I’m sorry. I know nothing about Tourette’s.

Weirdly, I’ve been getting a few people arriving at my blog based on a couple of completely flippant references I’ve made to Tourette’s (here and here). It seems that as a result my blog was listed on a site that shares information about the condition.

I don’t know anything about Tourette’s, as will be immediately obvious to anyone who has arrived at my blog. Instead, like the much of the population, I’m guilty of referencing a serious condition in the interests of being mildly amusing.

And I do feel bad that someone might arrive here looking for genuine insight and be offended that actually I’ve just been making light.

But in thinking about it I guess I’m also concerned that if I do offend someone they might get abusive and the last group of people you want to invite abuse from is people with Tourette’s. Because you’d have to assume they’ve got mad skills.

I imagine it being like those stories you hear of people who have amazing abilities that seldom get called upon. Like the guy I read about who had both a photographic memory for faces and an amazing ability to produce fine pencil sketches. He just desperately wanted to be the only witness to a significant crime (ideally a bank robbery) so that not only would he be able to describe the perpetrator in remarkable detail, but he would also be able to draw the perfect identikit profile within minutes. He always dreamed that because of his amazing talents and speedy response a notorious criminal would be caught and as the man responsible for said capture he’d be celebrated by all and interviewed on TV. It never happened for him and, fate being what it is, it’s quite possible that it was precisely because he was blessed with this rare combination of talents that he was never actually present at any significant criminal event. (This would be a happy story if not for the fact that the disappointment at never being able to exhibit his talents in the way he wished actually drove him to a life of crime in his later years. Such was his frustration that he took to robbing banks in the retirement area in which he lived, just so he could at least play some role in the criminal scenario he’d so often imagined. The great irony is that he was caught when his image was captured on a security camera, the ultimate indignity for a man of his talents.)

Anyway, I was speculating that it might be similar for someone with Tourette’s. The affliction delivers a very specific capacity for language that is seldom called for, but one which delivers a certain natural advantage when it come to delivering abuse. They’d be like abuse-ninjas, poised, waiting to strike, and then along comes me, treating the syndrome in a completely flippant manner, and it’s the perfectly justifiable abuse opportunity they’ve been waiting for.  Which makes me a little afraid.

Or maybe it would be exactly the opposite. Maybe it would be one of those weird twists (like the people who have stutters that disappear when they sing) and that if you have Tourette’s and you launch into abuse you actually completely lose the swearing and come over all prim. You have this awesome repertoire of swearing and just at the point when it would actually be of benefit you completely lose the power to summon it. That would suck.

Anyway, I’ll let you know either way when the abuse starts flying.

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I’m sorry. I know nothing about Tourette’s.

One thought on “I’m sorry. I know nothing about Tourette’s.

  1. Grace says:

    Actually, you are popping up on news alerts from bots like ‘google alert’ which will give someone a daily list of every article posted that day that contains a key word it has been asked to look for.

    In my case, I have a teenage son with Tourette’s & use it to track all articles that use the word so that I can keep up with research on it.

    Tourette’s that involves the involuntary use of swear words & foul language is actually not very common at all. The tics that show up are typically movements moreso than noises.

    It is neither a fun nor a funny condition & it frustrates me how readily people like to use it to insult someone so I really appreciate that you have come to recognize that it could be hurtful.

    There is no reason to wonder about being abused by someone with this condition; it is nearly always the other way around…

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