July 24, 2006

The Word “Belly”

Many moons ago, as our ancestors used to say, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” discussed an English word that really bothers us: Moist. Although we understood that this made for a comparatively nugatory subject of excoriation, we found “moist” suitably irritating to deserve the full “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” treatment. If we may get technical here, we must relate that we officially find the word “moist” yucky.

It has been some time, however, since we’ve taken aim at a common item in the dictionary. Until, that is to say, now. In today’s humble “post,” we wax indignant about another troubling—nay, disturbing—locution: Belly.

What, you may or may not be asking yourself, so irks us about the word “belly”? Isn’t it a fairly harmless term in comparison with, say, “genocide,” “oleaginous,” and “Peter Cetera”?

Well, to be frank, dear reader, no. In our collective mind, “belly” is one of the most unappealing words to be found in the entire Funk & Wagnalls. Unabridged. It’s a horrendous term, and we’d like people to cease using it.

“Look at my fat belly”—does English get any more repellent than this? We think not. In fact, it’s so ugly you’d think you were speaking German. The very word “belly” immediately conjures up pictures of grossly obese women in jog bras. Either that or Roseanne Barr. And neither makes for fetching mental images.

In fact, pretty much the entire vocabulary associated with the midriff profoundly disturbs us. (Other than “midriff,” actually, which for some reason strikes us as peculiarly inoffensive.)

For instance, there’s “navel,” the most excruciating synonym imaginable for the excruciating term “belly-button.” “Navel gazing”—what could be more sick? Perhaps “belly-button lint,” but that’s about all.

And then there’s “paunch,” which magically conjures those same morbidly obese women in jog bras. That and the old television staple “Chips.” Even the comparatively un-troubling “abdomen” calls to mind a nasty swarm of ants.

So, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” humbly implore you to refrain from discussion of the midriff. Maybe if we all wear pants like Ed Grimley they’ll be nothing to discuss anyway.

Posted at July 24, 2006 12:01 AM | TrackBack