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January 30 2008

io9's list of the best gorram cursing in science fiction. Yup, Firefly got a nod.

I don't know about other people but "gorram" got used so much in the fandom it just became mildy annoying (like a 10 minute late train). Though I will never tire of "shiny" as that reminds me of Kaylee.
Gotta go with "frak" as a useful curse word. "Gorram" was useful for Firefly/Serenity, but I've never used it in RL. And gotta agree with you, Simon, about "shiny." That's just a wonderful word, with such nice associations.
When the original BSG was on (I was five or six at the time), I'd often pepper my speech with the word "frak" and never understood my mother's gentle suggestions that I not use that word.

I never incorporated "gorram" into my everyday parlance, although a Mandarin-speaking coworker once told me that "ta ma de" (uttered by Mal early in the pilot) was a useful expletive to have in your arsenal.

"Frell" and "smeg" have both been known to escape my lips during moments of duress.
I agree with palehorse. "Frak" is a most useful swear word and I now use it instead of the other "F" word.

And though I do not know exactly what the phase mean, "e chu ta" from the Star Wars movies does sound a bit like a strong diss.
Judge Dredd contained all the scifi swear words I will ever need to know.
I agree with Simon, gorram got a bit overused in fandom for me. I think it was used in proper amounts on the show, but, it's sorta lost its power, and is a bit annoying to me now. "Frak" and "frell" I use fairly regularly.
I too am a big fan of "Frak", with Elliot's "Frik" from Scrubs coming in a close second. And look out below if I gotta combine "frik and frak". That means fit is about to hit the shan!
"Frak" and "Frell", while derived from the same word, are both suited to different situations in my opinion.

If you've just discovered a major problem, go with "Frell!"

"Frak" works best for mumbled annoyance with things and people. Like "Frakking Toasters..."
I've started saying frik or frikkin' and very occasionally frak or frakkin' in situations where even I won't say fuck (mainly in front of kids). If i'm mumbling it though, i'll just mumble an actual swear word, that's the benefit of mumbling ;).

Apart from that I don't really use fictional swear words (except as a specific nod to the show it's from) because real-life swear words do the same job (i'll sometimes use smeggy or smegging as a qualifier to another swear word but not by itself - that'd be kind of like using "earwax" as a swear word IMO ;).

(and as to the article's claim that only unintelligent people use swear words, well, if you need to avoid swearing to dodge the label "unintelligent", I think you may have bigger problems ;-)
I have to agree about gorram. I hadn't really put my finger on it until now but it does sound way too familiar by now. Possibly because us fans have over used it, and even in articles and reviews about Firefly and Serenity. And it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue in the same way that something like "frak" does so it sounds less natural when it isn't actually being said by one of our BDHs.

As I said, I think "frak" is probably my favourite, possibly because it's very close to an actual swear word. Several times when I was watching the BSG video I almost thought they were using the real swear word rather than "frak". I also like that Veronica Mars adopted the word at one stage. It's the kind of word you could drop into conversation and potentially meet another BSG fan without attracting weird stares from non-fans, whereas gorram would definitely attract attention.
Browncoat that I am, I have to say frell is my personal favorite. Farscape was really my first introduction to sci-fi television, so it holds a special place in my heart.

And you guys are right, gorram is more than a little annoying.
Frell is quite nice. Mostly Firefly-speak was a good future imagining of southeastern US dialect (not accurate, not the same, but feeling similar without making it sound stupid). Except gorram, that one sounds and feels funny. I think it's the rr without a consonant after. Anything more realistic probably would've sounded too close though.

Outside of non-scifi, the southern dialect I grew up in comes with enough of an arsenal of fakes, and enough tolerance of a fondness of the real thing, to keep me expressive in a pinch. But I love to pick up new slang from other places so I don't use it as much anymore.
When I jammed my finger into the wall a couple of months ago, a friend asked me if I'd sworn (I don't usually). I said no and then a moment later, I said, "Yes, I did - BSG swearing! I used 'frak' a lot."
Frak will always be my favorite, simply because a former coworker of mine once uttered it at a meeting and then apologized to everyone for his language.
I throw down with the contingent of "shiny!" lovers. As a contract worker, I have used it to find office allies. (I once looked someone in the eye and said "Shiny." at a holiday party where I knew no one else and within a few minutes had people to chat with.)
I'm in IT, so as they say on the Internet, YMMV, but it was fun.
Frak has always annoyed me, for some reason. Maybe it's because I'm not much of a BSG person. But frell and shiny will always have a place in my vocabulary.
Weird. I actually think 'frak' is too clunky to work as an actual swearword. Getting through two consonant sounds before hitting the vowel elongates the word, and makes it impossible to just spit out - too much mouth movement required.

I'm also not convinced that the long 'a' sound is harsh enough. The vowel sounds in 'fuck,' 'shit,' etc are more guttural. 'Damn' being the exception, but at least it has a strong starting consonant and a nasal 'm.'

(Anyway, I've always thought 'frak' sounded more like something a seven-year-old made up to sound badass rather than an etymologically evolved term.)

'Gorram,' however, I find absolutely believable as a usable bastardization. And 'shiny,' well that's just brilliance there.
I definitely use "gorram" in real life; couldn't give a frak about "frak", personally... ;) I also like "ruttin'" from our 'verse, and "shiny" is... well, way shiny :) But gorram has defintely stuck with me (as has "Frith!", from Watership Down ).
I always liked "zark off" from Hitchhiker's Guide.

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