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Kid's Media & Strong Language

 
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bkev
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Joined: 09 Feb 2007
Posts: 304

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:54 am    Post subject: Kid's Media & Strong Language Reply with quote

I was wondering what yall's thoughts were on profanity in a kid's comic, since Scott mentioned in his blog comments that he was running through a "profanity filter" usually when writing dialogue of some sort. I think there's ways to get around profanity without dumbing down the emotions involved, but often many comics/TV shows are unsuccessful (no variety... I don't think someone's going to scream "DARN YOU" when their best friend was killed. Or even something lesser - it's just so over used!). I wouldn't mind cursing substitutes if there was variety (whatever happened to "blast it" anyway?) - I mean, if I were cursing someone out, I wouldn't use the same one over and over.

It's worth noting that so far Dreamland doesn't have the problem I mentioned with weak cursing substitutes.

I think I'm good with "hell" or "crap" but that's about it. I mean, Hey Arnold had "crap" in it - and so did Dexter's Lab. Isolated incidents, mostly because parents freaked - but those words aren't so bad, are they? Didn't the pirate say "'ell" at one point? Maybe I'm over thinking this, but I think it's something that might be worth discussing.
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blood_dodo
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Joined: 30 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:39 am    Post subject: Re: Kid's Media & Strong Language Reply with quote

By far the best idea I've seen is the "slag" in Transformers. Fits perfectly Smile
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TFBW
Deus Ex Machina


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Strong language" is a highly culture-specific concept. There is a fair bit of overlap, but there are plenty of words that will earn you no reaction in one country while landing you with a mouthful of soap from yo momma in another. Smile
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tuxedobob
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Joined: 28 May 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's interesting to note that swearing in kid-friendly (or close enough) contexts, such as Spongebob or Star Trek IV, swearing is sometimes portrayed to the uninitiated as a "sentence enhancer". When you think about it though, this isn't really the case. Consider something like, "What the $&@* are you doing?" If you bold the part that's generally emphasized in speech, it becomes, "What the $&@* are you doing?" If you drop that part out, it's "What are you doing?" and the tone makes it pretty easy to understand that someone's upset. The last version, however, arguably sounds the strongest of the bunch; that is to say, the sentence with the sentence enhancer ends up sounding weaker.

Of course, speaking adds a lot to a conversation that's lost in text. (As an exercise, see how many different meanings you can get out of asking the question, "Really?" out loud. In speech, you can run the gamut of emotions including bored, surprised, sarcastic, annoyed, hopeful, and so on.) So it becomes understandable, though still usually unnecessary, when it's used in a textual context.

Which brings us back to the use of fake swears, or half-swears. While half-swears such are "darn" and "heck" sound weak and cheesy, the real versions often sound just as cliché and uninspired. Fake swears such as Farscape's frill/frell work for a while, but the audience does a mental translation with the note, "Oh, yeah, they're saying that because they can't say this," and are potentially distracting.

I think where TDC manages to avoid this is that swearing is used to convey anger more than any other emotion (is it ever used for any other emotion?) and the mood and emotions of the characters are well established without having to resort to it.
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ssava
Creator of "The Dreamland Chronicles"


Joined: 12 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I definitely wanted Nastajia to swear in the page where she says "Heavens No!" a few days ago.

Hell No would have fit much better.
But just doesn't work with her language (I'm trying to make her a bit more eloquent with her words). And doesn't fit with the age range.
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ANTIcarrot
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Joined: 02 May 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Kid's Media & Strong Language Reply with quote

bkev wrote:
I was wondering what yall's thoughts were on profanity in a kid's comic


Depends on where you want to publish it, and what age range you're aiming at. Japan and Europe can be very tolerant of things that would turn a censor white in Britain or America.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GettingCrapPastTheRadar

The general rule I've heard is that kids know exactly what BS is and what it means - and can spot it a mile off. Kids know the kinds of lives they live, and they know they swear when there aren't any adults around. On TV they understand it's edited out, but when it comes to stories they can get turned off if they can't emphasis with the characters, including how they speak.
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TFBW
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ssava wrote:
Well I definitely wanted Nastajia to swear in the page where she says "Heavens No!" a few days ago.

She's royalty and trained to speak as such. "Heavens, no" is about as strong as she should get.
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Bezman
Star of the Show


Joined: 08 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ssava wrote:
Well I definitely wanted Nastajia to swear in the page where she says "Heavens No!" a few days ago.

Hell No would have fit much better.
But just doesn't work with her language (I'm trying to make her a bit more eloquent with her words). And doesn't fit with the age range.

You could try making up some kind of Elven curse, like "Sjachbaz no!".
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ssava
Creator of "The Dreamland Chronicles"


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah...that's what I settled with. Royalty words.
Smile

ANd Bez...yes. I thought of that too.
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Tempest_D
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Joined: 30 Sep 2007
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Location: California

PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark Twain often said, “Profanity is the weapon of the witless”

Twain also said that it was a personal goal in life to yell in anger at someone for five minutes without using a single cuss word. A feat that he admitted never progressed more than one minute.

I wouldn't have had a problem with Nast saying, "Hell No!" in the context of the conversation. It was a very private moment where she was being open and honest with Alex. Her emotions were running high.

As to the use of a created swear words. They best used for a comedic effect, not a dramatic one. Words unfarmiliar to the audiance tend to pull them out of "the moment." If she had used a new word at that moment it would have derailed the concentration of the readers as their brain tries to process a new word and a definition for said word.

If there had been some created swear word used regularly enough through the comic up to this point so as to be farmiliar to the readers, then it could have been used.


-TD
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Bezman
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tempest_D wrote:
Mark Twain often said, “Profanity is the weapon of the witless”

Twain also said that it was a personal goal in life to yell in anger at someone for five minutes without using a single cuss word. A feat that he admitted never progressed more than one minute.

I wouldn't have had a problem with Nast saying, "Hell No!" in the context of the conversation. It was a very private moment where she was being open and honest with Alex. Her emotions were running high.

As to the use of a created swear words. They best used for a comedic effect, not a dramatic one. Words unfarmiliar to the audiance tend to pull them out of "the moment." If she had used a new word at that moment it would have derailed the concentration of the readers as their brain tries to process a new word and a definition for said word.

If there had been some created swear word used regularly enough through the comic up to this point so as to be farmiliar to the readers, then it could have been used.


-TD

Ah. You mean you vote for "Inconceivably no!"? Laughing
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Leorobin
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Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lol, i'm wordless.XD
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YawningMan
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Joined: 11 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is going to sound a little odd, but I think swear words are more of a spiritual thing than an audible thing.

Why is it that a word like "ouch" doesn't carry the same weight as other words often used is situations where "ouch" would be appropriate?

It's quick, so it satisfies the surprise aspect of the injury that normally generates the word. It has a hard "ch" sound, so it satisfies the tongue when it wants an equally hard word to express the pain the body has felt.

In my mind, the difference is the spirit of the word. Profane words tend to give more of a feeling of anger or wrath. If someone has a generally calm or peaceful demeanor, "ouch" is sufficient.

It's a theory based on observation, so don't take it for gospel. However, don't dismiss the observations. I spent a number of years in the Marines, and chose to avoid swearing as much as I could. My record is not perfect, but I consider my avoidance of profanity a success. There's more to the story, but I'm already going on longer than I like.
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