Monday, August 16, 2010

He Said WHAT?!?!

May as well go ahead and get this one out of the way. Corprolalia, the hallmark of Tourette's, the gold standard for diagnosis, or so the media would have you believe. It's what defines us, right? We're those poor damaged souls who scream obscenities at christenings, bar mitzvah, weddings, and grandma's funeral. It evokes heart rending scenes of a beautiful young bride tearfully confessing to her confidant du jour how deeply she loves her brother, yet mortally fears he will ruin her big day. Whatever.

cop·ro·la·lia: obsessive or uncontrollable use of obscene language
Pronunciation: \ˌkä-prə-ˈlā-lē-ə\, Function: noun
Etymology: New Latin
Date: 1886
Source: Shamefully stolen from

Do I have it? Yes I do. Always have. SURPRISE!!!! I've never blurted out any of Hollywood's chosen favorites in any of the moments mentioned above or any other, for that matter. Granted, I've been in countless situations where "bustin a blue streak that would have tarnished the silverware" would have been great fun and seemed the only reasonable response. Didn't do it. Didn't have to. Notice the definition. It reads "obsessive or uncontrollable". This means that most of us have some level of control, just like with the majority of our tics.

The majority of TS folk don't have coprolalia. The general concensus is that greater than 30, but no more than 50 percent of us have it. The majority of those of us who do don't uncontrollably tarnish our loved ones' "unity candle moments". Those who are unfortunate enough to have what I'll term "95th percentile" symptoms may. This will now be my term for those who have the most harmful and embarrassing tics. Might want to remember this one. It'll be on the test.

Confession time. I cuss, and I like it. Profane words have always been the "chili peppers of language" to me. Some "dishes" just don't seem right without them. Two of the most influential men in my life, my paternal grand father and his younger brother, are the poets laureate of profanity. Listening to them is like listening to two Jazz musicians riffing. These words just seem to fit certain situations. They bring a sense of order and completeness to what I've said. All of my obsessive-compulsive behaviors yield this reward.

Here's the tricky part. I don't really want to use profanity, but have an obsessive drive to do so. The need to use profanity, in its most common forms, has always struck me as an indicator of intellectual deficiency, or at least a severe lack of linguistic creativity. I have some control, but generally only a bit more than with the neuro-muscular tics. It's always been there. The drive to use profanity and the fact that it comes out in my 'self talk', and even my mental 'self talk' has always disturbed me and still does. It was particularly disturbing to me before I was diagnosed. My faith teaches that this is sin. Good little Baptist boys don't think and say such things. I'm still working on this one.

1 comment:

  1. I truly think we are ALL still working on this one damnit.