A Fucking Review of a Book on Swearing

nullColin Burow rezensiert auf London Review of Books Melissa Mohrs Holy Shit: A Brief History of Swearing, über das ich schonmal vor einer Weile gebloggt und so zu 'nem Viertel gelesen habe. Dem Thema angemessen ist es voller verfickter „doddi-poljolt-heads, jobbernol goosecaps, […] and other suchlike defamatory epithets“. Außerdem gibt es einen kleinen Exkurs zu automatisierten Robo-Schimpfwortgeneratoren. Sweet I mean Shit I mean Nice!

Really good swearing relies on formulaic elements, but needs to be precisely adapted to the moment. In this respect dear old Robin in the 1960s Batman TV series was one of the best swearers, though his lips were never soiled with a common-or-garden profanity. He could combine ‘Holy’ with more or less anything in order to create his trademark ejaculations, which were always to the point. Number two in my list of all-time favourites is ‘Holy chocolate éclair!’ Number one has to be ‘Holy uncanny photographic mental processes!’

You can see how difficult it is to swear really well by asking a computer to do it. Those with masochistic tendencies might seek out the verbal rough-housing on offer from the potty-mouthed webservers at foulomatic.hnldesign.nl or the more tastily named sweary.com. The results, though, are disappointing. A true poet of the foul would never have come up with the computer’s ersatz ‘toe erection’, or its ‘son of a wank biscuit slapper’, though I confess that I had to look up ‘biscuit’ in a slang dictionary to discover its filth potential: ‘ass’ is the relevant sense, though it can apparently also function in similar ways to the British English slang use of ‘crumpet’.

Frog’s Knickers (via Coudal)

Amazon-Partnerlink: Holy Shit: A Brief History of Swearing