A sweary interview with the Strong Language editors

WordPress, which hosts the Strong Language blog, recently featured us on its Discover site in the form of an interview: Cheri Lucas Rowlands asked James Harbeck and me about the creation of Strong Language, attitudes to profanity, our own swearing habits, taboo terms in other languages, and so on.

You can read it here: ‘What the $@#%: Two Editors on Blogging About Swearing.’

8 thoughts on “A sweary interview with the Strong Language editors

  1. Grumpy Axolotl July 4, 2016 / 9:47 am

    Strong Language often has me howling with laughter, and Sentence First makes good reading too. I wasn’t aware of Sesquiotica, so I’ll check that out next. Keep up the good work everyone. It’s much appreciated.


    • Stan Carey July 4, 2016 / 10:42 am

      I’m delighted to hear it. Swearing and laughing are a good combination.


    • Byron T. Pertuit July 13, 2016 / 5:10 pm

      Stan, I know everyone uses the word ‘fuck’ as a swear word, but in fact it isn’t…it is an acronym. Back, a few hundred years ago, during the days of the witch trials, the courts would abbreviate, ‘Forced Unlawful Carnal Knowledge’, F.U.C.K. for ‘rape’…Now that people consider FUCK as a swear(or curse/cuss word), the legal system has changed it to be Rape… legally. I am sure you found some of this in your research for this article. Just wanting to point this out for your readers who may not know…


      • Grumpy Axolotl July 13, 2016 / 10:25 pm

        I have heard this before too. But is the story true, or is this a ‘bacronym’ ? And if true, fuck is still surely a swear-word if that’s how it is used, regardless of etymology? On a related-note, the official Scrabble-game on iOS forbids the words ‘shit’, ‘fuck’ and ‘rape’ (for heaven’s sake!) but allows ‘cunt’ (which I placed on a triple-word score to win the fucking game). I have been told that ‘cunt’ is allowed as it is a medical-term, though I have not attempted to verify this. I believe ‘cunt’ has a long history as both a name and noun before somehow evolving into a swear? Shit supposedly comes from Ship High In Transit, to keep manure from getting wet shipped at sea. I suspect that this one is a bacronym too. Does anyone know?


      • Stan Carey July 14, 2016 / 7:21 am

        Grumpy Axolotl: Fuck as an acronym is a bogus etymology. And you’re right – even if it were true (which it isn’t), that wouldn’t stop it being a swear word. Shit is not an acronym either, for “Ship High In Transit” or anything else. With good references available online, it’s very easy to disabuse oneself of these myths.


  2. John Cowan July 4, 2016 / 8:55 pm

    I had to stop writing with swears here in the comments, because when I looked over them, it made me sound angrier than I am: I’m rarely angry in writing, and when I am, I don’t swear, I just get earnest and more than somewhat grandiloquent.


    • Stan Carey July 5, 2016 / 8:19 am

      Good to know! I’ll bear it in mind if I ever see you being sweary or particularly grandiloquent.


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