Monday, November 24, 2008

Lust in translation

I always wonder whether a word's impact is down to its form or its function. I mean, would George Carlin's Seven Dirty Words be as dangerous if they were rendered as Plop, Widdle, Rumpy-Pumpy, Quim, Nosh, Physical Manifestation of the Oedipal Narrative and Funbags?

6 comments:

Robert Swipe said...

Charlie Brooker was beeped during Screewnwipe last week. He used the word c***-hive - to great comic effect, even though I'm not sure if he was saying c*** or c***.

Let's face it, swear words are just *fun* - especially in the hands (mouth?) of a master like CB - that's why people are so down on it.

xxx
Bob

wrung vasectomification: hastoxo

If you rush it, you'll spoil it...

The Bureauista said...

In the bible of the ESL teacher, Practical English Usage, there is a lengthy section on the cultural impact and the various forms of English swearwords. My favourite segment is when the author demonstrates the malleability of the word 'fuck' by contrasting the sentences: 'What are you doing in my fucking bed?' and 'What are you doing fucking in my bed?'.

Tim Footman said...

See, Bob - if he'd said 'quim' or 'fandango' he'd never have been bleeped.

But Bureauista, Johnny or Joanne Foreigner might reasonably ask whether a fucking bed is different from a non-fucking bed...

Fat Roland said...

The best use of a swear word I ever came across was when I lost my temper in front of a good Christian friend some time ago, and I cursed: "Fucking hell!"

Without flinching, he smiled sweetly at me and said: "I'd rather fuck in heaven."

Tim Footman said...

Yes, Roland, but do angels have functioning genitalia?

Fat Roland said...

Angel penises. ANGEL PENSISES. There- that should give your blog a whole new stream of odd Google traffic...