Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

I need a word

I need a word, a clean word or phrase to express "interfere with" or "manipulate" that captures a certain depth of disapproval of some extremes of self-imposition on procedures or texts that ought to be inviolable, or at least untouchable by one of the pay-grade doing the meddling.

"Mess with" is altogether too mild.

"Mangle" or "tamper with" don't convey the presumptuousness and vanity of putting ones own stamp on that which does not belong to one; nor the speaker's contempt for that presumption and impatience at being expected either to not notice or to complacently accept, (inherent in various obscene or scatological phrases, "f*** with," "s**** with," or "d*** around with.")

An apt metaphor would be that of a dog marking, in the manner of all dogs, the various hydrants, trees and territories, of which the dog despite, her incontinent bravado, has not the ownership.

Well, having conjured up that picture, I guess I worked the anger out of my system and can go back to work. (Righteous anger? maybe... but don't be too sure, Scelata.)

4 comments:

Charles said...

I like a couple of guilded, legit terms, Scelata:

1. Obtrude; as in (for a male) "You are one cozening obtruder!" (For a female) "Were you talking to me, ObTrudy?"

2. Interloper, as in "When did you begin your propensity as a buggering interloper?"

Scelata said...

Thanks for the suggestions.
"Obtruding" just isn't pejorative enough for my intent.
And the people in question aren't interlopers, per se.
A priest for instance, is the one who is supposed to be saying the presidential prayers -- he's just not supposed to be makin'em up as he goes along!
While I'm at it, may I say how much I despise alphabetical thesauri?
In MY day, she said feeling 103, you looked up a word and were led along fascinating, winding paths of different but related words and concepts.

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

Gregor said...

I would call it "fixing" the liturgy as in fixin what ain't broke.

I think it includes the arrogance that there is something wrong with the mass and I can fix it.

"The Church is so lucky I came along to make the Mass more relevant"

Mad Musician said...

Meddling!