During the editing process, no numerical value can be attributed to reading and rereading “The ‘Tail’ Begins”. I am very pleased to have left a timeless joke in place as it has given many financial burdened parents a wry grin. But here’s the story behind my ethical struggle with leaving a common misunderstood word in my debut novel. I bet you passed over it without a second thought. There was a time I did.
Two weeks before my tenth birthday, my father suddenly passed away from a brain aneurysm. His sudden death was uncalled for and affected me for many years. No one warned him he should stay away from the inversion table since his mother had died from the same tragic disease. My mother did not handle his death very well and my perfect little world turned upside down and inside out. One of my many encounters with socializing has scarred me deeply where I take a word personal.
Today, I do not disregard learning because I want to know as much as I can so I will not be ignorant. Many of my readers seem to enjoy how I affect them on a daily basis. I truly believe my readers are ready for this tidbit of knowledge and wisdom.
I had a difficult time in putting the word “Bastard” in my book. If you have not read it, then you do not know I use little to no modern cussing. Instead of modern curses, I use silly words like “SonOFAFish”, “Holy Carp” and “Fish You!” Do you know the true meaning of a word? Do you know where it originated? In my youth, a child called me a ‘bastard’. I had a father and a mother and then, I lived with a widow. Growing up, I enjoyed a good one who worked hard, ministered to others, and cared for us. How dare that child call me a bastard! Using it in that context diminished all my father worked for. I was not a daughter of a bastard. Look up the word in the common language.
1. a person born of unmarried parents; an illegitimate child.
Slang. a vicious, despicable, or thoroughly disliked person:
- Some bastard slashed the tires on my car.
- a person, especially a man:The poor bastard broke his leg.
- 3. something irregular, inferior, spurious, or unusual.
- 4. bastard culverin.
5. illegitimate in birth.
6. spurious; not genuine; false:
The architecture was bastard Gothic.
7. of abnormal or irregular shape or size; of unusual make or proportions:
bastard quartz; bastard mahogany.
8. having the appearance of; resembling in some degree:
a bastard Michelangelo; bastard emeralds.
9. Printing. (of a character) not of the font in which it is used or found.
My father and mother were married therefore I was not an illegitimate child. But then again, Bastard came from the King James 1611 Bible, the Septuagint, the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Torah or first five books of Moses. So what does an illegitimate child mean? Since the Christian bibles came from the Hebrew, let’s go to the original source.
- One’s mother (Leviticus 18:7)
- One’s father (Leviticus 18:7)
- One’s stepmother (Leviticus 18:8)
- One’s paternal or maternal sister (Leviticus 18:9)
- One’s paternal sister through one’s father’s wife (Leviticus 18:11)
- One’s daughter (inferred from Leviticus 18:10)
- One’s granddaughter (Leviticus 18:10)
- A woman and her daughter (Leviticus 18:17)
- A woman and her granddaughter (Leviticus 18:17)
- One’s aunt by blood (Leviticus 18:12-13)
- One’s father’s brother (Leviticus 18:14)
- One’s father’s brother’s wife (Leviticus 18:14)
- One’s daughter-in-law (Leviticus 18:15)
- One’s brother’s wife (Leviticus 18:16)
- One’s wife’s sister during one’s wife’s lifetime, even if since divorced (Leviticus 18:18)
Rabbinically prohibited relationships
In addition to the relationships biblically prohibited to Jews, rabbis have gone further to prohibit certain additional relationships with various blood relatives and in-laws. These are called “Shni’ot” (secondary prohibitions). Some of these are:
- One’s grandmother
- One’s brother
- One’s great-grandmother
- One’s grandfather’s wife
- One’s great-grandfather’s wife
- One’s grandson’s wife
Is the word Bastard misused and misunderstood? Have we, as a society, taken words and morphed them into something they are not? Once we do that, words with good meanings are turning bad and bad is now good. Why do we complain the world is failing us when we have allowed this nonsense to continue. We are creating our own destruction. But that’s what we do. We are unhappy with ourselves so we find misery and dabble in it.
I know this little note or chit chat we have is not going to change your daily tongue. My readers want to know how I tick, that’s the advantage of authors in this technologically advanced society. You get to find out more about our struggles in the writing process. It was a pain in my soul to allow the word Bastard in my book in it’s misunderstood fashion, but how many of you related to the slang meaning before the original context?
Knowledge is only power when we use wisdom to know when to use knowledge.