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There has been some discussion, particularly on the Retire Early Board, about the use of the word ‘apesh!t’. Incidentally, the word in its original form fails to pass the TMF censors and I would make an argument it should be included in the acceptable column.

My contention is that apesh!t expresses a specific particular not easily articulated by another word or phrase. Saying some went apesh!t denotes something not covered by ‘hysterical’, ‘panic-stricken’, ‘out of control’ or ‘frenzied’. Apesh!t is a class unto its own.

Even ‘going bananas’ doesn’t cover the breadth of apesh!t. Like art, we know apesh!t when we see it – going bananas is milktoast to apesh!t’s beef.

“My Gawd, all I did was show him the e-mail and he went apesh!t,” says more than, “I showed him the e-mail and he was disturbed.” Far more. Now we know because we already know what apesh!t really means: it doesn’t mean ‘disturbed’. It means ‘apesh!t’.

In the early days of television the word ‘pregnant’ was verboten. We used euphemisms such as ‘with child’ or ‘enceinte’. Lord knows ‘knocked up’ was beyond the pale. If Archie Bunker went apesh!t we said he was, in his own way, responding to Meathead’s point of view. Now, on reflection, we know Archie went apesh!t.

Maybe, in a decade or two we may find a word more descriptive than apesh!t but, right now, it fills a niche perfectly.

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