RuBisCO_disco

Drawings, writings and the search for the sex appeal quark

Introducing new verbal memes

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Anybody who has spent some time having conversations with people will understand that sometimes you have to say something without really saying it directly. Somehow the cold and naked truth is just awkward, and direct words can be so… unlovely. However, the run-of-the-mill common euphemisms can be quite boring, and, let’s face it, as soon as a euphemism becomes widely used, it loses its virtue of indirectness. So if you want to say something rather awkward but find the words rather indelicate, try to use some bio-inspired euphemisms to brush lightly on the issue.

 
Bathroom breaks

Gotta pee? Gotta poo? Gotta change your napkins too? Sometimes it can be quite taboo to say you’re going to the loo. Fear not, for these words are just for you. (Oh yeah. Rhymed it.)

Peeing is quite easy. Just say you are “completing the process of micturition“, or perhaps “eliminating nitrogenous byproducts“. “Maintaining osmotic balance” is also good, if a little vague.

For taking a dump, it was harder for me to make a quirky euphemism just because “solid waste” and “defecation” are both pretty well-understood terms related to poop. I can think of the clumsy “releasing my [total energy-energy assimilated]” for starters, but after that it’s just “perpetuating nutrient cycles*” I suppose.

Now on menstruation and changing one’s feminine sanitary napkins, I’m not exactly an expert. As you may have noticed, I don’t own a uterus (either within my anatomy or preserved in a jar). Do you think “discarding some endometrium” is classy enough? Or instead of saying you’re in the middle of your period, say that “your progesterone levels are plummeting“.

*by giving back unassimilated nutrients to lower trophic levels

 
Sex

Being in a culture where sex is considered taboo, a lot of euphemisms are readily available. These are just newer and geekier terms for talking about the birds and the bees and the chimpanzees:

If you’re into metaphors, you can always use descriptions of how other lifeforms have sex. Conjugating quickly comes to mind, and it has a certain microbial twist, doesn’t it? More of a botanist type of person? Why use inseminate when you can say pollinate? (personal fave :D) Or, instead of saying “deflower”, you can say en-fruit, if you get the joke there. Zoologists will love using the term amplexus though. It has such a romantic ring to it. Of course, if you don’t want to use these metaphors, you can always go with “haploid time” or something, but whatever…

Who's up for some Paramecium porn?

 
Children

Got a bun in the oven but you haven’t told everybody yet? Perhaps you’re the teenage father of an illegitimate child. It the little tyke is not born yet, say that you or your partner is gravid. Also, instead of saying son or daughter, why not try offspring, or, to be even more euphemistic, progeny?

What have you got there?

Just something for progeny.

Better, right? Want to sound even more exotic? Be mendelian and say F1. Or if you’re feeling more in tune with DNA and gene pools, try vector**. I wanna see if “proof of biological fitness” catches on, but I don’t think it will. I guess if you’re into either biogeography or mangroves like me, you’ll have to stick with propagule.

**it’s broader definition as “carrier of DNA”.

 
Unpleasant qualities

Sometimes we’re tasked to describe somebody to another person and their most defining characteristics aren’t always flattering. For example, your girlfriend looks kind of mannish and you have to describe her to parents, opt for “she has some sexually antagonistic features” (although come to think of it, that doesn’t sound quite flattering either). Fat could be passed off as “lipase-challenged” or “energetically well-stocked” (Cetaceous might be too offensive). Unfortunately, I can’t think of any euphemism for ugliness at the moment. Oh well, maybe we can deal with that if I ever make a part 2 of this post. :)

– o –

On a related note, breakfast today was champorado. I usually eat champorado with milk so I opened up a can of condensed milk and poured it in. Here’s the pattern that I made by pouring thick, white condensada into the dark champorado.

As a science nerd, you know you've crossed the line when you draw metaphase on your breakfast.

– o –

This post is brought to you by René Descartes and this.

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Written by rubiscodisco

March 29, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

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