our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness Phaedr. 244a

2012/08/17

the luminous and varied Western swearing, which runs to blasphemy rather than indecency


Jack London, in The People of the Abyss
There were fully a score of Americans in the crowd, the non-sailors being "tramps royal," the men whose "mate is the wind that tramps the world." They were all cheerful, facing things with the pluck which is their chief characteristic and which seems never to desert them, withal they were cursing the country with lurid metaphors quite refreshing after a month of unimaginative, monotonous Cockney swearing. The Cockney has one oath, and one oath only, the most indecent in the language, which he uses on any and every occasion. Far different is the luminous and varied Western swearing, which runs to blasphemy rather than indecency. And after all, since men will swear, I think I prefer blasphemy to indecency; there is an audacity about it, an adventurousness and defiance that is better than sheer filthiness.