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  • Writer's pictureSarah Royal

In Praise of Profanity

It's always wonderful when someone discovers Creative Cursing: A Mix 'N' Match Profanity Generator, but even better when that someone is profanity expert Michael Adams who writes about it in his filthy book.

In In Praise of Profanity, Adams calls my co-author Jillian and myself "language pirates,' which is probably one of the best and most specific compliments I've ever received. Here's a relevant excerpt:

The rising tide of profanity in the first decade of this century raised a lot of ships flying the Jolly Roger. Sarah Royal and Jillian Panarese, two of the decade's language pirates, live in infamy for devising a flip-card game called Creative Cursing: A Mix 'N' Match Profanity Generator (2009). There aren't that many profanities to play with, so the authors of this entertainment propose, let's see how many combinations we can come up with. The answer, if you've 128 cards in two contiguous, spiral-bound flappable piles for mixing and matching, is ... um ... carry the million ... a lot.

At random, you'll get items like fuck dangler, sissy packer, and anus folds, which really don't make much sense, so are bound to stimulate a certain type of conversation. But a systematic run through meat + X yields plausible items like meat bagger, meat flaps, meat licker, meat munch, meat rammer, and meat sucker, just to name a few -- meat waffle is clearly a word in search of a referent.

You might think a game like this has white wine spilled all over it, but I can imagine it as backseat fun during All-American road trips -- college road trips, not family road trips. Its sequel, Creative Cussin' (The Redneck Edition) (2010), a kind of verbal whittling, could while away time in the bed of a 4x4.

Buy In Praise of Profanity on Bookshop and support indie bookstores.

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