A sweary blog about swearing
December 18, 2014 8:29 AM   Subscribe

Strong Language is a new blog about profanity, cusswords, vulgar fuckin' language. Started just a week ago by James Harbeck and (MeFi's own) Stan Carey after discovering their shared frustration at not having a place to talk (swearily) about swearing, it already has ten posts by various authors covering such topics as the phonology of cusswords, whether shit is a contronym, the effectiveness of swearing in John Carpenter's The Thing, and a post reviving the cult classic linguistics article "English sentences without overt grammatical subjects" (previously).
posted by narain (38 comments total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
 
Fuckin' A!
posted by jonmc at 8:30 AM on December 18, 2014


Fuck yeah! This looks super interesting.

Nice tags btw
posted by Librarypt at 8:32 AM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


oh shit!
posted by louche mustachio at 8:41 AM on December 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I fucking love swearing.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:42 AM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Thing piece is pretty fuckin' awesome.
posted by valkane at 8:45 AM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Like the beloved Maledicta? I loved that journal.
posted by oflinkey at 8:47 AM on December 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. This is cool.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 8:48 AM on December 18, 2014


I am already laughing just looking at the title,"English Sentences without Overt,"What the hell?
posted by Oyéah at 8:50 AM on December 18, 2014


Odds bodkin, that's a fine blog! Strewth!
posted by FatherDagon at 8:56 AM on December 18, 2014


There should be a permanent link and shrine to 'Deadwood' on their site.
posted by Thistledown at 8:57 AM on December 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


I look forward to an in-depth discussion of the elaborate pidgin language developed for Deadwood, which flanked all nouns with the words "fucking" and "cocksucker."

For example, "Would you please pass the fucking salt, cocksucker?"

Or, "Your fucking dog, cocksucker, has taken a fucking shit cocksucker on my fucking creeping jenny cocksucker for the last fucking time, cocksucker."

On Preview - Hi, Thistledown!
Nice fucking comment cocksucker.
posted by Naberius at 8:59 AM on December 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


That whole is-shit-a-contronym question is something I'd definitely noticed coming up in conversation before and it's nice to see someone's actually looking at it from a linguistic perspective. Good show!
posted by psoas at 9:16 AM on December 18, 2014


Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. This is cool.

So you definitely come down on the "is a contronym" side of the controversy.
posted by TedW at 9:19 AM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


http://www.lonniechu.com/QUANG.html is the best unexpected laugh I've had in ages.

Hoping this blog will take a look at Mr. Lahey's shit-prefixes on Trailer Park Boys.
posted by sylvanshine at 9:24 AM on December 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


By the way, if you haven't seen Deadwood and think I must be exaggerating, there is an episode in the first season in which racial tensions are simmering because a white man has robbed and murdered a courier for the opium smuggler who runs Deadwood's Chinese side. (I originally used the term "underworld," but really underworld is all there is in Deadwood. )

The problem is that the Chinese opium lord can't allow the offender to live without losing the respect of his people, while the de facto leader of the white community cannot be seen to give over a white man to the Chinese for justice without all hell breaking loose.

So there's a lengthy scene in which the two secretly meet and attempt to find a solution that will restore order while allowing both to maintain honor within their respective cultures. It's a very nuanced and complicated negotiation, with all-out racial apocalypse hanging in the balance, and almost literally the only word they have in common is "cocksucker." It must be seen to be believed.
posted by Naberius at 9:27 AM on December 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I look forward to reading their take on Glengarry Glen Ross, AKA Death of a Fuckin' Salesman.
posted by TedW at 9:32 AM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I look forward to their post on OCTOBER 22.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:55 AM on December 18, 2014


Over [Grose's] three editions he offers us 17 terms for penis (arbor vitae, matrimonial peacemaker, sugar-stick), 37 for vagina (crinkum-crankum, dumb glutton, the monosyllable), 56 for sexual intercourse (hump, pray with one’s knees upwards, shag) and 5 for gay sex (backgammon, fun, larking).
There's some great fucking history in there too!
posted by RogerB at 10:09 AM on December 18, 2014


"Fuck Lyndon Johnson and wash the dishes." is going to be my go-to cuss phrase for awhile.
posted by Cookiebastard at 10:11 AM on December 18, 2014


This is the Deadwood scene Naberius referenced. All the interactions between Swearengen and Wu are priceless, and yes, this scene is near the top. Years later, my wife and I still sometimes break out with "WHITE COCKSUCKA" in moments of pique...

Although, for my money, it doesn't even come close to what I consider to be the epitome of a symphonic use of profanity in television and film.
posted by jammer at 10:36 AM on December 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I love this so.

When my son was two he parroted most things I would often say.

I knew I had a sailor mouth when I saw my son with his little hands on his little hips saying, "Where are my fucking keys?"
posted by SpottedWasatch at 11:11 AM on December 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Lest we forget languagelog and their discussion about the phrase "Fucking shut the fuck up" (shouted by an irritated Van Morrison at a concert).

This is one time when you should definitely read the fucking comments.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 11:14 AM on December 18, 2014


Jfc (to borrow from the shitpic story yesterday) 5,000 hits a day after just a week!

Maybe I need to fucking start swearing on my blog.

posted by mmrtnt at 11:18 AM on December 18, 2014


This is one time when you should definitely read the fucking comments.

If only to learn he once played in a band with fucking Geno Washington.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:28 AM on December 18, 2014


There's an episode of The Simpsons where Marge says "piss". It's a bit of a shock, unexpectedly hearing it on British TV at dinner time, and was surprised it wasn't edited out for British consumption.
posted by Wordshore at 12:29 PM on December 18, 2014


Fuck you or I'll take away your teddy-bear.
posted by signal at 12:55 PM on December 18, 2014


So glad to see the Deadwood love, Naberius.

Let's open a can of fuckin' peaches.
posted by Thistledown at 2:18 PM on December 18, 2014


Back in 2013 the Lexicon Valley podcast did an episode on swearing that besides being educational is worth listening to just for a jaw-dropping comment which happens at around the 21:35 point. (It's more about the timing than what was said but the comment was definitely and hilariously profane.)
posted by fuse theorem at 2:33 PM on December 18, 2014


I own a copy of Studies Out of Left Field. It's a sort of festschrift.

My favorite swearing fact: deaf people with Tourette's can have involuntary coprolalia; they will swear in sign language. So swearing is like a fundamental human category. Not sure how it fits in a Chomskyian framework.
posted by PMdixon at 2:55 PM on December 18, 2014


Swearing and The Thing?

Christmas came early!
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:24 PM on December 18, 2014


I've got a wonderful book called "Holy Shit" that goes in depth on the etymology of curses and which makes the (to me) eminently sensible point that the linguistic weirdness of "fuck you" as a verb makes perfect sense if it is serving as a replacement for "damn you," which once upon a time was the most shocking and horrible thing one could say but which has lost much of its power with the increasing secularization of society.
posted by Scattercat at 3:26 PM on December 18, 2014


This is truly a thing of fucking beauty. Thanks, narain.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 3:48 PM on December 18, 2014


To the great cuss word moments on TV, I'll add The Greatest Police Investigation ever.

Also, I understand Maxim's reaction in the "shit-as-contronym" link. I once worked with a Mike Hunt, but always referred to him as "Michael".
posted by graphnerd at 4:16 PM on December 18, 2014


the effectiveness of swearing in John Carpenter's The Thing,

the swearing in The Thing is a thing of beauty.
posted by mikelieman at 5:51 PM on December 18, 2014


The fuckin' mods are sure as shit gonna praise this motherfucker on the next goddamn fuckin' podcast.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:56 PM on December 18, 2014


I once worked with a Mike Hunt, but always referred to him as "Michael".

So how do you know the Aiken County, SC sheriff?
posted by TedW at 8:32 AM on December 19, 2014


I would like to see a piece on how German lacks a word for "fuck" (the swearword), and how that impacts dubbing in movies.
posted by Omnomnom at 10:42 AM on December 19, 2014


...Maybe I should edit the tags because right now "cunt" is in the top five MeFi tags on my profile page
posted by narain at 9:35 PM on December 19, 2014


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