Of Dogs and Curse

Oldest trick in the blogosphere – Copy-paste moderately interesting GTalk conversation and pass it off as a post.

Slightly new but fairly questionable trick in the blogosphere – Copy-paste and alter (no wait..more like lobotomize) moderately interesting GTalk conversation and pass it off as a post.

I had a chat with my younger brother, who is attempting to make a living out of counseling and helping intellectually challenged and visually impaired computers recognize familiar objects. He is PhD candidate in Computer vision at NCSU. And for pretty obvious reasons, he is listed as “Paradesi Nai” on my chat contact list. “Paradesi”, for the sin of crossing the seven seas..well..at least 3 of them, and “Nai” for possessing several other canine characteristics.
In keeping with the highest Tamil traditions, we usually exchange pleasantries before moving on to universally relevant and cosmically profound subjects such as our opinions on the latest in gadgetry and video games. But this particular thread ran into an interesting roadblock at the pleasantries stage itself, and I felt that the world at large must be made aware.

Update: English translations provided for Tamil-challenged readers. Tam people _should_ ignore the italicized text in brackets.

KA: Dei. Ennadi pannara (Greetings. What activities are you (in the feminine gender form) currently up to?

PN: Onnu illa dee saniyane (Nothing earth shattering, you ringed gas-giant -like malefactor)

It is customary to use the sthreeling form liberally during the pleasantries stage.

KA: Interesting choice of curse. By “Saniyane”, I am presuming that you are referring to that a certain yellow hued gas giant in our solar system, the one with rings, and more importantly, the one with malefic influences that plague every human being for a period of seven and a half years, and also account for a substantial percentage of temples’ revenues from the sale of anti-saturn health packs? Strange, coming from someone who is a student of the Richard Dawkins School of Irreligion Presented In A Clipped British Accent.

PN: Dei. Thoo. Thaangala (Excuse me. Sound of extreme disdain resembling a sneeze. I am unable to tolerate the depths to which the quality of your humour has descend to)

KA: Hmm. “Thoo”. Had it not been for the 14,000 km distance between the both of us, I am guessing that the “Thoo” was specifically designed to transfer bacteria and other badass microorganisms from your saliva and nasal tract in order to start a small scale war with my immune system. Isn’t that sort of like saying – “May you also get sick”, and thus politically incorrect.

PN: Dei kabothi, porum dee peter. (Excuse me you optically challenged person. Enough of your pseudo-intellectual gobbledygook)

KA: Ah. wishing blindness for your provocateur? But isn’t conferring physical disabilities in the form of swear words politically incorrect? Therefore, kabothi should also no longer be a pejorative, right?

PN: Ei pichakaara panni, nirutthu dee (Hey you financially challenged person of a porcine nature. Stop it already)

KA: Now, we move on to class warfare eh? So the lack of wealth consigns me to eternal doom? What if I was a victim of the grossly unfair capitalistic system where corporate vultures grow fat at the cost of every one else? Poverty should not be a curse word. That’s unfair to more than half the world. And the porcine reference? That confused me. I thought a pig represented gluttony and decadence, exactly the sort of thing financially challenged folk have trouble with. So was the oxymoron deliberate and designed to insult my intelligence, thus making it a double insult?

PN: So apart from the scatalogical and sexual, no forms of cursing are contemporarily relevant?

KA: Well. You could consider n00b and “Frequent Pwnage Victim”, but they don’t quite have the same punch that Tamil curse words do

PN: Let’s see what’s left. We’ve tried

  • Animal metaphors (Buffalo, Pig, Dog etc)
  • Illness (Thoo, Saavukraaki etc),
  • Physical disabilities (Kabothi and its ilk),
  • Physical appearance (Goundamani style “Rubber vaaya” and “Koomoottai Thalaiya” epithets for Senthil),
  • Mental disabilities (Paitthiyam, Loosu etc) and
  • Class and Caste references (Pichakaara, “You are dressed like a Koratthi” etc).

Did we miss out anything? Typically curse words came from touchy subjects of their time. What could be considered a touchy subject now? Religion is losing its edge, and scatological and sexual metaphors are boring, and heavily overused.

KA: What if I call you an IE user? Or accuse you of preferring Microsoft Word for coding?

PN: Nah. Tech curses are not universal. Techies are a small population with an unnaturally loud voice.

KA: How about taking the environmental route? Call you a “SUV lover” or “Bottled Water drinker”?

PN: Nah. That would be 1 across: Bad meal makes one handicapped (4)

KA: Lame? Ok. Maybe I should stick to curses that have hard to fathom etymologies.

PN: You mean like “Dei Sombu party”

KA: Exactly. Ok. See ya later.

PN: Seri dee

The End