Re: I almost forgot to mention something about Claudia Bassols, as befits house style

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In general I think if it ain't english, they don't give a shit.

I can't imagine the armies of moral scolds that get mobilized to complain are bilingual, either.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-25-08 8:28 PM
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I think that's right.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-25-08 8:32 PM
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Prude.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-25-08 10:50 PM
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3: Yeah, that's probably it. Fucking Catholic upbringing.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 12:06 AM
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Didn't the New York Times censor a French word recently?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 12:09 AM
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I think this might be it:

The most successful recent novel set in Paris is not at all serious and has been written by a man. Stephen Clarke's novel, first published in Britain in 2004, recounts the adventures of Paul West, a 27-year-old Englishman who comes to Paris to help open a chain of British tearooms. (The unprintable title refers to a French word for the ubiquitous dog excrement on Paris sidewalks.)

Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 12:43 AM
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The unprintable title refers to a French word for the ubiquitous dog excrement on Paris sidewalks.

They have a word for that specific phenomenon? Those French. Fucking sidewalk-dogshit adamant about their language.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 12:48 AM
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I think the reporter was wrong and the word is just merde.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 12:50 AM
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8: Oh sure, you can write it in a blog comment. But if you try printing it, on paper, the word just disappears and leaves a blank space on the page. It's unprintable.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 4:43 AM
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The French have 100 words for dogshit. Also for the ubiquitous cigarette smoke. For example, I would call the smoke you blow in my face one thing, the smoke you blow in my face something quite different, and the ambient smoke that makes it impossible to see the other side of the room something else entirely.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 5:45 AM
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8: Excellent. Also see Raymond Smullyan's estimable What is the Name of this Shit?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 6:35 AM
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They have a word for that specific phenomenon?

Croûtes de chien.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 6:58 AM
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John's claim about the 100 French words for smoke is a lie. The 100 French words for shit is completely true, though.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 7:18 AM
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Stanley is getting old. I told him that dating the young, beautiful, and fabulous eekbeat would age him.

(Btw, please drop her off at our house tomorrow.)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 7:21 AM
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11: 8 was meant to be 9, not to disparage 8.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 7:30 AM
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I've always wanted to be able to ask the FCC how they justify letting "frak" and its variants fly. To all intents and purposes, it's just an alternative pronuncation of "fuck". It is exactly synonymous, with all the same connotations, combinations and grammatical applications. So why is it OK but not "fuck"?

Incidentally, was Father Ted ever shown on network TV? What happened to "feck" (which my Irish friends tell me is actually subtly different to "fuck")?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 7:30 AM
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16: It's just a fracking word, for Pete's sake.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 7:40 AM
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I was so amused by 10 that I repeated it verbatim to Molly, who stared at me blankly and then said "What has come over you?"


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 8:04 AM
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To all intents and purposes, it's just an alternative pronuncation of "fuck".

Oh, but it isn't. If it were, Starbuck wouldn't sound hilarious telling her husband "I just want to frak," but she does. It's like saying "darn" instead of "damn," the minor alteration makes all the difference.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 8:35 AM
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It's just a fracking word.

This reminds me of an exchange I had with a colleague recently, who cursed! in my presence and then promptly apologized what with my being a girl and all and therefore unable to bear such coarseness.

"I have such a bad habit of cursing at work. I never swear at home in front of the wife and kid!"

"Really? Just the other day I told Rory that her cake was 'fucking amazing.'"

"Oh, wow! Did you totally have to backtrack? What ever did you do?"

"Um, she raised an eyebrow when I said it, so I looked at her and said, 'Well, it is.'"

He now thinks I am a horrible person, of course. But whatever. Just a word. I've never actually heard Rory curse, actually, but it wouldn't phase me. If she told a friend to go fuck themselves, yeah, she'd get a talking to, because we are all about the nice in my house. But if she told a friend "You are a fucking rockstar," hey, way to be supportive!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 8:54 AM
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20:

That is the worst thing I have ever heard.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 9:01 AM
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In my defense, I had just woken up.


Posted by: Molly | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 9:12 AM
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I want to hear more about the helpy-chalks at the Farm.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 9:14 AM
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"16: It's just a fracking word, for Pete's sake."

I'm not being prudish about it. I love the fact that BSG can get away with more naturalistic dialogue by such a simple ruse. I just want the FCC to justify its own inconsistent prudery.

"If it were, Starbuck wouldn't sound hilarious telling her husband "I just want to frak," but she does. "

Not to my ear.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 9:15 AM
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"It's like saying "darn" instead of "damn,""

Ah, but it isn't. "Frak" is functionally equivalent to "fuck" in every way. "Darn" is not functionally equivalent to "damn". You can't use "darn" as a verb in place of "damn" (unless you're talking about an evil sock).


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 9:20 AM
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But if she told a friend "You are a fucking rockstar," hey, way to be supportive!

Kids should get a lot of the casual swearing out of their system at that age anyway, because it's downright hilarious. Then when they're in their 20s, they're over using "fuck" as punctuation just in time for job interviews!

(Or they've attained such a high level of expertise that they become the next Rahm Emmanuel)


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 9:20 AM
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Speaking of fabulous kid conversations, my 12 year old son wanted to talk about when I first had sex.

"Do you believe in waiting until you are married?"

"Fuck no!" I told him.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 9:23 AM
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What happened to "feck" (which my Irish friends tell me is actually subtly different to "fuck")?

Your Irish friends are a bench of lying cents.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 9:24 AM
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(The unprintable title refers to a French word for the ubiquitous dog excrement on Paris sidewalks.)

Uh oh! That sentence also refers to a French word for sidewalk dog shit! However did they print it?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 9:35 AM
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The other day Maura told me, "Carlos said the f word at recess." I'm thinking, for Chrissakes, these kids are only five fucking years old, but I guess we have to have a talk about it; so I asked, "What f word, sweetie?", and she answered, "fart".


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 10:01 AM
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Rob, will you inform Scarlett that she's been replaced by Rachel Maddow? Try not to say it in a hurtful way.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 10:12 AM
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I think I've told this story before, but I like it a lot.

When Larger Child was about 3, she and a friend were reading an alphabet book with the friends' mom. The mom got to the F page and read something like "F is for firetruck. Can you think of other words that start with F"

"Fuck!" said Larger Child, brightly.

Pause.

"Can you think of other words that start with F?"

Thing is, I was really proud of her right then. I mean, no one had ever told her "F is for fuck!" She figured that out all on her own, because she knew her phonics.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 10:14 AM
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"Can you think of other words that start with F?"

Fonics! Chimed in her beaming father.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 10:34 AM
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Rob, will you inform Scarlett that she's been replaced by Rachel Maddow?

Amusingly, John's chances with RaMad are even smaller than they are with ScarJo.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 12:02 PM
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I can turn her around, JRoth. She told everyone what gets her hot last night: infrastructure.

Both Atrios and Sausagely are infrastructure buffs, IIRC. Damn their eyes.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 12:04 PM
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This reminds me of an exchange I had with a colleague recently, who cursed! in my presence and then promptly apologized what with my being a girl and all and therefore unable to bear such coarseness.

This is all too common in my work life. I'm thinking of saying "oh my!" while feverishly waving a fan next time it happens.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 12:14 PM
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Croûtes de chien.

For shame, JM. It's crottes de chien. Clearly you need to return to France for reeducation.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 12:24 PM
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What happened to "feck" (which my Irish friends tell me is actually subtly different to "fuck")?

Your Irish friends are a bench of lying cents.

"Feck" doesn't have a sexual connotation - its literal meaning is actually "steal". It can be used as a substitute for most of the cursing applications of "fuck", esp. as "f_ off", "for f_'s sake". But saying e.g. that someone is "fecked" is a bit strained IMO.

It's a word which would get a much less tut-tut, smelling-salts reaction from my mother than "fuck".


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 1:45 PM
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Does helpy-chalk have Maddow's ear, or something? Why is John asking him to convey messages to her?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 2:01 PM
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Maddow's been kidnapped?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 2:54 PM
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Helpy-Chalk has done me good service in the past. The message is to Scarlett, anyway.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 3:03 PM
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Justice Stephen Breyer wants to know how the five-second-delay-bleeping thingy works and why it only works sometimes. Garre explains that Richie's expletives weren't bleeped because "they only had one person working the bleeping machine" that night.
Stevens proves he is our kind of jurist when he asks whether the FCC ever "takes into consideration that the particular remark was really hilarious?"

(from)


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 3:34 PM
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BSG's "frak" is not the same as "fuck." Not only wouldn't Starbuck sound ridiculous, but "motherfracker" wouldn't have become my least favorite television word.

Joder's a kind of tough verb for me to translate. Sometimes it means, affectionately, "fucker," sometimes it's an exclamation - things are fucked up, oh shit! - and generally it's much milder. My 6th graders use it without reprimand.

And "puta madre" is much closer to "motherfucker" than any version using "joder."

Spanish tv is pretty much uncensored, although they keep the fuzzy hardcore pornography restricted to after midnight, & I think there are limits to what you can show before 6 pm. Language is unrestricted.

The hardest thing to get over is the colloquial use of "coño", which literally translated would be "cunt" - except that I've heard mothers say it to their 6 year old children when they're walking too slow in the street, and friends use it interchangeably with "tío."


Posted by: Jim Sligh | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 4:05 PM
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37.---Crap.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 4:21 PM
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JM has been putting crottes in her soup. No wonder she' pissed.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 4:32 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 4:41 PM
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44: Quite literally, yes.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 4:45 PM
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37: That's a better book title than merde.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 4:51 PM
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Croûtes, crottes, let's call the whole thing off.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 4:57 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 5:08 PM
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Great post, Stanley! I always did like you better than meekins.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 5:12 PM
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There used to be a market for "dog lime", but I can't Google anything up but a poem by William Carlos Williams.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 5:20 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 5:23 PM
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Wrong. Way too many nice looking Mormon ladies.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 5:28 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 5:35 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 5:46 PM
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So, what are the differences between Jews, Protestants, and Mormons? Jews don't recognize Jesus, Protestants don't recognize the Pope, and Mormons don't recognize each other in liquor stores.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 5:53 PM
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The Mormon ladies I'm thinking of are very pleasant, blonde, and sometimes nicely plump, with no Coulter traits.

In general I've found Mormos to be very good-natured in non-religious contexts.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 5:59 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 6:09 PM
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I'm going to keep "Emo the Lamanite" for Emerson.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 6:11 PM
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sometimes nicely plump

Also, there's a certain frisson in knowing that the plumpness comes from trying to avoid masturbation.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 6:25 PM
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"Emo" R me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 6:46 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 7:25 PM
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"Frak" is functionally equivalent to "fuck" in every way.

Nope, as has been pointed out. As an exercise, try listening to an NWA record and replacing every instance of "fuck" with "frak." Then ask yourself if any of the band's members would have ever appeared in public again after releasing the result.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 7:32 PM
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Better yet, Ice T's classic hit "Let's Get Buck Naked and Frak."


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 7:40 PM
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That's a ripoff of Jimmy Buffett (1973), you know.

A friend of mine knew Jimmy Buffett's ex-girlfriend and says that she's not sure he was ever quite sober when she was with him.

An ex-supervisor of mine idolized Jimmy Buffett and bought and read his books for the philosophy in them. This was in a retailing kind of business.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 9:13 PM
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Well, I'll bet Ice T totally frakked Jimmy Buffett's mom. Even if she was dead. So suck on that, muthafrakka.

An ex-supervisor of mine idolized Jimmy Buffett and bought and read his books for the philosophy in them.

This is great, though.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 9:16 PM
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It wasn't great for me. She almost fired me, but I (along with several others) got her fired instead. I loved the revenge, but it wasn't worth it. A fucked up year or two.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 9:21 PM
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but I (along with several others) got her fired instead.

Ironically, satisfying the central tenet of Buffettism: "if we weren't all crazy, we would go insane."


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 9:24 PM
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The Parrotheads are in many respects weirder than the Deadheads or the Juggaloes.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 9:29 PM
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It's mellow, but not smooth. Kinda shitty.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 9:39 PM
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We have one of those Jimmy Bufett-themed chain restaurants in town. I'll be there on Saturday for a birthday, in fact. I'm fully expecting the restaurant to be lame.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-26-08 9:55 PM
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"Nope, as has been pointed out. As an exercise, try listening to an NWA record and replacing every instance of "fuck" with "frak." Then ask yourself if any of the band's members would have ever appeared in public again after releasing the result."

I think people are missing the point. Obviously, "frak" doesn't sound as rude as "fuck" to our ears, which is why it goes through the censors. But in Starbuck's universe, it does. If NWA existed on Caprica, the song would be called "Frak Tha Police". It is "fuck" in Galactica. Which is not the case with "darn". "Damn" and "darn" are not syntactically interchangeable. "Frak" and "fuck" are.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-27-08 1:57 PM
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It is "fuck" in Galactica. Which is not the case with "darn".

Not a bit of it. It is in fact syntactically possible to replace any instance of "damn" with "darn." ("Goshdarnit." "Darn that dream!" "Darn you to heck!") It just sounds corny and harmless, because it's obviously an effort to replace a genuine curse with something anodyne to the monolingual English-speaking ear. Just as is the case with "frak." Which is why the FCC doesn't bother itself.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-28-08 2:53 AM
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We're clearly not going to agree, but anyway...

All the examples you give are softened curses - in those contexts, darn is indeed interchangeable with damn. I'm not disputing that. I'm disputing the fact that it's interchangeable when "damn" is not used as a curse, in the same way that (in Galactica's universe) "frak" is "fuck" no matter what the context. So for example, "frak me" but also "I just want to frak".

To give an example of how "darn" is blocked in non-swearing contexts (possibly by the sewing verb), I shall use the highly scientific means of Google. "Damn the sinners" produces 421 hits. "Darn the sinners" produces zero.

To summarise, "damn" and "darn" are not the same word. "Darn" is, as you say, "obviously an effort to replace a genuine curse with something anodyne" and consequently cannot be substituted for "damn" outside of a curse within our universe. Conversely within the Galactica universe "frak" is the exact same word as our "fuck", which is of course why Anders doesn't find it hilarious when Starbuck says "I just want to frak".

Now the intent of the writers of BSG was clearly to replace an English curse with something "anodyne" to English ears, but at the end of the day it's no different to airing a foreign language show with extreme profanity in it (which, ironically enough, is how Firefly managed to get profanity past the FCC).


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-28-08 7:44 AM
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75: "Damn the sinners" produces 421 hits. "Darn the sinners" produces zero.

Bad example, really. Used theologically, "damn" is not a curse and therefore would not be interchanged with "darn;" a preacher saying "God damned the sinners" is not swearing. Anywhere it is used as a curse, however, it can be so interchanged, and is.

The FCC isn't concerned with the niceties of what the word signifies in the show's fictional universe, they're concerned with how it sounds to audiences in this one. Especially the parts of that audience that are going to cram their phone lines with calls. To that audience, "frak" will signify much the way "darn" does, and that audience won't care much about cursing in foreign languages since most of it is monolingual English-speaking. The internal logic of the FCC's choices, therefore, does make some actual sense.

(I actually liked Firefly's approach to profanity much better than BSG's. When they modified English cursewords they did it effectively -- "gorram" actually sounds like a natural product of some kind of future cockney -- and the Mandarin cursing sounded pungent and naturalistic.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-28-08 10:55 AM
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"Bad example, really. Used theologically, "damn" is not a curse and therefore would not be interchanged with "darn;" a preacher saying "God damned the sinners" is not swearing. Anywhere it is used as a curse, however, it can be so interchanged, and is. "

Um, that's exactly my point.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11-30-08 7:30 AM
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If I call it rather a minor semantic quibble that doesn't much alter my main point, do you think we can keep this argument going until this thread migrates off the main page?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-30-08 10:07 AM
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A lot of those rooms are total arousal-killers. Especially the victorianish ones with all the lace and the fetish ones with all the black costumes and whips and crap.

The one at the bottom with the round bed and the insane 70s vibe is awesome, though.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 4-08 11:12 AM
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Oops, wait, wrong thread.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 4-08 11:12 AM
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ON topic, sort of, PK swears almost as much as his Mama, but he does it in the appropriate circumstances and he knows not to do it at school, around other adults, or around other kids, so whatever.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 4-08 11:13 AM
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If NWA existed on Caprica, the song would be called "Frak Tha Police".

This is amusing the hell out of me.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12- 4-08 11:58 AM
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It was certainly interesting for me to read the post. Thank author for it. I like such topics and anything that is connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more soon. By the way, pretty good design you have at that blog, but how about changing it from time to time? I mean it :)

Katty Stepman
elegant international escorts


Posted by: Katty Stepman | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:24 PM
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