Saturday, January 12, 2008

SF Swears

Oh the weird stuff that percolates in my head late at night. Last night I found myself swearing every time Max woke up and started rocking in his bed...but not just any swears. I was swearing the following:

1. Frak!
2. Frell!
3. dor-sho-gah!
4. shazbutt!
5. shards!
6. tanj!

Can you name the sources of each of those curses? No fair using the internet to look em up either! Feel free to add to the list. (Honestly, #6 drove me crazy until I figured out what it meant. I thought it was one of the more stupid invented future swears I'd ever read.)

Personally, I love it when SF authors take into account the inevitable shift in spoken language and the rise of new slang and curse words. It drives me crazy when this important facet of being human is forgotten. Seriously...500 years in the future everyone will speak English the same way we currently do? Seriously?! Come ON now!

The first time I recall this phenomenon being addressed well in a film was in Demolition Man. It's one of the reasons I can overlook this movie's flaws and it stays on my list of all time favorites. Ignoring language shift is almost as bad as those early SF stories that ignored the fact that the moon has no atmosphere.

3 comments:

april said...

Okay, I don't know if this is right...Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy? That's what popped in my head, but I can't remember them swearing like that.

Karen Funk Blocher said...

1. Frak! - Battlestar Gallactica
2. Frell! - Farscape
3. dor-sho-gah! - no idea
4. shazbutt! - that's shazbot! I've seen it in print! Mork and Mindy
5. shards! - Pern books
6. tanj! - no clue

Best I can do without research!

Karen Funk Blocher said...

April - in Hitchhiker's it's "Belgium!"