Vent one’s spleen

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5 comments on this post.
  1. MT:

    Does the “venting” in “venting one’s spleen,” have the same connotations as “letting off steam”? In other words, is the idea to the effect that venting releases pressure and is thus socially useful?

  2. tezzer1:

    I would say that “letting off steam” is preferable, if you realize the pressure is building. If you miss the early warning signs then the next stage is to “vent your spleen”. If you are still unaware at that point perhaps that’s where psychopaths and sociopaths live; they have no consciousness of pressure building, due to repressive character formations early in life.
    If we allowed more ‘venting of spleens’ verbally, we might see less murder or mass shootings. Recall the Unabomber wanted his manifesto printed, i.e. he wanted to “vent his spleen”. When no media was willing to publish him he started sending mail bombs. Not saying his manifesto made any sense (except to him), but not listening to him made him even more angry.

  3. Jeanne Mann:

    Jonathan Safran Foer uses the word Spleen as a verb as in “stop spleening me . . .” “I am always spleening her. “. . . performing so many things that can spleen a mother . . .”

    Anybody have any idea what he is talking about?

  4. jlo:

    Ah, Used to use “Spleen” to humorously refer to literal or figurative pain or injury to an non-specified area of the torso. As in “your elbow just ruptured my spleen” or after heavy lifting or outrageous fits of laughter “I’ve strained my spleen” and so on. Since most folks don’t know where it is or what it does it is the perfect place for these mysterious pains to reside.
    Mr. Safran seems to be using the word as short hand for “the venting one’s spleen” phrase. Exercising an economy of words – of which I am alas incapable.

  5. Tim Craig:

    Spleening.(n)an association of women who love power

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