An Announcement: Regarding a Change in Language, from Ed Darrin

By Ed Darrin

The following memo pertains to new nomenclature being introduced. Please note these changes and adjust as necessary.

The word fart is an onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeias are words that describe a sound by imitating the sound itself. The thrum of a guitar. The tinkle of a silver spoon in a teacup. The screech of tires on a roadway. All of these are examples of onomatopoeias, as is fart.

Some say that the written word is never more than a weak approximation of reality, and that the aim of literature is to come as close to the truth as possible (without ever quite reaching). Whether or not your own personal artistic style is so asymptotically directed, most of you will agree that among words, onomatopoeias are wonderfully efficient at conveying what they mean. When a writer writes of a bee buzzing or an egg sizzling, no additional words are needed for the reader to understand.

As a generic term for the act of flatulence, the word fart does the job well. Sure, there're many kinds of farts, and not all sound like the word fart. The variety of noises they make range anywhere from not unlike heavy artillery to completely inaudible. But fart covers all those bases, in one syllable, without expending much ink or energy. When someone farts, it often makes a farty sound. The word is tactile, robust--as writers, we can toss it around without fear of breaking it; we can put it next to other words, and it won't disappear into the background. It has phonetic symmetry, from the expulsions of air that go with F and T, to the heartiness of the vowel sound. Fart, truly, is a trophy of the English language.

But what of the female fart? When a girl or woman issues a gluteal utterance, there is nothing rowdy about it. There is no exclamation, no outburst--in fact, the female fart is often a well thought-out process, a culmination of multiple layers of planning.

Here is where our neutered language fails us. For a womanly fart is an entirely different event that neither acts nor sounds like a manly fart, and the word fart does it no onomatopoeic justice. Though it may be aromatically lively, the she-fart stands behind the scenes; it is like subatomic particles, or a mouse that steals a crumb while nobody is looking. We should have a word that expresses this adequately. Other languages have built-in gender changes that not only discern such differences, but appreciate them, and add them to a broader understanding. And this is why I have taken it upon myself to introduce the new female noun and verb forms of the the word fart, feep, and to ask for your support in bringing about this change.

I feel strongly about this new word, and I trust that you will too, in time. A feep is a controlled, restrained emission, but it is not completely intangible. While not physically a match for the rambunctiousness of the male fart, the feep still has strength inside--indeed, one could say that this subtlety is the root of its power. With regards to the sound of the word as it is spoken, feep is beautifully onomatopoeic.

So then: the English language--ever mutable, ever growing: It is a pool into which we as writers can dip our cups to quench our thirst for thought, and it has opened its arms even wider to accept another young word in its embrace.

Noun: feep, pl. feeps

Verb: to feep.

I feep.
You feep.
She/it feeps.
We/they feep.

Conjugation: note the irregular participle form.
Present: feep(s)
Past: feeped
Past participle: has/had fept
Gerund: feeping


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After she feeped on the subway, Pristina felt fortunate about her choice seat. You see, a sloppy, overweight man sat to her right, attracting all of the angry stares that followed in the wake of her burrito-fueled emission.

Am I going to have to say it? Please someone confirm I'm not the only who thought of some completely inappropriate. I'm sorry.

If you, or someone you love, were to spell the sound coming out of my butt when I fart, it would read either: 'Chaka Khan', 'Snausages' or 'Yahtzee'. But I eat weird things.

And David, that thought never crossed my mind. It stood out.

I like it. I am going to pick up this baton and proudly carry it forward into the literary night. I will scream "feep" from the tallest mountaintop until the world heeds its call. Thank you.

For anyone having trouble keeping it straight, here is my way of remembering: "feep" and "back" have four letters, "queef" and "front" have five.

Is it possible for men to feep? I know plenty who can be equally discreet about their fragrant emissions.

In today's progressive society, I would hope that a man could feep if he wanted to. If it's his party.

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This page contains a single entry by Ed Darrin published on May 20, 2005 6:07 PM.

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