Obviously, Wormrot has been much on my mind lately as I prepared my review for Dirge, which also entailed spending several intense hours with Abuse. But it wasn’t until I sat down with the Abusing the World DVD that accompanies Dirge that something occurred to me: How are you supposed to pronounce Abuse?
My mind automatically read the title as Ab-yoos. But it could also be pronounced Ab-yooz.
How you pronounce it? And does it make a difference. Oh sure, I could just ask the band how they intended it, but that would spare me the fun of drastically overthinking this.
Ab-yoos, to me, implies passivity. It is something being inflicted upon Wormrot, which they must endure. However, ab-yooz is more active in nature. It suggests something the band would be doing unto others (not as they would like having done unto them).
As Spinal Tap so adroitly noted, it's that little turn at the end that makes all the difference.
Of course, I consulted the lyric sheet for some insight, but there is nothing like a title track to provide clarity. In fact, the word “abuse,” in either form, is not actually used in the lyrics. “Exterminate” gives us one past tense variation on the word: “Build your hate. Exterminate. Pitiful creep. Been abused.” That's all we have to go by and I'm not sure that's definitive. But that’s all we’ve got to go on.
I’m curious how you read the title and whether that your preferred pronunciation makes any difference to how you interpret the album, the lyrics or the music. Toss out your theories in the comments.
Fuckin’ homonyms, how do they work?