I recently wrote a short poem entitled "Self-Deprecation." It's short, so rather than click the link to read it, here it is in its entirety:
Too much like self-
And I hate myself for it.
The original version contained an added line about how "self-deprecation" also reminds me of masturbation. But I've always felt like the word "masturbation" is one of the dirtiest words in the English language, so I used thesaurus.com to try to find a similar word that would still got my point across.
However, "autoeroticism," "malthusianism," "onanism," "self-abuse," and "self-pollution" didn't really do it for me.
If you know what I mean.
Plus, I like my "poems" to be as short as possible. So ultimately, I left out the masturbation part.
But before I closed my web browser, I noticed this advertisement on thesaurus.com:
I understand how the advertisement works and the goal of it. Obviously, any word that someone looks up in a thesaurus is a problematic word, perhaps troublesome enough to convince someone to pay for "Writing Dynamo," whatever it may be.
But c'mon Thesaurus.com. Have a little foresight to see that you can't just capitalize every word that people search for and throw it into an advertisement.
Perhaps my favorite part of the advertisement is the second line. If you dissociate yourself completely from your knowledge of how the advertisement came into existence, the second line seems to offer an incredibly inapplicable answer to the baffling question it posed in the first line. Is your problem with masturbation interfering with your work? Then buy this product to help your vocabulary*!
*I was originally going to use the word "diction," but used thesaurus.com to find a new word, because "diction" just didn't feel like the right word to use when talking about masturbation.
Taken out of context, the two statements simply have nothing to do with each other -- so much so that it is laughable. I can imagine similar advertisements:
Car trouble? Eating potatoes can be a good way to work more fiber into your diet.
Are you an alcoholic? Take this quiz to find out your perfect love match!
Overweight? Catching Fire is the exciting sequel to The Hunger Games.
Are you Christian and single? Walgreens is offering laundry detergent at half price this week.
Carpel tunnel syndrome? Masturbation could be messing up your project.
Okay, that last one might make more sense than it should.
But sorry. It's actually harder than you might think to come up with two things that are as dissimilar as grammar and masturbation.