We will have to speak in euphemisms today, because we don’t want to set off those Internet censors, the ones that nervous parents set so their innocent children don’t tumble into dens of iniquity by choice or accident, although my den has been pretty iquitous lately. Uh oh. <<CAUTION!!! PERFECTLY USELESS ETYMOLOGY LESSON AHEAD!!!>> I haven’t even ended the first paragraph, which is supposed to be short (so you’re dragged into this blog) and already I’m into etymology. Bad sign.
“Iniquity” as a word has really fallen off in usage lately, maybe because no one knows what “iquity” is. Iniquity has been around since the 1300s, so those dens have been iniquitous for a while, not mine as I said, which remains iquitous, which means, etymologically speaking, just or equal. Iniquity means a violation of right or duty, a wicked act, or a sin, none of which has anything to do with euphemisms so let’s end this mess. <<END USELESS ETYMOLOGY LESSON>>
Hmm. I wonder if “euphonium” is related to “euphemism.” Give me a minute to look that up. <<insert pleasant music>>Nope. Different roots.<<end pleasant music>>Phew. No more etymology. OK. Back to business.
Oh, to heck with euphemisms.
Semi-euphemistically speaking, I sprained my br-east. I think that will get past the censors. I didn’t realize such a thing was possible, so I looked it up on the Internet, and there it was, nicely hidden under the discrete heading of Spraining Your Pectoral Muscle, which is, euphemistically speaking, of course what men would call it, because their pectoral muscles don’t support the same amount of, um, ah, avoirdupois, that most women’s pectoral muscles do.
This doesn’t feel like a pectoral muscle sprain, let me tell you. This is definitely rippling outwards towards—towards—points unknown, if you know what I mean: the avoirdupois I mentioned earlier, of which we shall not speak. The tip of the br-east, as opposed to the br-west, which I did not sprain.
I managed to do this in one of those post-stroke full-M.S. moves for which I have become notorious (and yes, I mean notorious, and here I am resisting as much as I can another etymology/usage lesson on the difference between notorious and famous…my fingernails are scraping across the keyboard…promise me you will look up their definitions if you don’t know the difference…)
For those of you who are not as copiously endowed in avoirdupois—and from here on I shall dispose of the pretentious italicization of that word, since it is acceptable to not do so (and I have saved you from a lesson in word usage there)—let me offer a method of experimentation:
First, procure for yourself a somewhat large and hungry guinea pig. I shall name mine Gina; your name may vary. Now imagine that you strap Gina to your left chest area. This is the left chest area as you observe from the neck downwards, which would be, compass-wise, br-east, nautically speaking, but to us, head-speaking, it is left chest. Anyway, imagine that you have strapped Gina there.
Now accidentally jerk yourself approximately 120 degrees to the left, exclaiming to yourself, “Oh, no!” except you actually utter some words you swore to your mother when you were 12 that you would never utter again. And now provoke Gina the somewhat large and hungry guinea pig to whirl around and take a rather vicious chomp out of your unpretentiously-italicized avoirdupois, which, deficient though it may be, in the course of jerking sadly jerked within chomping distance.
You, of course, howl in pain loudly enough to bring your mother, no matter where she is and no matter how scandalized she may be by your scandalous language and no matter how flustered she may be by your shocking choice of décolletage, to your side. She, being the perfect mother, without question, unties the terrified cavy and sends it scampering. And now you are left to explain your sprained br-east.
And Gina, the guilty gluttonous guinea pig, is gone.
Tumble into my den of iquity with my mom, why don’t you?