Monday, November 14, 2005

Crap Tablet Redux

A syndicated article that appeared in yesterday’s SJ-R (linked here to the KC Star version) serves as evidence that the cultural climate is ripe for a new, lower-case expletive. In the story, the author looks into a growing trend that has young and old alike steering clear of bold-faced obscenities, either out of fear of retribution or simple common decency, and in their stead employing sound-a-likes (freakin’) or words tinted in a lighter shade of blue (blows). Society is obviously clamoring for a midly-intoned interjection that will adequately express their slight dismay without making them seem coarse or vulgar. "Crap tablet", anyone?


Anonymous said...

No thanks, Dan. But I do think that "crap tablet" could have use as a metaphor... such as an unpleasant but unavoidable situation as "having to swallow a crap tablet."

Anonymous said...

Bald-faced, my man. Not bold-faced. Sorry. That is to me like "chomping at the bit" and "staunching the flow". Didn't you have a column about......?nevermind.

Also, your "crap tablet" idea stinks.

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

Thanks for the comment 10:31.

I’m familiar with the adjective “bald-faced” as in “bald-faced lie.” That wasn’t the modifier I intended to use. “Bold-faced” is also a legitimate adjective and the one that happened to fit the meaning (brazen, immodest) I wanted to convey in the phrase “bold-faced obscenities.”

I know that my writing is far from perfect, but I must defend myself when falsely accused, especially when the accuser hides behind a mask of anonymity.

And you just wait, the next time you lose your car keys you’ll mutter “crap tablet” under your breath.


Anonymous said...

show me bold-faced in the dictionary.

two-faced, shit-faced (or shitfaced) bald-faced, etc---yes.

Bold-faced, no I'm not buying it. Prove it to me.

No malice intended. I just think your crap tablet idea stinks, and am calling you out on your use of bold faced, too.

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

You should really get a dictionary of your own, but I'm happy to help and happy to be called out.

This is from Webster's:

Topic: 'Bald face' or 'bold face'?

A fellow of our acquaintance, a man known to shave his head clean upon occasion, came right out and asked for the true story behind the phrase bald-faced liar. He wanted to know if an out-and-out liar is more properly called a bold-faced liar or a bald-faced liar.

The truth is this: both are used, and so is barefaced. Bald-faced is the newest term; its first known print appearance dates back only 62 years, to 1943. Bold-faced is some four centuries older than that, dating to 1591. Although you might guess bald-faced developed out of a mishearing of bold-faced, the meanings of the two adjectives are not synonymous. Bold-faced means “bold in manner or conduct; impudent”; bald-faced has the same meaning as barefaced: “open; unconcealed”; and “having or showing a lack of scruples.”

Barefaced is one year older than bold-faced; its first print appearance dates to 1590. But the original meaning of barefaced was literal: it meant “having the face uncovered”, either “beardless” or “wearing no mask.” Not surprisingly, folks using the word barefaced were open to shifting the adjective into the metaphoric realm: barefaced soon came to describe something “unconcealed or open”; and then something “showing or having a lack of scruples.”

Questions or comments? Write us at Production and research support for Word for the Wise comes from Merriam-Webster, publisher of language reference books and CDs including Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition.

Here's a link to the dictionary definition:

For what it's worth, the whole "crap tablet" campaign is simply a lark, but you would certainly be using it correctly to express your etymological comeuppance. (Just kidding.)

Have a good day.

Anonymous said...

Well, OK then. You have my respect and admiration for learning me something new.

Anonymous said...

As found in Webster's Dictionary

One entry found for bold-faced.

Main Entry: bold-faced
Pronunciation: 'bOl(d)-'fAst
Function: adjective
1 : bold in manner or conduct : IMPUDENT
2 usually bold·faced : being or set in boldface

big sis said...

bib On a recent evening, I was having a telephone conversation with a resident of the great state of Ohio! Imagine my surprise when, in the course of our conversation, I was the recipient of a well-placed "crap tablet!" It found its way into the conversation with apparent ease and was offered in the correct context and with the just the right inflection!

So, congratulations, Dan! Your newly coined expletive has now gone inter-state and may be well on its way into the national lexicon (is that the right word??)!!

OK---I don't want to burst your bubble but I will have to confess that the source of the afore-referenced "crap tablet" was none other than a favorite nephew of yours who, upon my recommendation, has become a faithful follower of your blog and who picked up this pearl of a phrase from these very pages.

Nonetheless, word of mouth is, of course, how new words and phrases become an integral part of our culture's vocabulary and knowing this particular nephew, I feel confident that he'll be generous in sharing this new expression with all manner of friends and associates! As a matter of fact, the Ohio valley will most assuredly resound with repeated and loudly-proclaimed "crap tablet!!!!"s every autumn Saturday afternoon in response to each and every error committed by the Notre Dame football team during televised games!!!!!!

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

I would hope with Coach Weis at the helm that ND fans will have less to curse about in the future. Maybe Paco can teach it to some Ohio State fans and let it spread throughout Big 10 country.