengthy process of bollocksification. It can take many forms, but it usually goes something like this:… Read the rest

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The Haught guide to burning career bridges

bison

I’m not afraid to admit that I’ve come to the end of my professional tether more than once in my time. I’ve reached the point where a steady income has seemed far less preferable to escaping a certain work environment – escaping out into a world of destitution where the blisters are extravagant, the hunger is hallucinogenic, but where the absence of corporate nerds telling me how “key” it is that my “deliverables” are “actioned” in a “timely manner” on a “go forward basis” is like a salve for my flayed soul.

Yes, several times I’ve approached the edge of the career abyss and thought, “Oo, that gaping void looks alluring.”

I’ve fantasised about its darkness. Its coolness. Its quietness. I’ve considered that there might be Bach playing approximately halfway down. I’ve conjectured that there is a fernery at the bottom.

What’s stopped me from stepping into the pleasant nothingness? The truth.… Read the rest

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ParentHaught: Lessons learnt from the University of Fatherhood

University of Fatherhood

Before I became a father, when people told me that parenthood was a great educator, I would scoff with the flamboyant malice of a reality dating show villain and walk out of the room.

Since our daughter was born, however, I’ve learnt some important lessons, one of the most vital being that suddenly leaving somebody alone in a room can make them very very upset to the point where they forget to breathe, leak saliva from the mouth and slam half a banana in your eye when you return and try to console them.

It turns out those I had ridiculed were right. Sorry to all of you reading this that I did scoff on.

Many of the things I’ve come to understand since becoming partly responsible for our little marshmallow addict are applicable outside the world of domesticity.

Here are just a few:… Read the rest

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“Knocking on grass” – a podcast about shyness

A podcast about shyness
A little while back a lovely woman from the ABC got in contact with me and said she’d been reading my blog. She asked if I’d like to submit something to the radio show she produced…

…preferably without quite as much of the foul language as usual.

I decided not to be a smart arse for once in my life and came up with this – about the person who hides behind Haught… and shyness:… Read the rest

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Is Mondayitis real?

Mondayitis.

Mondays. Unless you genuinely love your job, are a massive nerd or one of those evangelical Self-Motivators (“I will empower myself to start this week with AWESOME!”), Mondays can be troublesome.

But is Mondayitis an actual, serious psychophysiological illness or just a throwaway malady akin to man flu and hose buttock? To find out, I asked former GP and practising psychologist Dr Egan Patiens.… Read the rest

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On being a strange generational hybrid

 

generations

A sculpture of my buttocks

Regular readers will know, or have by now deduced, that I am in an existential crisis. I’m generationally awry.

I have the Birth Certificate, digital literacy and firm buttocks of a Generation Y, but the basic grammatical skills, suspicion of young people, latent revolutionary zeal and ever-present fear of imminent apocalypse of a Baby Boomer.

The Gen Y in me is impatient. But impatient for what the Boomer in me yearns for: a better, simpler, earlier time. Even though I’ve never experienced one.

I’m 33 and already a sort of strange quasi-reactionary, just without all the racism, desire for religious reverence or blatant misogyny. But I’m covering old ground here, so let me get to my point.… Read the rest

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ParentHaught: “UH-OH!”

Uh-Oh!

The other day my wife, my daughter (Lucy) and I were coming home from a walk. We went via a cricket oval.

It was late afternoon and a game had just finished. We passed the pavilion and began to climb the hill towards our house when we all noticed a cricketer having a wizzle up against a fence of a nearby house.

He wasn’t particularly well hidden – there was just a barely living clump of bush obscuring his dude – but we probably wouldn’t have noticed him had it not been for the fact he was emitting wind with gay abandon.… Read the rest

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