More April Foolishess, but real this time, from the Florida legislature. Here a blow was struck for the advancement of science by making “uterus” is a dirty word. I suppose that there is a certain delicious irony about objecting to the use of the word “uterus” during a debate on abortion, though I doubt those who find the word offensive would get it:
At one point [State representative] Randolph suggested that his wife “incorporate her uterus” to stop Republicans from pushing measures that would restrict abortions. Republicans, after all, wouldn’t want to further regulate a Florida business.
Apparently the GOP leadership of the House didn’t like the one-liner.
They told Democrats that Randolph is not to discuss body parts on the House floor.
“The point was that Republicans are always talking about deregulation and big government,” Randolph said Thursday. “And I always say their philosophy is small government for the big guy and big government for the little guy. And so, if my wife’s uterus was incorporated or my friend’s bedroom was incorporated, maybe they (Republicans) would be talking about deregulating.
“It’s not like I used slang,” said Randolph, who actually got the line from his wife. He said Republicans voiced concern about young pages hearing the word uterus.
In the interests of prurience, and also of saving tender ears, from, well, science and education in general, I have composed a list of objectionable medical words:
Penis: Well, duh. Also better exclude the adjective “penile”. Also “penal” is problematic. Use “prison.”
Testicle: Again, duh. Testimony, testify etc. are dubious too, doubly so, given the fact (male) witnesses in ancient Rome held their spuds while in court.
Clitoris: Triple duh. Flogging offence. Do not EVER use. As a substitute, I’ve always liked le bonhomme au canot, which has a certain charm, but might be objectionable in the U.S. because it’s so obviously French. Best never to speak of it, or even think about it.
Cervix: Leads to the u-place.
Vagina: Leads to the, um, cervix. Also, do not use “Regina” as in the capital of Saskatchewan, because you might think of what rhymes with Regina, and that is the road to Hell.
Coccyx: Do you really want to say this in public?
Bartholins’s Gland: Just sounds dirty.
Mesentery: Say it with me, slowly: ME-sen-ter-ry. Get a little illicit thrill? Don’t use it.
Masturbation: Is a sin, and therefore the word is sinful. Only use if you’re sure you worship the Devil:
Abdomen: Where the u-place is, and is close to other “bad” parts. Avoid. Use “tummy” instead.
Pubic: Generally offensive, and in any case it’s not a word you’re likely to drop into everyday conversation: “Hey, I have a pubic lump.” Not.
Anus, rectum, colon etc.: Someone, somewhere will be offended if you use these. Besides, they are icky. Just don’t.
Buttock: Near the above. Makes you think of other, more collequial, badder words.
Oral: Do I really need to tell you?
Epididymis: Only leads to troubling questions of the knee-bone-is-connected-to-the-thigh-bone type. In any case most guys don’t realize they possess them.
Semen: Only should be used when speaking of sailors.
The list, actually, could be endless. Feel free to add.