Episode 636 - The Cusscast
May 22, 2023
We're talking about swearing! Swearing in comics, types of swearing, the use of swearing, causing offense, taking offense, swearing used as a term of endearment, and some history behind various types of swearing. We barely even scratch the surface! We don't swear in the Quackcast if we can help it so we're talking around and about the language without using it, though we DO swear in our Patreon vid, which is free to all patrons, even the $1 level.
Topics and Show Notes
Swearing can indicate a lack of maturity, it can indicate social class, it can express things like anger, fear, triumph, pain, surprise, joy, excitement, and even awe. We use it to cause a fight, to indicate how much we love a friend (very much in Australia), it's extreme language basically, it's a very blunt, simple tool in the language toolbox. If you REALLY want to cut a person deep and make them feel small then swearing is a pretty soft and floppy tool, unless you're 12 or an idiot you don't use it for that purpose.
There are so many different kinds of swearwords in all different languages. We have the common ones in English based on various taboos involving bodily excretions, sex, genitalia, and masturbation, that are quite popular all over the world due to the dominance of the language. There are more culturally specific ones about race, ethnicity, class, religion, sexuality, and sexual practices that are more individual. Not to mention the cultural based swears or pejoratives that go in and out of fashion, like “boomer” or ‘incell“ that carry a lot of rhetorical power.
Swear words go in and out of fashion- what could have been viscous in the past can be seen as almost a quaint joke today. Or what was once a harmless mundane term in the past can be seen as vile today; don’t say Poh Bear in China because their leader finds it a mortally offensive insult! Or the weird history of the terms ”arse“ and ”ass“ and how in the early 20th century ”ass“ completely switched its meaning with ”arse“. In American English ”ass“ was used as a safe, non-swearing punny, sneaky reference to ”arse“ because they're homonyms: one calling someone a donkey and the other a bottom, but for some weird reason the safe alternative just appropriated the entire meaning it was sneakily alluding to… Which was bad for language in general because it reduced the ways you can use the term as well causing a lot of modern people to misunderstand the use of ”ass" in historical literature.
How do you use swearing in your comic or reality? Do you have a favourite term or phrase that's your go-to? Do you avoid swearing and have a whole armoury of replacement words?
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Mercury Virus - Light, retro keyboards, sounding very Moogy… jazzy and quiet. They’re offset by heavier notes from an electric bass guitar, loosely thrumbing and strumming along, promising danger, action and violence, while the keys are just doing business as usual.
Topics and shownotes
Captain Gold and the Robotrons - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2023/may/16/featured-comic-captain-gold-and-the-robotrons/
Mercury Virus - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Mercury_Virus/ - by Mercuryviruscomic, rated E.
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/banes
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
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