Stories and bad words. - Page 3

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Thread: Stories and bad words.

  1. #21
    luckyscars' post about his fondness for the word 'cunt' is amusing. Through most of my adult life, 'cunt' and 'cocksucker' were two words you never heard except maybe among three or four guys who have known each other since kindergarten. Then, about three-four years ago, the word is applied from men about men and even used in affection. Now, I hear some women use the word. . .again, applied to men as often as women.

    To use the phrase--in any language--"God's blood" in medieval times, could be very risky in the wrong context. If an official who didn't like you heard you use it in what seemed a blasphemous way, you could be put to death! By Shakespeare's day , the phrase had reduced to 'Zblood! and was considered a strong oath. . .but no longer associated with the Roman soldier piercing Christ's side on the cross. Today, many Brits, Aussies, Kiwis, and Canucks can barely get thru a sentence without using the engrained word "bloody" three times! This word has not caught on in the States. "Cunt' in North Am. is at a transitional stage--ho-hum in some language groups, still totally unacceptable in others
    Last edited by clark; January 18th, 2021 at 11:58 PM.


    "I believe in nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of the imagination". Keats, ​Letters

    "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main . . . any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls -- it tolls for thee. " John Donne, Meditation XVII

  2. #22
    One of the most brilliant stories I've ever read is filled with almost-pornographic words. It is truly a filthy story. The story is Stephen Dixon's "Milk Is Very Good For You." (Dixon was on the creative writing faculty at Johns Hopkins and was the winner of all sorts of writing awards.) While the story is almost pornographic, the "nasty" words are entirely made up by Dixon. There's not a normal naughty word anywhere in the story. But you feel and understand the story's made up language and words. What Dixon is doing is allowing the reader to take part in the creation of this "dirty story." He shows that we all bring our personal baggage to stories and that words themselves are human constructions, neither dirty or clean.

    I tried to write a short poem in a similar way but ended up mostly abandoning the piece-- I felt too soiled.) Plus, writing that way, making up the naughty bits, was difficult.
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  3. #23
    I have a character that tries to hide what he thinks is a weakness by swearing. I tried to work around it because I know there are those easily offended by words, but after he broke through with his own voice, I allowed a few others to express themselves. In the end, it is just a word, but how it affects the reader's mind is what they feel is damaging. Does that make sense?

  4. #24
    Swearing should, if the story or situation requires it, be applied liberally.

    You're a big girl/boy/person.

  5. #25
    Member LadySilence's Avatar
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    I think it depends a lot on the context.
    It is also true that it depends a lot, on the type of readers.
    In a children's story, I'll use as many simple words as possible.
    I don't want to fill the whole story with bad words. But make it realistic, in context. In this case the prison. I already have some ideas, to reduce swear words.
    I think we need the right measure. Between using them, and avoiding them.
    I wrote two short stories, erotic, one very vulgar, and the other without ever using vulgar words. Both were successful. But they were two different stories, for two different contexts.
    My dream? Being able to enter people's hearts with words: giving emotions and dreams.
    JK Rowling (Harry Potter) has been rejected more than 10 times Remember, don't give up!
    Thank you all for the help you give me to improve my English.

  6. #26
    WARNING: VERY coarse words/phrases used as examples. If that kind of language disturbs you, STOP reading at the blue line below.

    --as Milton's Satan says in Paradise Lost (Bk VI, I think):

    The mind is its own place
    and can make a Heaven of Hell
    A Hell of Heaven

    As an Object in the world, a word is simply a u​nique cluster of dark marks on a lighter surface (or vice versa). The culture that is 'home' for that word will 'define' it, usually in a Dictionary. When Samuel Johnson published the first English Dictionary in 1755, he expressed fear that the book might 'shackle' creativity by 'boxing' in words.
    Words in isolation on a page/screen are static signals of possibility. Nothing more. Two factors--the language context of the whole statement + the reader's 'baggage' that he brings to the statement = meaning. Maybe. A woman whose child died from an infection caused by a cat's claws, will have a snap "meaning" for the word 'Cat' that is dramatically different than a man who operates heavy equipment. No one needs to be more aware of this critical aspect of 'meaning' than the professional writer, part of whose job it is to walk the tightrope, trying to find the right words in a given situation for a particular audience.

    In my 4th undergrad year I took a short mini-course called A Linguist Looks at Obscenities . On the first day, the prof--an Austrian by birth-- walked in at three minutes to the hour. The man was maybe 50, about 5'3", dressed fastidiously in tweed suit avec vest and looped gold watch chain, polished brown brogues. He kept pursing his lips like he was going to kiss someone. A buddy leaned over to me and asked, "when's the last day to withdraw from a course?" I nodded as this fussy little man turned to the class precisely at the hour, pursed his pudgy fingers into a tidy tent, and began to speak.

    For the next 90 seconds he quietly and methodically recited a string of the filthiest obscenities any of us had ever heard. Or were ever likely to hear. A couple of these 'gems' stick in memory and will give some insight into why three enrolees walked out before he even finished the 'list': 'filthy cunt-lickin' whore' and 'shit-stained asshole reamer'. When he finished, he paused, swept the red-faced class with an innocent look and asked--

    "Vatt's ze matter ladies and gentlemen --are zey not just vords?"

    That little course proved one of the most valuable courses I ever took. It 'freed' me from arbitrary judgments about words, re-focusing my attention on context and audience as more accurate barometers of 'meaning' than the dictionary. The course went beyond so-called 'obscenities'', of course, but exploring the boundaries of such emotionally charged usages was an amazing lesson for me on how language really works.
    Last edited by clark; January 19th, 2021 at 08:52 PM.


    "I believe in nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of the imagination". Keats, ​Letters

    "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main . . . any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls -- it tolls for thee. " John Donne, Meditation XVII

  7. #27
    Swear words should be used when they feel necessary. In times with heightened tensions for example is a good time. If characters are having a conflict and it makes sense in dialogue.

    It also depends on your character. Maybe they curse a lot, and it is part of their image.

  8. #28
    Sorry, can't agree that all words are just words because words mean things. It would be like a painter deciding that all colors are equally important and they all go into the same painting at all times because, hey, they're all just paint.

    Also, in the words of Kaylee from Firefly: "...the whole point of swearin' is that it ain't appropriate."

  9. #29
    sometimes to be culturally correct you must be appropriate and inappropriate in the same instance
    No swear words its utterly lost in translation

    Struth you buggers talk a shit load of crap
    put vegemite on one side of some cunt
    marmite on the other
    and spend days wanking on you can tell the fucking difference
    We are the measure of all things. And the beauty of our creation, of our art is proportional to the beauty of ourselves of our souls. Jonas Mekas

  10. #30
    Member Sir-KP's Avatar
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    Mar 2018
    I don't write children books, so I go all out. Keeping in mind to write it less like textual communication and more like verbal ones.

    As mentioned a few posts above, for example, the chance of hearing words like 'cunt' and 'cocksucker' spoken out is really low. I've never heard one (when I was living in English-speaking country) but I have read it as texts in forums and whatnot.

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