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'10 Authors Insider Tips

Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
Have More Good Sex
I Can Do Better ...
Trying to Get the Feeling
Plotting and Planning
Character Profiles
Discovery Draft
Be Bad to Be Good
E-Book Revolution
Naked for Halloween
Sex With Pilgrims


FictionCraft
by Louisa Burton
The Music of Words
The Balancing Act
Your Fictional World
Backstory & Foreshadowing


The Fine Art of Submission
by Shanna Germain
Nailing the Query Letter
Banish the Boring Bio
Becoming a Market Master
Become a Market Master, 2
Backstory & Foreshadowing
Enticing An Editor, Part 1
Enticing An Editor, Part 2
Contracts, Money & More


Serious about Smut
by Vincent Diamond
No More Horsing Around
Short Stuff
Selling Short Stories
Editors' Pet Peeves
Settings: Beyond Time & Place
Beating Up Your Scenes
Selling Your Books in Person
Staying in the Saddle


The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
Broken Rainbows
Talk the Talk
Equations
10 Commandments for Writing
Plotting to Avoid
Cover Story
Rewriting




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Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
St Valentine's Day
Renaming Body Parts
Sex, Cigarettes & Erotic Fiction


Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
C. Sanchez-Garcia
Emerald
Kathleen Bradean
Lucy Felthouse
Neve Black
PS Haven
Tracey Shellito
Tresart L. Sioux


Cracking Foxy
with Robert Buckley
Plenty of Miles Left
Don't Worry, Be Happy
Fly the Unfriendly Skies
Coffee Time
Castrated Words
Virtual vs. Actual Romance
Bait
The View from Gallows Hill


Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
The Fashion Industry
The Same Old Same Old
Writing Porn
About the Closet
... About Spirituality
Making Sense of Religion
Worked Up About Monogamy
What's Next
All Worked Up About Nature
Still All Worked Up...


Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Holiday Ghosts
Love and Romance
An "Interracial" Epic
Trying to Make It Go Away
Sexual Etiquette
Sex and Children
People Against Bad Things
Virtual Acceptance
His Cold Eyes, His Granite Jaw
A Flash of Northern Light

Cracking Foxy

by Robert Buckley

Castrated Words

 

Crasted WordsRetard ... not the verb, the noun. It's the latest word proscribed by the Society of People Who Choose to be Offended on Behalf of Others. In fact, it's so offensive, it will no longer be uttered out loud, or written out in print, but will instead undergo the equivalent of castration for words – it will have its letters removed, except for the first, R, and be fitted with a prosthesis consisting of a dash and the word WORD. That's right ... it is now, officially, the R-word.

Where the hell are John Cleese and the Ministry of Silly when you need them?

I knew it was official when media types began saying the “R-word”' after someone in Obama's administration apparently referred to some folks as retards ... I’m sorry, I mean, R-words.

I never understood the utility of castrating words, even the great-granddaddies of castrated words, the so called F-word, now lately morphed into F-bomb, and the N-word.

God Bless Joe Biden, who knows when something is a “big F-wording deal.”

What purpose does a castrated word serve? Are we not supposed to know what word one is referring to when one says the N-word? As in, “A group of Tea Partiers peppered an African-American congressman with the N-word.”

How many people today have been living a Stone Age existence, isolated in the jungles of New Guinea, who would not know what the N-word is? And if they don't know what it really is, how are they supposed to puzzle it out? Maybe turn to every word in the dictionary under N and begin eliminating them one-by-one according to context?

“My gosh, did they just call that man a nightingale?”

The truth is, we all know what the N-word is. We’ve heard it countless times, probably used it ourselves casually. It's been around for centuries, though all of a sudden we're afraid to say it out loud, and so give it some kind of talismanic power.

Do you suppose the ancient Hebrews, who had a prohibition against speaking God's name, used the Y-word? You know, to keep from saying Yahweh?

You know, folks, it's just an F-wording word.

Sure, it's an ugly word with an ugly history, but it's just a word. And I get offended when someone tells me I can't use a word ... any word. I'll use any word I damned well F-wording please, because it's my inalienable right to do so.

I remember reading a call for submissions by some little academic pamphlet inviting erotica submissions: Please do not use the F-word, and most certainly not the C-word. I got the F, but C was a tad ambiguous. My first instinct was to reply, “Shove it up your A-word.”

But getting back to the nearing out-of-control use of castrated words: Really, what is the point?

As to the N-word ... we know what it is, we can hear it echoing in our heads even as a media type or blisteringly delicate PC twit is pronouncing it with great gravity, ENNNNN-WORD.

Who the hell are we fooling? Ourselves? Am I the only one who finds this extremely silly ... insipid ... and hideously stupid?

Say the F-wording word, for crissakes!

We give words power, and the great writers and orators wield that power effectively using both noble and heinous words, unadulterated.

Lenny Bruce argued using offensive words without inhibition robbed them of their power to offend and injure. He thought that would be a good thing. As much as I admired Lenny, I wouldn't want even the meanest word emasculated. You use words to make a point, sometimes a very pointed point. A word is a tool, and just like any tool it needs to be respected and used correctly to put across an idea.

Words cannot be evil, though they may represent evil in the abstract.

We shouldn't hide from words, or veil them. We certainly shouldn't castrate them. Just let them do their job.

Keep it in mind the next time someone demands “Huckleberry Finn” be removed from a school reading list because it is liberally sprinkled with the N-word. The artist who wielded that word was eons ahead of his time in his racial attitudes.

Eviscerate a word and you blanch ideas and undermine speech.

Bad words? You got to be F-wording sh-wording me.

Robert Buckley
May-June 2010


If you have comments or question about this column, please send them to Robert Buckley

Read more of Robert Buckley's Cracking Foxy in 2010 ERWA Archive.

______
"Cracking Foxy" © 2010 Robert Buckley. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written

About the Author: Robert Buckley is senior fiction editor at ERWA. His stories have been published in various anthologies, including editions of Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica and the Coming Togther series of altruistic erotica.



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