Stop Writing “Sw@$t1ka”

*Pink monkey.

What are you thinking about right now? A pink monkey, right? In fact, you’re probably thinking about two of them now — thus is the terrible power of the interplay between language and imagination. We could do this all day. Through the clever use of an asterisk, we could refer you back to the top of this article, propelling you into a hellish feedback loop of infinite pink monkey generation.*

Every mention of the sw@$t1ka projects an incarnation of that four-pronged abomination across the mind’s eye like some kind of anti-semitic Bat Symbol.

For as long as she is reading something, the reader’s imagination is at the mercy of the writer’s. The author need merely invoke something unpleasant — say, a sucking chest wound with a halo of yellow pus — and the reader must live with the image in her head.

Given the power of this mechanism, you might think humanity would be more responsible with its use of language. Instead, a simple trip to a news source will plaster the walls of your imaginarium with mugshots and dying kids. Ick!

If that’s not bad enough, many writers see fit to mention (and even show) the sw@$t1ka — that symbol of eternal struggle commandeered and tainted by Adolf Hitler sometime in the 20th Century. (Now you’re picturing Hitler, which sucks. But we must have the courage to talk about this once, so we never have to again.) As demonstrated above, every mention of the sw@$t1ka projects an incarnation of that four-pronged abomination across the mind’s eye like some kind of anti-semitic Bat Symbol. (It is The Outcrier’s policy to simply imply the sw@$t1ka using leet-speak.)

If you think using the term “sw@$t1ka” in your writing, in any context, is acceptable, you should ask yourself these questions:

Are you proud to keep the legacy of Joseph Goebbels alive?

Can you even pronounce “Joseph Goebbels?” If not, here’s a handy guide.

What if Huck Finn had a sw@$t1ka tattoo? Wouldn’t you still burn his books?

Destroying a poisonous ideology begins with never mentioning it, or at least tiptoeing around it. Which side of history will you be on when it comes to the sw@$t1ka?