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Brave New Words

The Oxford University Press blog has an excerpt on profanity in science fiction, especially alternate f-words like fug, frell, and frak, from Brave New Words:

Francis Towner Laney coined the fannish slur fugghead around 1950. In the 1960s, Norman Spinrad’s novel Bug Jack Barron was considered so profane that the bookseller W.H. Smith banned sales of the magazine in which it had been serialized. And no doubt as a commentary on this state of affairs, Larry Niven wrote a series of stories in the 1970s in which the words “censored” and “bleep” had themselves become curses.

On the mundane profanity front, Language Log discusses the linguistics of the SNL Sofa King skit and the dangers of taking color terms from old Chinese-English dictionaries.