Thursday, January 07, 2010

Son of a Bitch!

In my opinion the words “son of a bitch” by themselves are not capable of any defamatory meaning. They are peculiar, in that they take their meaning either from the tone of voice used or from whatever adjective accompanies them. They are a translucent vessel waiting to be filled with colour by their immediate qualifier. Thus, one has sympathy for a poor son of a bitch, admiration for a brave son of a bitch, affection for a good old son of a bitch, envy for a rich son of a bitch and, perhaps incongruously, dislike for a proper son of a bitch. Why right thinking people should dislike anything that is proper is rather a mystery unless proper is used to mean “real”, but I am confident that is the colour that adjective gives to the expression.
Ralston v. Fomich, 1992 CanLII 1652 (BC S.C.)

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