How to Make An English Professor Cuss

I jumped in to help 
on our college Facebook 
page. A mother posted 
concern about her daughters, 

two of them, who don’t
like online learning,
though pandemic
college can’t be fully

face-to-face, not just
yet, and I thought I 
typed “daughters,”
but I typed “daughter,”

and some man jumped
on the thread and said,
“Daughter are? And you’re 
an English professor?

I’m not surprised.”  And
all 23 years of my career
reared up behind me 
and begged to be allowed

to respond.  They wanted
to say, “You want to go
head-to-head on grammar,
fuckbucket?  Because I’m 

down for that, you inbred
single-celled shitgibbon.”
But I was on the college
page, so I took a couple

of deep breaths and wrote,
“Thanks for the catch!” (Note
the exclamation point. It makes 
it friendlier. It’s how women

are socialized to appear
less aggressive. I would
love to see a study that
compares exclamation

point usage between women
and men, though I don’t 
really need official data.)
As I breathed through my

response, I thought 
about how common
snark has become, toxic
thrusts and parries, and

how people will throw
schoolyard taunts at
others without any 
knowledge of who

they really are.  And
I wondered how this
man would feel if I 
questioned him in a

snide manner about his
life’s work. And then I
wondered if I had ever done
just that to someone. It’s 

possible, though I don’t
recall details. So I looked
in the mirror and let that 
man go. 


© 2020 Deb Moore, All Rights Reserved

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