November 1, 2010
My daughter Kathie sent me an article about the health benefits of using swear words. Caldwell-Harris noted that people are more comfortable swearing in another language.
An example of this is "merde," which I learned to my surprise, decades after seeing it regularly in novels, is the French word for shit. I had assumed it was like saying "Murder!" It sounded harmless enough, but when I subsequently asked a French woman in our duplicate bridge group if "merde" meant "shit," she flinched noticeably, and it wasn't because I had used the word shit.
There are things that happen in our lives that can have no other response, in my view. Like when I dropped a large glass jar of dill pickles on my kitchen floor. I'm still picking up shards of glass that exploded as far as my carpeted hall. However, another bridge friend, Lucille, said she would never use such an ugly word, no matter what happened in her kitchen. I asked her how she felt about "merde," and she didn't flinch.
Other friends admit they have to curb their tongues when declarer does something outrageous, such as trumping their lead of an Ace. Club rules about appropriate behavior don't take into account what propriety may be doing to the blood pressure of their members.
Shouldn't a physician be on hand at all duplicate bridge games?