Don’t Touch That Word!

You never know where it’s been!

A friend once told the story of his father’s encounter with the late Duke of Edinburgh. It was here in Perth after the gentleman had become a royal personage but was still able to travel the world as a member of the Royal Navy. He came in that capacity and was entertained by the local RAN establishment.

The father of my friend was an engineer involved in naval matters here in WA and had technical matters to discuss. He was properly introduced and upon being asked what the Duke could do for him, he said that he wanted to discuss a torpedo.

He was whisked away smartly and given a dressing down by someone in the royal minder business. It was only later that he was informed that apparently the term “torpedo ” was being used in the Royal Navy as slang for a sexual act. He actually wanted to discuss torpedo guidance mechanisms…but that didn’t get taken into account by the censorious minders.

How many things do we say and write, every day, on the social media channels – those clever microphones for commercial and political snooping – that also can trigger the Flying Monkeys. I, for one, am never going to use the term “cheer ” ever again on social media. Not after I found out what it meant in the 50’s. I was a little kid at the time and I wouldn’t have known anyway, but I have no excuse now.

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