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 OPINION PAGE - DECEMBER 15, 1999 - COMMERCE, GA

Editorial
The Commerce News
December 15, 1999

Commerce Ready For Dealing With New Year
It is interesting to observe that people who once predicted that the sky would fall when the Year 2000 computer problem arose are now saying that it is likely to be a non-event. Business and industry have taken the Y2K computer crisis seriously and have worked to all but eliminate the problems.
So too has the City of Commerce. It has not only upgraded or replaced all equipment that was not compliant, but it has also implemented a plan of action in the event that the problems actually do occur. Sixty percent of the city staff will be on hand to respond to problems, which most likely would originate not in Commerce, but rather with suppliers of electricity or natural gas.
It is tempting to say that the city plan is something of an overkill, but it is much better to err on the side of caution. The chances appear very good that Commerce residents will see virtually no problems when the year 2000 rolls in. But should there be problems, manpower and equipment will be on duty to respond. The worst case scenarios have been considered, and plans are in effect to deal with them.
This is not to say there will be no problems. But Commerce, like most businesses and industry, has acted prudently to eliminate problems while planning to be able to respond if they do occur.


Even With Loss, It Was A Great Football Season
With their 35-21 loss to Lincoln County five days in the past, members of the Commerce Tiger football team and their supporters are over the agony of that defeat and can begin to appreciate what the Tigers accomplished during the just-completed season.
It was a heck of a season for the players and a wonderful season for football fans.
It was a good ride, with the Tigers maintaining the number one ranking right up until the end. It was a season that, even with a loss in the state semifinals, lived up to expectations, providing wonderful entertainment and excitement for fans and for players. It's too bad they didn't beat Lincoln County to win the right to play for the state title, but there is no shame in falling to the Red Devils, who probably have, year in and year out, the best football program in Class A.
The Commerce Tiger players and coaches made us all proud. They played hard, performed magnificently and when they finally lost, did it graciously. It was a great season, Tigers, one you'll be able to look back on with pride for the rest of your lives.

Column
Mark Beardsley
The Commerce News
December 15, 1999

Cursing Is Becoming A Lost Art
I'm here to defend the art of cursing. But not cussing. The distinction between the two needs to be made first.
Cursing has received a bad reputation in recent years, thanks to lazy and uneducated speakers whose idea of a curse is to string together all the four-letter obscenities or their derivatives they can think of in the moment of passion. It's really cussin'. Cursing has become synonymous with vulgar language, and vulgar language is gaining in use. (I fully endorse Coca-Cola's decision recently to withdraw from support of the WWF wrestling because of foul language during broadcasts. Surely, its recent stock plunge was not related.)
Real cursing need not involve vulgar words. It can convey humor, produce images of delightfully bad things happening to the recipient and should leave listeners in awe of the speaker's skill with the language.
One of the earliest curses I recall hearing came from a Statler Brothers song, "The Bird of Paradise."
"May the bird of paradise fly up your nose, may an elephant caress you with its toes," goes the first line, and there are a couple more along the same vein. It was not art, but it was the use of an old-fashioned curse, and seemed entertaining at the time.
In the Irish song, "Nell Flaughtery's Drake," the singer laments the theft and death of his beloved duck and utters a long and delightful curse levied upon whatever person stole this wonderful pet.
"May his spade never dig, may his sow never pig, may each hair on his wig be, well, triced (whipped) with the flail. May his door never latch, may his roof have no thatch, may his turkeys not hatch, may the rats eat his meal.
"May every old fairy from Cork to Donderry (Londonderry), dip him snug and merry in river and lake, that the eel and the trout may dine on the snout of the monster that murdered Nell Flaughtery's drake.
"May his pig never grunt, may his cat never hunt, may a ghost of her haunt in the dead of the night. May his hens never lay, may his horse never neigh, may his goat fly away like an old paper kite.
"That the flies and the fleas, may the rats ever tease, may the piercing March breeze make him shiver and shake. May a lump of a stick raise the bumps fast and thick on the monster that murdered Nell Flaughtery's drake."
Now that is a real, if somewhat benign, curse. It conveys the idea of one person's anger, even if it is in song, but it is imaginative and colorful. If you compare that language with the language of "cursing" today, you find the evolution has not been for the better.
Today's invectives require no imagination and have little actual meaning. All they do is demonstrate the speaker's short temper, limited vocabulary and complete lack of imagination. They leave those who hear them thinking much less of the speaker, whereas a real curse is the subject of admiration.
Cussing is vulgar and obnoxious, but a good curse is to be admired and applauded. Let's hear it for cursing.


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