[PLUG-TALK] Shock Language (was Re: [PLUG] Vulgarity)

Russell Senior seniorr at aracnet.com
Fri May 31 11:54:20 PDT 2002

>>>>> "Jeremy" == Miller, Jeremy <JMILLER at ci.albany.or.us> writes:

Jeremy> To me, that question is a cop-out.  That's not even the work
Jeremy> of a *good* cusser.  Good cussers are outstanding
Jeremy> communicators, and convey LOTS of meaning packed with LOTS of
Jeremy> emotion.  Sometimes WITHOUT relying heavily on what people
Jeremy> consider "cusswords".

When I was in college (early 1980's) there was a fellow, a poet, who
had a regular segment on NPR's morning news program.  His name was
John Ciardi, and the segment dealt with the etymology of various
words.  It was a fascinating exploration of the source of semantics of
words propagating through history.  He'd sign off each segment: ``good
words to you''.  Then he published a series of books: _A Browser's
Dictionary_, _A Second Browser's Dictionary_, and _Good Words to You_
(published posthumously, I think).  One of these books had a section
on what he called "shock language", unfortunately it seems to be in
the one of the three volumes that I can't locate at the moment.

It had a very interesting exploration of shock language and compared
relative ease and breadth of its expression in different languages.  I
wish I could lay my hands on it, because I think you all might find it
interesting as well.

And BTW, Full Metal Jacket is _loaded_ with very beautifully
expressive, if sometimes "shocking" language, begining to end.  Highly
recommended to language lovers.

Russell Senior         ``The two chiefs turned to each other.        
seniorr at aracnet.com      Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible       
                         profanity, which, translated meant, `This is
                         extremely unusual.' ''                      

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