Sunday, December 9, 2007

Potty mouth

Actual quote from an e-mail my grandmother sent me today:

"I would go to your blog but I am not mature enough for the language sometimes. If 'mature' means finding profanity and vulgarity humorous."

9 comments:

Martha said...

Well, she has a point. I enjoy your blog very much, but occasionally the language does seem out of place. I'm neither a grandmother nor a prude, but do find that "such language" ruins the flow of your writing at times.

Eric said...

But it is how Chris speaks, I believe. And we're talking here about neither a novel or a magazine article. It's a blog, which I think conveys a more relaxed "regular voice" tone. What I'm trying to say is there are just some instances were saying he's a friggin'jerk just won't convey the same meaning as he's a fucking asshole.
Now, if you over use those words in your vernacular, like I do, they tend to lose some of their meaning, which I why I use them less and less as I get older. And of course one always needs to understand the audience to which one is speaking but in this case, the audience chooses to read the blog and if Chris is comfortable with the fact that some people might get turned away because of the language, so be it. In the end words are only what we make them. Thoughts Chris?

Chris Cope said...

For those of you who don't know Eric -- where others would put "like," "uhm," and other verbal crutches into speech, there was a long time in which Eric would use "fuckin'".

E.g.: "Did you, fuckin', see that fuckin' sheet of paper that I, fuckin', had in my fuckin' hand a few fuckin' minutes ago? It was, fuckin', purple and I really fuckin' need it."

It's worth pointing out that I used to live with Eric. So any offensive language on my part is fucking his fault. Thanks for driving a wedge between me and the people I love Eric! You bastard.

(Oh, and Eric's right. The blog pretty much reflects how I speak, sans a bunch of totally unnecessary ridiculously extraneous adverbs that are seriously not needed and generally overly-repetitive)

Jenny said...

I think that swearing is both big and clever. There's nothing I enjoy more than a good expletive. I also believe that smoking makes you look cool.

Incidentally, anyone interested in reading an excellent and eloquent essay on swearing should purchase Stephen Fry's Paperweight. Actually, you should buy it even if you're not interested in swearing, it's chuffing brilliant.

kenji said...

I've only found this blog recently, but, on the whole, I find its tone quite agreeable. I mean, this is a personal blog, you're supposed to do whatever you want with it. And we must bear in mind that today's offensive words will make future generations laugh. However, as Eric says, a constant use blunts the edge of these priceless tools of language.

Anyway, I'm spanish, and here swearing is nothing short of an art form. The vocabulary is extensive, and I've heard some expressions that would serve as zen koans.
In Spanish literature, there's a long tradition of rough language and swearwords. Sadly, young people lack the wit and talent of the old masters. On the other hand, the younger generations focus on the more conceptual and dadaist aspects of the art of swearing. With hilarious results, at least for some of us.
Here's a proof:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXolkYmTzsQ

Donde haya un buen "hijoputa" que se quiten todos los "motherfuckers".

Martha said...

I'm really not offended by the language, just pointing out that in some places it doesn't seem to fit. I'm all for a good, expressive swear word, well chosen and well used. But, as has been said already, used too much the words lose their value.

Eric said...

I fuckin' STILL nefuckineed that purple fuckin' sheet of fuckin' paper!

Jenny said...

Also for students of swearing:

This is an excellent example of London-style cursing, replete with compound swears, biological sleight of hand and barely-contained-yet-articulate fury. Nice.

Sara said...

i get a huge kick out of how culturally dependent swearing is. it's not the word, it's how people interpret the word! a great example of this is the fact that my british boyfriend throws the word "twat" around all the fucking time, but if i say "cunt" it induces a full chest to face blush on him. so i say it just to make him blush.

another example is that on my trauma team we had a resident from england who in a tone only our team on rounds could hear was describing an event that happened in the operating room and said "so he was bleeding like hell for leather, and i said bollocks..." and our attending physician practically yells, "bollocks! that's a terrific word, bollocks!" at a volume that patients and nurses for 30 feet around could hear and this being the U.S. nobody even cared.

over this american thanksgiving season i also had numerous opportunities to be amused by people saying "gobble gobble!"

chris you explain that one. hee hee.