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Topic: Movies and silly 4 letter words . . .
Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Apr 14, 2003 04:39AM)
I wouldn't mind, but this silly little word that is meant to be insulting, is supposed to refer to a pleasurable, normal human and animal act, that which propagates the species.

Why oh why, do so-called intelligent writers, directors, producers and actors (and actresses), feel it necessary to include this worn out hackneyed little word into movies? It is so pathetic to see and hear a good film star use this word like some grubby little schoolboy in a playground, thinking he is using his ultimate verbal weapon!

I first discovered this ridiculous little word written on a wall near my school aged ten, about 1960, so hearing it on the movies is hardly even going to make me yawn!

What if Rhett Butler, instead of saying: "to be quite honest my dear, I couldn't give a dambusters" (I had to say dambusters to beat the MC censorship) to Scarlett O'Hara, had said: "go **** off Scarlett". Would this epic movie have been such a classic?

I think it time that someone came up with another word to replace this one. I propose the word "fadge" (hope it doesn't mean anything already - according to Oxford Dictionary it doesn't - what about Websters?). Maybe someone from Hollywood or a major TV company will spot this posting, and a whole new worldwide insult will be born! Maybe in a couple of years we may hear a star like Arnie or someone say in an all action film "let's get the fadge out of here". Wow, now that would be something!


(Hmm . . . the word "fadge" is Copyright to AceParties of England - ok!)
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Apr 14, 2003 06:43AM)
Your Rhett Butler line (as it might be done today) is hilarious! :rotf:

You are absolutely right; the reason THAT word is in such great use today is sheer laziness.

Rather than come up with something brilliant, intelligent, or clever, it's much easier to slide into some tired, old word that shows no intelligence at all. And, the next thing you know, it has become a habit!

A related topic raises the question of what values does our society hold when movies are allowed to show a man and a woman murdering each other -- but they are not allowed to show them making love!

And it's not only a western phenomenon/problem; this occurs pretty well everywhere that movies are made.

Oh, it's a sad, sad world indeed!
Message: Posted by: debaser (Apr 14, 2003 05:31PM)
overused - yes

great word? - yes

Even though it's overused it is still a great word that most everyone immediately has an emotional link too. While it's overused, there is a reason people use it and that is because it is an effective word. It's meaning is not only instantly understood but it is also felt. It's also phonetically wonderful for its use. (in the realm of cursing)

Peter - your comment about violence and sex (while off the topic) is dead on. I think that is one of the saddest things about American media.

Message: Posted by: marko (Apr 14, 2003 05:32PM)
Well, yes, I agree up to a point, but I think most good screenwriters and directors use profanity in their dialogue because it reflects how many people (sadly) speak in real life. Some people use profanity due to a limited vocabulary, and they're just trying to present it realistically. It's all fadging true!
Message: Posted by: Reg Rozee (Apr 14, 2003 11:49PM)
Replacing this word has been an obsession with many sci-fi writers. A couple of examples:
From "Battlestar Galactica": frack, possibly feltergarb
From "Farscape": frell
From (I'm so sorry I can't remember where): tanj, stands for "there ain't no justice"
There are a lot more...

Unfortunately almost every use of an "alternate" word has come across as rather silly, and most (good) writers avoid the practice. Usually, the best dialogue is what sounds the most natural. But if you are forcing the word in question into unnatural usage (such as Rhett I would say), it sounds just as ridiculous. I think it's all right when it fits, but putting it into the mouth of any character just to "tough up" the movie is poor writing.

-Reg {*}
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Apr 15, 2003 01:23AM)
The 'f' word is a great 'line in the sand' regarding subjects and language unsuitable for public discourse.

The simple and facile may get distracted by the words and miss out on the idea at work. The misguided may learn to associate terms like 'foul language' and 'cursing' and 'swearing' with public discourse of private subjects. Use of inappropriate language can be a clue as to the state of the speaker and possibly their education.

It also seems that such words are ejaculated into dialogue as a direct method of disengaging from discourse due to emotional content or state.

As to the linguistic-aesthetic dilemma regarding reproduction and language, I chose to believe we are not yet in such a dystopia that the joys of life can only be described in negative language. Much as I find newspeak and doublethink both prevalent and offensive, I choose to believe people still have high regard for the details and feelings associated with sexuality. For this I would cite Trent Reznor, aka Nine Inch Nails (NIN) whose earlier works use very explicit language.
Message: Posted by: David_Libertine (Apr 15, 2003 01:53AM)
And let us not forget that on occasion it is used to shock and unsettle so that the listener is jolted out of their "comfortable" position so that other important statements can be made.

Four letter words can be used quite effectively as extreme interjections. This doesn't imply that the speaker isn't educated... in this case, it can show just the opposite.

If you don't agree and believe that there is no place in adult discourse for "adult language" then it's simply a judgement on your part, not a language rule.

I do agree that the use of four letter words can be excessive and that all too often people choose to use them simply because they have nothing else to say, but that doesn't diminish the word's value when used at the right time...

Then again, there are those "special times" with a signifigant other when the words can have an all together different and pleasurable meaning... but [b]that's[/b] another topic...
Message: Posted by: ChrisZampese (Apr 15, 2003 04:37PM)
I have to put my $2.50 (inflation you know!) in here...

Sure the word can be effective in getting people's attention, but then again so can taking off all your clothes, or strangling a kitten! There are other effective and less offensive ways to get someone's attention, and an educated speaker can use them.

As for the movies simply reflecting reality with their use of the word, that brings up a whole new debate. TV and movies may reflect reality, but it is not always my little slice of reality that it reflects. I may not associate with Mobsters, or get kidnapped, or get my leg crushed, or lose a patient or any of those other situations on TV where the F-word is used 'appropriately. But TV brings me other people's slices of reality, which makes swearing in my little piece much more acceptable.

Well, that's a bit too much rambling from me, I think its time for me to **** off. (**** = sign) :)
Message: Posted by: Chris Berry (Apr 15, 2003 07:49PM)
Yeah... Television and movies bring you reality.....

That is why New York revolves around single white people living in apartments.

That is also why the 'toothfairy' comes after us if we see her when we lose a tooth.

Yup, television and movies sure portray reality pretty accurately. :hrmph:

Message: Posted by: marko (Apr 15, 2003 08:30PM)
In my post, I was refering to quality films and quality television programs. They are sadly in the minority, but they do exist.
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Apr 15, 2003 09:07PM)
There are about 400,000 words in the English language.
It's amazing how some people can get along with about six four-letter ones!
Message: Posted by: Chris Berry (Apr 16, 2003 12:46AM)
On 2003-04-15 22:07, Peter Marucci wrote:
There are about 400,000 words in the English language.
It's amazing how some people can get along with about six four-letter ones!

Well said Peter! Bravo! :)
Message: Posted by: James Harrison (Apr 16, 2003 01:34PM)
Ahh, where to begin. Well, to the first statement. Would the movie have made the same impact?

No, it wouldn't have even been played. That was such a pivotal movie because of that line.

If anything stronger would have been used, the movie would have been still in the can, rotting away in some vault never to be seen again.

Unfortunately, the times are changing. I find it quite desensitizing to listen to some of these movies as of late, where almost every other word seems to be a swear word. (Oops, sorry, that's the kids walking away from the school near my house.)

This is what they relate to, whether it is deemed intelligent or not. Movies are made to entertain, but also to make money.

Intelligent films? I love them, but I know hardly anyone that will actually know what I'm talking about, because it doesn't appeal to masses.

How can I talk to people at work about my favorite movies like Donnie Darko, or Running Time, when they are concerned with ullets moving in slow motion, and big dinosaurs. (And swearing thrown in there for good measure.)

Appeal to the masses, that's the name of the game, that's why Pro wrestling is still alive and well, and Monster Truck Rallys still draw a big crowd.
Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Apr 17, 2003 02:53AM)
Maybe it's a case of entertainment 'dumbs-down' to the masses, and in doing so 'dumbs-down' the already 'dumbed-down' masses even more!

I suppose cheap, bawdy entertainment has always existed though, and these days it embraces cheap and bawdy language.

Thanks for your clever replies. Have a nice Easter, - we're off with our caravan/trailervan to the hills now with just a b/w 10" TV, a radio, good pairs of walking boots and plenty of 4 packs (for a fadging change!)