Normally I don't publish off the record remarks, but this one is so charming and innocuous -- and I'll keep the person in question anonymous -- that I really can't see the harm.

Yesterday, I was speaking to a former public official. She mentioned a group that had irked her in office and asked me, "Can I cuss off the record?"

I assured her she could. She said, "They are a pain in the you-know-what."

I then assured her than I did know-what, but told her that whether we were on the record or off, she couldn't really claim to be "cussing."