Sunday, March 12, 2006


Oaths, Minced and Unminced

Gypsy Scholar discusses minced oaths.

In Alfred Hitchcock's last film, Family Plot (1976), actor Bruce Dern's character, the crook and taxi driver George Lumley, several times exclaims to his girlfriend, "Oh, for Christ's sake, Blanche!" In the made-for-TV version, he says "Oh, for rice cakes, Blanche!" instead, a good example of a minced oath.

It always shocks me to hear the name Jesus Christ taken in vain. Those with more forthright and assertive personalities than mine might object and demand that the blasphemer cease and desist. Adherents of a different religion might even react to blasphemy by taking to the streets and burning cars. As it is, I just bow my head and recite silently the beginning of the Divine Praises:
Blessed be God.
Blessed be His holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus....
Other suitable rejoinders to blasphemy are these:
All that is within me, bless His holy name. (Psalm 103:1)
Let all flesh bless His holy name for ever and ever. (Psalm 145:21)
At the name of Jesus every knee should bow. (Philippians 2:10)

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