The power of fuckbonnet, shitsquib, fuckstumbling, douchenozzle, Fuckface von Clownstick, shitwhistle, cockbucket, can be captured through a simple formula: the "pyrrhic foot" of a "familiar profanity compounded with a non-profane word of two unaccented syllables."
The formula is especially good for coming up with nongendered swears that are not slurs, which is useful if you're trying to insult an individual, rather than give offense to a whole demographic category, gender, or nationality.
The best of these mean nothing, but sound wonderful, evocative and fun to say. They are deployed by "swear nerds," a coinage of New York Times Magazine story editor Willy Staley, meaning people who like their profanity fresh, imaginative, and exciting.
“Fuckbonnet” is a swear-pyrrhic compound. The double-n in the middle and stop consonant at the end make it fun to say, but — and this is crucial — the insult itself does not say anything. What is a fuckbonnet, exactly? Is it something you wear when you get…? Is it a hat that has fallen out of fashion and is now only good for…? There’s no discernible meaning behind the word; it only expresses contempt and the author’s vain originality. I submit that this aspect of the new swears is a feature, not a bug. The reason this formula has become so popular in our time is that it conveys the author’s outrage without running the risk of actually insulting anybody.
The rise of the swear nerds [Dan Brooks/The Outline]
A group of MIT Media Lab researchers have published Radiotalk, a massive corpus of talk radio audio with machine-generated transcriptions, with a total of 240,000 hours' worth of speech, marked up with machine-readable metadata.
The Scite project has a corpus of millions of scientific articles that it has analyzed with deep learning tools to determine whether any given paper has been supported or contradicted by subsequent publications; you can check Scite via the website, or install a browser plugin version (Firefox, Chrome). (Thanks, Josh!)
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If you’re part of the maker community, you know Make:. Though Make: magazine is off the shelves as of this year, the eBooks and resources put out by Maker Media are still a fantastic resource for the new generation of tinkerers, hackers, and robotics geeks. If you’re in that tribe, listen up: they’ve released a […]
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