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]
The United States has never had a single “official” language. While English is broadly accepted accepted as the common tongue and typically used in schooling as well as government documents, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. Spanish is also used frequently across the country — but there are a lot more languages than […]
Via Bruce Sterling, the Chinese characters for "specific ethnic genetic attacks," "combat brain," "winning without fighting" and more.
Gretchen McCulloch is the internet's favorite linguist, whose outstanding 2019 book Because Internet explores how statistical methods can, for the first time, be applied to large amounts of informal communications, because for the first time, a huge volume of those communications are a) written and b) digital.
Can’t sit still during the pandemic? You’re not alone. Many folks are using their social distancing time to decompress and zone out on Tiger King, some even pushing back against the idea of being productive. But plenty of others find themselves bored, restless, and in need of projects and goals, somewhere to direct their energy. […]
Even if you don’t miss much else about the office right now, there’s a good chance your home laptop is making you nostalgic for the added efficiency of that pair of monitors on your desk at work to spread out your workflow. There’s no telling how long the new normal may continue to be the […]
If you’re looking to become a software engineer or it’s an idea you’ve tossed around half-seriously, there may be no better time than now to take the leap. It’s one of the fastest-growing, most in-demand roles already. And in the midst of the pandemic, between the extra hours you likely have in your day, and […]