Author Topic: Epithets, Explatives, and Four Letter Words  (Read 24080 times)


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Reply #26 on: January 27, 2007, 09:29:24 PM
it's funny.  i just put the finishing touches on the new chapter to my main writing project.  there's a big reveal to one of the characters in there and it seemed like every other word out of her mouth was "fuck" or "shit".  i trimmed it down, but left a lot of it in there. 

so, thanks for making me so self conscious of all the foul language i write in to my characters. 

« Last Edit: January 27, 2007, 09:35:15 PM by bekemeyer »

Excuse me, but what exactly is ScatterPod?


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Reply #27 on: January 29, 2007, 10:32:12 AM
That sir, is a good link.  Nice find!

so, thanks for making me so self conscious of all the foul language i write in to my characters.
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Reply #28 on: February 04, 2007, 12:27:03 AM
Which was all well and good, until it came to characters swearing.  Did you ever stop to think how much of our profanity is based on religion?

Good on you for taking cursing seriously in your world-building.  There's a line in The Empire Strikes Back that always pulls me right out of the action: Han says "I'll see you in hell".  Maybe it's a phrase he picked up from some alien culture, but he uses it in a very casual manner.  Yet hell, heaven, god(s) and religion are conspicuous by their absence from the rest of the main characters' dialogue.

Obviously they understand the basic concepts (C-3PO can explain that the Ewoks see him as a god) but theistic references seem to have been eradicated from their everyday lives.  Except for that one line.  And it jars.

On the topic of swearing in general, one of the characters in The Thick Of It (BBC satire on spin in modern politics) had a brilliant line to someone hanging around outside his office: "Come the fuck in or fuck the fuck off."  I loved that the ordinary sweariness of "fuck off" wasn't enough and he had to inject an extra meaningless swear in the middle for emphasis.  It's a technique I've filed away in case I ever write a character who might talk like that.

Russell Nash

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Reply #29 on: February 04, 2007, 08:03:23 AM
I think cursing comes with a cadence.  If you don't have the right cadence, it sounds weird.  This is why writing cursing is so hard.  When you write what you speak, it looks weird, but when you write something, that looks right; it sounds wrong when you read it out loud.

I heard a script writing for "The Sopranos" on "Fresh Air" and he was talking about how hard it was. He said the best they did was when one guy walked around the room ranting and the other just typed everything he said. It would look weird on the page, but the actor could animate it and make it sound real.