The Commerce News
December 15, 1999
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
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.
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
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
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
"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
"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.