I woke to find that my blog address had been released to a wider public.  This was not my plan.

I’m acutely aware that bad language can offend, so I would have issued a disclaimer or a warning to save the blushes of those for whom use of the C word is akin to drowning babies in a vat of acid – i.e. unthinkable.  Now, those of you who know me will also know that I am pretty much as polite and gentle a soul as you will meet.  Indeed, in an end of term report my former housemaster once described me as “quiet and unassuming”, and even now, some 33 years after those words appeared on paper, the last thing I would want to do is offend anyone.  This is not the language of an intelligent and educated person.  That’s what you’re thinking, isn’t it?  Well, if you’re not, you should be.

Let me take you back a few years to when I was working my way through my undergraduate years.  I spent most of my leave working on building sites installing cabling for computer networks (for the geeks among you, that included Cat5, Cat5E and Cat6, and fibre optic cable) where I learnt the language of the working man.  As far as I recall, almost every sentence would be punctuated with the F word, while any sentence including reference to management would include copious utterings of the C word.  That’s just how it was and nobody was offended, as far as I could tell, not even the occasional woman who happened to be on site.  This is not an excuse for my language.  Rather, it taught me that language is just a load of words strung together, used in different ways by different people in different circumstances.  It may cause offence, but it is unlikely to cause injury or death.

Step forward to my present self; some skinny old bloke who spends lots of time on the roads pedalling.  I am sick and tired of being treated like some kind of pariah, simply because I choose to ride a bike on our roads.  I am deeply offended by the lack of respect and care shown to me by so many drivers every time I ride my bike.  I frequently witness greater care and respect being shown to horses and their riders (and could shock many of you with a personal anecdote on this very subject which I’ll save for a later date).  There is a very real danger that I will not come home one day, simply because someone decides that I am offending them by wearing lycra and delaying them for perhaps 30 seconds of their miserable little lives.  When things happen to really give me a scare, what recourse do I have other than to resort to the language of the building site?  Who should be offended?

For some reason that I’ve yet to fathom, the C word remains one of our major taboos.  (As a flippant aside, how come Scunthorpe hasn’t been renamed yet by the PC brigade?  How come we’re still allowed to say country or constable?  I’m also rather fond of the idea of giving myself the moniker Ignorant CLINT).  Anyway, cunt is just another word used by millions.  Get over it.  Cyclists are killed and injured everyday.  I’ve yet to hear of a driver who was injured by a word.

If this is the first of my posts you’ve read, then may I respectfully ask that you read and act upon the previous one, ‘Drivers’.  There must be a way of improving the way we treat each other, whether on the roads or in wider society.

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