Dear Science Fiction Writers:
I believe with all my heart that people will be saying 'shit' and 'goddamn' and 'fuck' in the next century, and probably beyond. Why do you feel compelled to invent new cusses to substitute for the profanity we already know and love?
Do me a favor, wouldja? The next time your write a story and you want someone to say 'fuck', please just have them say 'fuck' and not some stupid-ass made up word like 'dumpit' that is absolutely void of emotional impact and just sits there on the page like a cold turd. (Yeah, I'm looking at you, David Brin.) That shit yanks me right out of the story and leaves me feeling like I just missed a mind-blowing orgasm by that much.
(Well, OK, it's not exactly like that, but you get my point. It totally harshes my buzz.)
The only exception to the rule is TV where, for the most part, the characters can't say 'fuck'. But the actors usually can deliver the equivalent with enough emotional intensity to make us believe they just said 'fuck'. Which is almost as satisfying as the real thing.
But please, in a novel, just say 'fuck' when you mean 'fuck'. Or if you're too well-mannered to say 'fuck', a heart-felt 'crap' will do. Pretend you're translating from Russian or something and are simply using the nearest equivalent that your feeble-minded, primitive, 21st-century audience can relate to.
Please don't just make shit up. It really pisses me off.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Rant: Future Cuss
Fair Warning: Lots of f-bombs afoot. Watch your step.