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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » The c-word... (Page 1)

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Author Topic: The c-word...
Maharet
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I have recently been to see the play 'The Vagina Monolouges'. There was an interesting piece about the word **** , questioning why this word was still deamed, as far as I can tell, as the most offensive swear word? I'm pretty curious about what everyone thinks of the word, wether or not you see it as offensive, or something we should be working to reclaim, like many gay guys I know are reclaiming the word *** etc.

(I'm not sure if mentioning The Word in this context goes against the guidelines or not, please let me know )


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bettie
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Maharet, I think it is OK. With our word nanny thing (i.e. **** ) some people might not know what word we are speaking about so perhaps we can make the discussion about how different words for male and female genitals are very often used as a put-down or insult.

Certainly though the "c-word" tops the list. it is both taboo and seen as a very harsh insult.

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PoetgirlNY
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I love the c-word, and hate that Net Nanny doesn't. I never use it as a curse. I use it as a basic name for female anatomy. I like that it isn't as specific as vagina or vulva, so it can refer to everything. It also sounds more confrontational (is that the word?) than the p-word, and I like that. In 10th grade, I had a really cool English teacher who told us all about the roots of pudenda and the c-word. Turns out, the first one comes from the Latin word for shame, while the c-word has something to do with being an open field . . . I only sorta remember this because it was a few years ago. Does anyone else know the exact meaning?

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Gumdrop Girl
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i've got a fairly salty tongue, and I *never* use the c-word. it's just too taboo. what i've definitely noticed is that it's far more commonly used in the UK than Stateside. Any other dialects of English use it a lot, or not a lot???

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Confused boy
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Its not a dialect thing, the umm... "C word" is the largest taboo word in the language but it is still used a lot in modern conversation if not at the dinner table. In general there are no language barriers between friends. Indeed I have to deliberately tone down some of these posts just to keep out some of the colouful metaphors, particularly since net nanny wont do it for me as some nice little UK spellings wont be picked up.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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Maharet
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I know I'm sort of responding to my own post, but I'm bored, so I figure I'd share my experiences. :P

I've been brought up in a devoutly Wiccan family, which has always treated sex&sexuality with open respect and with the veiw that it's holy. (When I was little I asked my aunt what the nice feelings I got between my legs were, and she got a textbook, a hand held mirror and explained in detail ) The c-word was always used to describe the vulva in my household, it was never spat, and to this day, hearing the phrase "you **** " seems about as insulting as "you arm" or "you leg" LOL!

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BJadeT
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quote:
hearing the phrase "you **** " seems about as insulting as "you arm" or "you leg"

I like that. I like it a lot. It doesn't seem right that any word used to describe a perfectly healthy and beautiful part of a woman's anatomy should be used as an insult. I wish I had a family like yours!


I don't like to use the word P***y, because, well, I like cats and it feels a little freaky. Vulva sounds too medical, although I do think that all children should be taught the correct terms from an early age. The flower euphemisms are just too corny for me. So, by a process of elimination, really, I prefer the C-word. However, i still wouldn't use it in front of my mother!

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You wanna save humanity, it's just the people you can't stand-John Lennon

Witness the infinite justice of the new century. Civilians starving to death whilst waiting to be killed.

Manky Confuddledness-My new, improved Blog.

[This message has been edited by BJadeT (edited 12-02-2001).]


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la jaunty bohemian
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Yay! I've been wanting to talk about this forever!

I really, really didn't like the c-word for a long time. It tops the list of insults you can throw at a woman.

But, then I read c***, a declaration of independence, a fabulous book by Inga Muscio, and she changed my whole outlook.

Now, I use it to describe cool, sublime woman-things, i.e. my c***, the c*** doctor, c***-lovin'... it's a fabulous, all purpose word that has a LOT of power behind it. I choose to use it to describe the power of my sexual organs/sexuality and just how dang cool it is to be a woman.

And, much like the words *** , dyke and queer, it recognizes the sometimes-tragic-but-always-complex history of the group who claims the word and lets them use it on their own terms.

ALSO- from the book, c***, mentioned above, this is the history of the word:

"Vagina originates from a word meaning sheath for a sword... I looked up c*** in Barbra G. Walker's 25-year research opus, The Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, and found it was related to words from India, China, Ireland, Rome and Egypt. Such words were either titles of respect for women, priestesses and witches, or derivatives of the names of various goddesses:

'In ancient writings, the word for c*** was synomous with woman, through not in the insulting modern sense.' ... The words bitch and whore have also shared a similar fate in our language..."

That's what Inga has to say...

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"You're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view" -Obi Wan Kenobi, Return of the Jedi

[This message has been edited by la jaunty bohemian (edited 12-02-2001).]


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Celtic Daisy
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On the bathroom stalls at school people write, "so-and-so is a c***", and i can never figure out why they would call someone something from their own anatomy.

I don't really use the c-word...then again, i never really have much oppurtunity to. I think it's stupid to use it as an insult...then again, i think a lot of insults are stupid...but i mean, c'mon. If you're gonna insult someone, can't you find a more suitable word?

How do these words become insults, or swears anyways?

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Heather
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Well, in terms of this particular word (which, I'm not sure honestly why the langauge nanny is screening it, I'll have to look at the interface), you'll find that many words which refer to the genitals -- especially women's genitals -- have been used derogitorily in history, most likely because of the history of women's genitals being thought to be shameful, dirty, and what have you.

(I do recall the poet Robert Burns -- who tended to write mainly very dirty little ditties, but who somehow bypassed that to be known for writing "Auld Lang Syne" -- writing more than one ode, however, to his lover's privates in which the c-word was used very magnanimously and with great affection. And it is a "dilaect=thing," btw. **** is a middle-english word.)

And given that in many cultures people are finally wising up about that, this is why you're finding that word being reclaimed.

It isn't just women's either. What do many people call a jerk? A "dick." On the other hand, when someone is said to have "balls" it is a compliment.

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Heather Corinna
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[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 12-04-2001).]


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BJadeT
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Maybe we should start using these words as compliments. My darling c**t, my dearest t**t, you beautiful p***y, you sweet little p***k....you get the idea.

Anyway, I'd love to see the look on my mum's face if I ran up to her and called her a lovely c**t.

Genitalia is beautiful, and we should start using the words that describe it in a beautiful way.

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You wanna save humanity, it's just the people you can't stand-John Lennon

Witness the infinite justice of the new century. Civilians starving to death whilst waiting to be killed.

Manky Confuddledness-My new, improved Blog.


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Kaira
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I can have a fairly dirty mouth at the best of times (I'm British, I'm supposed to! ), but I really don't like the c-word. I think for me, the thing that I hate most about it is the way it actually sounds, not what it means. To me, when you call someone a c-word, it's really scraping the barrel. It's just a horrible word to say. There are loads of other words for the female anatomy which don't sound half as bad, but I think the fact that most people would deem the c-word as very offensive is why people use it. I hate the way the word actually sounds. Blech!
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Maharet
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This is a very interesting website I came across, it basically goes though the origins and use etc of the c-word. A quick warning tho, especially to those ppl who actually have some form of Net Nanny (personal shudder lol), it contains words that have been singled out as offensive etc in today's society.

(Apologies, I don't know how to create a link out of the addy, so you'll have to cut&paste it) http://members.tripod.co.uk/mathunt/dissertation.html

[This message has been edited by Maharet (edited 12-11-2001).]


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Beppie
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No worries Maharet, the board automatically links to anything starting with http

Personally I don't use the c-word because I always heard it used in a derogatory way when I was in high school and the association has stuck, although there is nothing intrinsically derogatory about the word and certainly nothing bad about the female genitals. And more power to anyone who wants to use the word in an uplifting way, removing the derogatory connotations.

It is interesting how it is the use of the word in context rather than the actual sound of it that I shrink from. After all, the sound often isn't that different from when one says "can't" (though it would depend on ones accent). Also, as some of you know, I'm in the Netherlands at the moment and "kunt" is actually one form of the verb "can" in Dutch- I hear it all the time, and have used it myself when attempting to speak the language. (Kunt u Engels spreken?)

I think I see the "f-word" more neutrally. Although it is often used in a derogatory fashion, which could be seen as conveying a negative attitude towards sex, when used as an intensifier it doesn't have to have negative connotations at all (for instance when something is referred to as "f-ing brilliant"). I also think that the f-word is further removed from its original meaning when used as a swear word than the c-word.


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Confused boy
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I was talking to an Austrian friend on the net a while back and we were talking about the worst words in our language. I naturally said c*** was our worst word but she said over there it was "kruple" or something like that but it meant cripple. I wonder if this shows something about our cultures. Our worst word is a sexual one suggesting us English and English derived have been more sexually repressed than most cultures. "kruple" might suggest that the Austrians regard the strength of their bodies to be of great importance.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky

[This message has been edited by Confused boy (edited 12-29-2001).]


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Beppie
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That's interesting Confused Boy, because here in Holland, some relatives have told me, the worst word is something like "cancer"- one of my cousins who is quite happy to use the f-word (when her parents aren't around at least) was quite serious when she said that she would never use "cancer" as an insult.
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Just.Lil.Ole.Me
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I find the C-word is pretty offensive, but I also think, so is the 5 letter P-word. I just dont like those demeaning nicknames for our "junk". I think the worst thing about it is the girls who throw those words around like they dont mean anything. Its bad enough when guys throw the obscenities for their "junk" around. I would like to see ladies acting a little more sophisticated when it comes to their bodies.. I know I have high hopes... lmao

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Just.Lil.Ole.Me


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Milke
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'Junk'? 'Junk'?! You'd refer to that wonder of anatomy as little more than garbage? Not me, I'm very pleased to have a vulva, or cunt, even, but I'm not into calling any of my body parts anything derisive.

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In the past this information has been supressed, but now it can be told: Every man, woman, and mutant on this planet shall know the truth about de-evolution.


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badly_behaved_badger
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The C word hasn't always been used in a rude way. I'm studying a play for drama (written in the 70's but set in 1700's England) it uses the word cunt a couple of times and of course, everyone in the group cracked up when they saw it, but in the days when the play was SET, the word cunt wasn't considered offensive at all. It's sad the way that society has chosen to make this word, just a word for a part of the beautiful female body, a term of abuse. Anyone who uses the word cunt to insult other people should just think about *why* they are calling someone that. Parts of the body are not discusting or taboo. Or at least they shouldn't be.
*Badger*

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The blind man sees more clearly than the rest of the human race, coz when the lights go up he sees the person and not the face.


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Maharet
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Message of thanks to la jaunty bohemian:

About 6 months ago I saw Inga Musico's book and bought it because I remembered you talking about it on the thread. That book is gorgeous & I heartily recommend other people try and track down copies

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"If you don't like gays, then they're everywhere, coming out of the woodwork to corrupt little children... but if you are gay, especially if you're in high school, you're the only one in the universe..."


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Daydreamer24
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I don't think of cunt as anything dirty, nasty, inappropriate, or anything bad. I think, like Poetgirl said, it's a nice way to talk about any part of the female genitals instead of using vagina, vulva (which, I don't use -- nothing against it, just that I don't like the sound of it and it's too medical sounding), clitoris, labia, etc.

Something besides the topic: I remember someone, maybe Alaska?, once saying "vulva sounds like a German car."

(I'll finish this later: my Dad is yelling)

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That's Mrs. Rivers Cuomo to you. :)

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To Be Is To Do -- Socrates
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Camzie13
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I have never liked that word to describe female anatomy....but my friends have other words for it.....we like calling it T just cuz its not suggestive/offensive @ all....punani is also fun and cooter is my fave..lol
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BeatlesBoy
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I'm not sure what was said earlier about the potential automotive connections of the word "vulva", but it does sound sort of like Volvo, a Swedish car. My family owns a Volvo, and my friends and I often refer to it as my family's vulva. It's led to some amusing situations...=D
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Whatsthatmommy
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-C-Yeah I got agree with some of you, saying Cunt is really a nasty word. I love calling people commie's or communists becuase thats more fun. I think ca-U-lling a womens Genitals POOTIE-TANG is the best. But using the word cunt either means-N- you have a bad vocabulary or you're just below par. (not to insult anyone) But cunt is just an ugly word.-T-

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"I believe everyody in the world should have guns. Citizens should have bazookas and rocket launchers too. I believe that all citizens should have their weapons of choice. However, I also believe that only I should have the ammunition. Because frankly, I wouldn't trust the rest of the goobers with anything more dangerous than string."
-Scott Adams


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kythryne
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Whatsthatmommy, you need to review the guidelines and tone down your attitude if you wish to continue posting here. Final warning.

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Kythryne Aisling
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Whatsthatmommy
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I don't get what i did, I thought you guys censored the swear words????? I need more detail
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Ashy
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Whatsthatmommy,
You have been warned about the tone of your post. For example, in your last post about this topic could have said something like "I'm not comfortable with using that word, it's often used as an insult, so I don't want to call female genitals the c-word" However, by saying that if you use that users who prefer the c-word "have a bad vocabulary or are just below par", you've insulted and put down a lot of our users. Not only is that against our guidelines, it's inflammatory, and doesn't exactly stimulate good discussion.

So please re-read the guidelines carefully and adhere to them--otherwise, you run the risk of having your posting priveleges adversely affected.

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Kindness and honesty can be expected only from the strong.
Anonymous


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Confused boy
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And think of the people who have an affiliation with a left wing cause! Calling people "communists" as an insult should not really be fun. Thats as bad as using "gay" as an insult. Just involves political discrimination rather than sexual bigotry.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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~jess~
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i didnt read the whole convo but there is a book called ****, i havent read it but its suppose to be good. Its a feminest book.

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my world


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punkfag
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I really like reclaiming words....I just don't like the sound of the 'c' word ( that was censored only to avoid the damn language nanny), but I use pussy all the time. I LOVE the word fag (that's f-a-g, if the nanny censors that one), and use it all the time...I talk about being a tranny fag who likes pussy occasionally all the time...but if someone yells fag, tranny, or dyke (even when I'm wearing my FAG t-shirt) at me, or calls me a cunt, you better believe I'll hurt them...cause sexism and homophobia are so cunty and gay (get it, that was a joke...haha...)

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KandyKorn17
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I DID flip through a book once that mentioned that the c-word used to be used as a respectful term for goddesses and princesses and the like...

I don't know, though. A lot of people around here only use it when talking about rape and bad stuff like that, so I think over time, it just became a word I didn't use, because I associated it with very negative things.


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youcancallmepunk
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I wouldn't classify it as an offensive word, though everytime I have heard cunt uttered it was in an offensive matter. I think cunt is still taboo because we allow it to be, but it takes time to change those things. Maybe we can be a part of that change. I remember when the word bitch was considered "oh-so-offensive" but now you hear it in every day conversations. I guess it's because women "own" the word now, like African Americans have turned the word nigger into nigga, which is now an endearment (my nigga.)Same goes with the word fag, I know gay men who use that term like it's nothing. But one must watch out if they are allowed to "own" such words.

"fear of the name increases fear of the thing itself."


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KandyKorn17
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Which brings up a whole new question... when a certain group owns a word, are they the only ones who can use it?

Is a male using the c word being more offensive than a female using it because he doesnt have female genitalia? Is a straight person being more offensive than a gay person when using any gay slang? How about racial slurs? If you're using a term in a non-derogatory manner, does all that matter?

Just something to think on.


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youcancallmepunk
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I was going to bring that up, but it was a whole different story together.

I don't know where that line if drawn. I don't think you have to be apart of that particular group that the word is refering to. For instance, I'm not a homosexual but I do use the word fag in reference to my gay friends, but I guess that is because I am associated with that group. However, I don't use the word nigga (though it can be seen as an endearment) for the simple fact I would most likely get my ass kicked because I am white and it would be seen as demeaning towards who i said it to.

I don't know who owns the words, or if you have to be part of that particular group to own it. I think it all depends on the relationship you have to that word and the person you are using it towards.

Looks like I openned up a nice can of worms on this one.

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Jay


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nifty
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i love that word!

i'd use it more often but i never seem to be able to work it into my every-day sayings...
its a shame so many people see it as an insult... its kinda like saying "you strand of pubic hair!!" or.. "you first toe in from the right!!"

poor c-word. so misunderstood. i think it deserves a hug.

(its the coffee, dont worry bout me eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!)


Posts: 52 | From: england | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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