Saturday, April 28, 2012

'Amper se ek poes!'

By Haai van der Skyf

If you use the "poes" all the time and are continually shunned and made to feel guilty about it, there may be hope for you. Like don't feel too poes about it.

The People's Organisation for Endemic Swearwords (POES) has launched a campaign to destigmatise what is an inalienable part of our linguistic heritage and is hardly ever used to refer to women's genitals.

Poes can be used as a noun: "That oke's a bit of a poes. Always bumming smokes." or: I've got three bucks left for the rest of the month. I'm gonna see my poes financially." As an intransitive verb: "Was it raining? My broe, it was poesing down." Transitive verb: "I walked into the edge of the couch and poesed myself a swak shot on the shin. Eina poes." A bit of an ejaculation usage at the end there too.

As an adjective: "Bust drunken driving? Poes one." As an adverb: "Wear a jersey. It's poes cold outside." or: "Don't touch the stove. It's poes hot." And so on.

The irrational stigmatisation of certain words in our language is just another example of prescriptivist, Received Pronunciation, funny-handshake, Oxford don, BBC English elitism. It makes about as much sense as a genocide campaign against a plant.

So help reclaim power over the lexicon from the grassroots. Say poes. Join POES. Hell, be a poes.

Only joking about that last one, though. It's never nice to be a poes.

First published in Skyf! magazine

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