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View Poll Results: Imaginary Profanity?
Yea 19 90.48%
Nea 2 9.52%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 11 2014, 05:59 PM   #1
Mojochi
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Sci-Fi Nonce Word Profanity

Do you find the use of nonce word profanity to be useful or to be distracting?

Farscape: Frell, Dren, BSG: Frak, Firefly: Gorram. Frankly, even in shows that I truly enjoy, like Firefly I find the practice pulls me out of the moment. It can be a humorously quaint affectation to a beloved show, but it always falls short with me, in the dramatic context. Surely, we have enough scope in the English language that if our intent is to devise expletive language, there's enough vocabulary in the existing lexicon to draw from.

In the case of Frak or Gorram, it's more than just distracting because clearly those words were a deliberate deviation from fuck & goddamn. It's spiteful childishness to do such. "Here's where I'd have them to say fuck, but can't". It's not only childish, but it harkens to the silly practice of people who substitute with words like fudge or shucks. It unavoidably lacks potency

Truth be told, I can manage to be both masterfully vulgar & profane without ever uttering a single thing that even remotely resembles a traditional profanity. I'd note however that I do love how they use Chinese in Firefly. Despite its occasional resemblance to Yosemite Sam mumbling, it's rather creative, & isn't that what language in fiction should be... creative?

Imaginary words are just that, too imagined to be of use in a straight forward context. The imagination is a delicate tool. Wield it like a sledgehammer & you can easily miss the mark
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Old May 11 2014, 06:08 PM   #2
JoeZhang
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Re: Sci-Fi Nonce Word Profanity

What's more distracting is that Nonce is generally only used in UK English in 2014 to mean paedophile so I cannot read this thread without my mind substituting in that usage.
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Old May 11 2014, 06:10 PM   #3
Nerys Myk
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Re: Sci-Fi Nonce Word Profanity

"Nea"? Is that some sort of made up swear word?
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Old May 11 2014, 06:18 PM   #4
TemporalFlux
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Re: Sci-Fi Nonce Word Profanity

I believe it's more accurate to have these made up words. Our language changes based on time or location; it would be unrealistic to use the same words in a setting 1,000 years from now. Do we talk like people did 1,000 years ago? Even if they speak English, do you talk like people that live on the other side of the world from you?
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Old May 11 2014, 06:20 PM   #5
JarodRussell
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Re: Sci-Fi Nonce Word Profanity

It's exposing the silliness of censorship.
Not allowed to say "fucking"? So let's say "frakking". LOL, what a difference.
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Old May 11 2014, 06:31 PM   #6
bbjeg
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Re: Sci-Fi Nonce Word Profanity

I find it funny (especially when R2D2 curses) but curse words weren't always curse words. Who knows what will be considered a curse word next.
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Old May 11 2014, 06:47 PM   #7
Greg Cox
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Re: Sci-Fi Nonce Word Profanity

It doesn't frelling bother me. Although I regret that "frell" never caught on the way "frak" did.
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Old May 11 2014, 07:11 PM   #8
nightwind1
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Re: Sci-Fi Nonce Word Profanity

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
It doesn't frelling bother me. Although I regret that "frell" never caught on the way "frak" did.
Well, tanj it, why the frelling frak doesn't bother you, gorramit?!
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Old May 11 2014, 07:12 PM   #9
auntiehill
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Re: Sci-Fi Nonce Word Profanity

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
"Nea"? Is that some sort of made up swear word?
It's "Nay" for people who can't spell.

I actually don't mind the NONSENSE words for curses, since language changes constantly, varies from area to area and region to region. Curses used even 100 years ago seem ridiculous to us now. Words that are seemingly ordinary and innocent in one country are seen as vulgar in others. If an American turns to his pal and says, "I'm stuffed," he means he's full after eating too much. In England, that same conversation has a completely different meaning.
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Old May 11 2014, 07:53 PM   #10
MacLeod
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Re: Sci-Fi Nonce Word Profanity

Mojochi wrote: View Post
Do you find the use of nonce word profanity to be useful or to be distracting?

Farscape: Frell, Dren, BSG: Frak, Firefly: Gorram. Frankly, even in shows that I truly enjoy, like Firefly I find the practice pulls me out of the moment. It can be a humorously quaint affectation to a beloved show, but it always falls short with me, in the dramatic context. Surely, we have enough scope in the English language that if our intent is to devise expletive language, there's enough vocabulary in the existing lexicon to draw from.
Part of the use of made up profanity words is that the censors tend to ignore them, when you start to use actual profanities it could impact on when shows air, which could then impact on revenues. Then there is the international market to consider what passes as a mild profanity in one country might be considered more vulgar in another.

But in the case of Farscape and BSG for example aren't we dealing we other cultures why would they use the same profanities as we do?
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Old May 11 2014, 08:05 PM   #11
Ar-Pharazon
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Re: Sci-Fi Nonce Word Profanity

Red Dwarf: Smeg
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Old May 11 2014, 08:13 PM   #12
Sindatur
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Re: Sci-Fi Nonce Word Profanity

Ar-Pharazon wrote: View Post
Red Dwarf: Smeg
Oh, I thought that was an actual British Slang word
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Old May 11 2014, 08:13 PM   #13
Gaith
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Re: Sci-Fi Nonce Word Profanity

I don't watch any of those shows, but I'm pretty sure I'd find it stupid. Either find an alternative to cursing or bleep it in the broadcast and give DVD/Netflixers the real, raw deal.
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Old May 11 2014, 08:18 PM   #14
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Re: Sci-Fi Nonce Word Profanity

BELGIUM!!!
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Old May 11 2014, 08:34 PM   #15
Relayer1
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Re: Sci-Fi Nonce Word Profanity

Sindatur wrote: View Post
Ar-Pharazon wrote: View Post
Red Dwarf: Smeg
Oh, I thought that was an actual British Slang word
As in short for 'smegma'. No, I've not heard it used outside of Red Dwarf.

Nonce is short for 'not on normal courtyard exercise' - segregated from other prisoners for their own protection. It usually applies to paedophiles.
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