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British-isms in Fanfic

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by LadyMairead, Jun 19, 2003.

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  1. LadyMairead

    LadyMairead Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    May 20, 2002
    I was reviewing the list of permissable curses posted by Kit', and I started thinking about the non-American curses present on the list, such as bloody, sod, and bugger. In the past, when I've seen those words in SW fics, it made me stop. They seemed incredibly out of place.

    Lately, however, with the impending release of OotP (Order of the Phoenix, for those of you who live in a cave), I've been desperately reading Harry Potter fics, and have become inured to curses from across the pond. I've even considered putting some in my fanfic.

    So, my question is: How do all of you feel about seeing British curses in SW fanfic? Out of place or acceptable? Discuss.

     
  2. AlrikFassbauer

    AlrikFassbauer Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 2, 2003
    I had the same thought.

    British form of cursing seems to me very exaggerated - that's simply how it arrives in my brain. ;)

    A German person for example would never curse in such a way like ... Well, I shouldn't say it here. ;)

    British cursing is the strongest cursing I've ever seen - but it is so exaggerated that seems to me like someone who is used to sharp tasting meals, so to say. ;)
     
  3. NarundiJedi

    NarundiJedi Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 8, 2001
    I use British slang like prat, bloody, and twit a lot because a few of my OCs have English accents. It's just the way I've always visualized them, so they talk that way.

    Other than Imperial officers, I don't see any of the other canon characters with an English accent, so I don't write them like that.

    Jae Angel
     
  4. Kitt327

    Kitt327 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 23, 2000
    Those swear words are not exclusive to the UK - they are used in many english speaking countries.

    'bugger' had a surge of popularity in Australia and New Zealand after it became the slogan on a famous Toyota ad.

    I don't think they'd be out of place in a Star Wars fic if they suited the character. Obi-Wan uses phrases that some people could think of as English-sounding.

    Also you could be writing a crossover ... Crocodile Dundee does Star Wars or something :)
     
  5. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    I use "bloody" occasionally as a curse word, mainly because it sounds rather exotic to me (being an American) and it does evoke a rather dire image...
    I think it might be better to try and make up your own curse words. Too many recognizable US/British cultural terms will tend to throw me off a SW fic.
     
  6. LadyMairead

    LadyMairead Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    May 20, 2002
    Interesting thoughts, all around.

    I have to say, I'm very hesitant about using British slang in my fic. To me, those kinds of words seem to be intensely cultural, and they evoke an image or a sense that conflicts with the essence of SW.

    The only reason I'd consider using them is because I'm really hurting for curse words because of the language restrictions. The characters in my fic tend to be somewhat gritty and I want to be able to have them express their emotions in a real way. For me, that means that they curse occasionally. And I know when I become very incensed, I use words that aren't permitted on the boards. ;)

    I don't know what to do. I am conflicted. Help me fellow writers, you're my only hope.
     
  7. LadyPadme

    LadyPadme Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 26, 2002


    Since they're accepted words, I don't see anything wrong with using them. For US readers, though, these words may have a lot less impact than they would in Britain or other Commonwealth nations. "Bloody" for instance, seems like a mild curse to me, but I remember my 8th grade English teacher, who came from England turned completely red in the face when our class challenged her to say the word out loud, and she finally said she just couldn't do it.

     
  8. LadyMairead

    LadyMairead Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    May 20, 2002

    It's not so much that I'm worried about their impact, it's that I see them as not fitting in with Star Wars. When people say things that evoke the image of "earth" for me, it jolts me out of the story, and ruins whatever the author is trying to do at that point. Does that make sense?

     
  9. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 4, 2002
    As a British Ex pat I can say two things.

    1) Some words that (Americans in general) toss in like 'Bugger' 'Bloody' and 'Sod' would have got my mouth washed out with soap if I used them in my household when I was growing up and I still have a hard time seeing them in fics sometimes.

    2) They are very much "earthy" coliquisms and may jolt your readers out of your fic...
     
  10. emimar

    emimar Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2003
    You need to use something to replace banned words like [edited]. Next you'll be whinging about the spelling of the sodding word Lightsabre.

    It could be worse. You could have phrases like hey up mi duck and I'm offended by the fact that you're moaning about it. I might just write an whole fan fic in phreases common to derbyshire now just to get on your nerves.

    I'm English and proud of it!


    Amidala_Skywalker note -- please do not use that word even though you were just making an example. Also, please tone the sarcasm a tad. Thanks.
     
  11. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    I didn't realize that some of the Brit colloqialisms were so jarring to the British...I'll be more careful in future...since I do not want to have my readers kicked out of the universe for an odd word...

    Could someone explain to me why "bloody" is such a bad word?
     
  12. AlrikFassbauer

    AlrikFassbauer Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 2, 2003
    Yes, I'm interested, too.
     
  13. Spike2002

    Spike2002 Former FF-UK RSA and Arena Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 4, 2002
    emimar: Brit pride :D
     
  14. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Just a note... YOU might not find the casual swears offensive but SOME might. I use a very familiar term for excrement in my vocabulary but most decidedly not here. Also, somethings just don't 'transfer' well... Imagine the hubub if someone said "he started playing with his fag..." We non Americans know right away that the writer is refering to a cigarett, yet in the states that term is a derogatory word for a homosexual.

    (Yes I know, lame example but it was the first thing I could think of.) Besides, I still say it can jolt a reader out of your story and if anything, that's the last thing a writer wants to do.
     
  15. Spike2002

    Spike2002 Former FF-UK RSA and Arena Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Haha. Playing with his fag. Lol. I have to remember not to make any reference to that when talkin to Americans.
     
  16. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    I do know what you mean, Mairead. I think it depends on the "British"-ism, but in general I find it is MUCH more fun to make up "Star Warsy" cuss words... even more so, I find myself thinking up the etymology. Not every cuss word in GFFA can be Basic or Corellian. :) I've been trying to think of which words would be Rodian or Calamarian (I imagine the latter would sound like a gurgle, since the vocal mechanisms must be different... which takes us back to the whole "writing aliens" thread...
     
  17. LadyMairead

    LadyMairead Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    May 20, 2002
    I have no problems with British curse words. In fact, I think they're outstanding. I write Harry Potter fics, and I love using British curses. I wish I was British so that I could use them all the time. ;) My issue here is that they seem out of place in the SW universe.


    Renata: Making up curse words is fun, but in the end, I always find that they sound ridiculous instead of forceful. In my opinion anyway. I mean "blast!" just doesn't do it for me. It makes me sort of snicker, instead of think, "Wow, that character is really angry."

    I guess I'm just trying to find alternative curse words that have the same impact as the banned curses. Maybe I'm on an impossible mission...
     
  18. _Tenel_Ka_

    _Tenel_Ka_ Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 11, 2001
    I was reading some HP fanfic lately too, one story in particular that's really good and I like some of the words. "Snog" for example. [face_devil] I snicker every time I hear it.

    I don't think using British slang is a problem, as long as it's mentioned beforehand that they have some sort of accent. Then it becomes a new sort of trait for that character.

    In fact, it's probably more realistic to have some people from Kuat, Commenor, Inner Rim or Colonial planets, that have accents different from those on the outer rim.
     
  19. InyriForge

    InyriForge Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 24, 2002
    I don't read Harry Potter, so for me, seeing a curse like the ones mentioned would throw me out of the story. (And for the record, I do not live in a cave but I would not have known what OotP stood for, so thanks for clarifying ;) :p ). I think the alternatives, unfortunately, aren't that great either. We're limited with what four-letter-words we're allowed to use here because of the PG rating. Then, of course, there are the SW curses, a lot of which seem unbelivable. (I'm angry. I say "damn" or "Emperor's Black Bones."? The one-syllable-four-letter-word comes out so much easier). *shrugs* Just my $.02.

    ~Inyri
     
  20. Skywalker_1138

    Skywalker_1138 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Jun 17, 2003
    I think their out of place.

    Example of Star Wars swears(all from EU)

    Spast!
    Emperor's Black Bones!
    Sith spit!
     
  21. imzadi

    imzadi Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 19, 2000
    I have no problem with the actually use of them in SW fanfiction, as long as it's not overdone or used for the sake of it. It would also be important to put them in the right context. Also, many of these words could very well end up on the banned list.
     
  22. LadyMairead

    LadyMairead Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    May 20, 2002
    I think I agree with you, Inyri. It's just frustrating to be so limited in terms of cursing. These people are facing life and death situations, pain, and war. 'Damn' is the best they can do?
     
  23. InyriForge

    InyriForge Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 24, 2002
    LM, I find that I use a lot worse than 'Damn' when I do stupid things like trip over my husband's shoes in the morning. (I am the worst morning person ever). Now, oh look, my friend just got blown to little pieces, I think I'll say 'Damn it.' *shakes head* It doesn't seem real to me, either.

    ~Inyri
     
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