• Shazbot! What the frakking felgercarb is this smeg, droogies?

    Watching Firefly, I was struck by their particular method of futuristic swearing. At first, I thought it was made up words (like “frell” or “Belgium”), but it turns out that they’re just speaking gibberish Chinese.

    The reason I know this is because my bestest friend, Google, led me to the site TV Tropes Wiki, wherein you will find gathered about a bazillion* of the “storytelling devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations” (aka, “tropes”). The page on futuristic cursing is called Pardon My Klingon.

    I love this site! I could spend hours just browsing the various plot lines and stereotypes. And they cover a lot more than just TV. There are sections on animation, anime, comic books, literature, film, etc., and each trope is sub-categorized by genre.  (They “white out” spoilers, so you have to highlight certain sections if you want to read the text.) There’s even a “random item” button just for fun.

    One of the best finds is The Simpsons Did It (named for the South Park episode) where someone comes up with a brilliant idea that everyone but them realizes was done by someone else. Examples include everything from Family Guy to Seinfeld to John Hodgman’s More Information Than You Require. It even leads to another trope, called Lampshade Hanging, where the characters point out the fact that they’re using a trope. As in one of my favorite cartoons, Rocky & Bullwinkle:

    Rocky: (recognizing Boris’ voice) That voice. Where have I heard that voice before?
    Bullwinkle: In about 365 other episodes. But I don’t know who it is either.

    So, anyway, if you’ve got some time to kill and don’t worry too much about ruining every book you read or show you watch, give a look at the TV Tropes Wiki.

    *Which word for “really smurfing big” do you use? Bazillion? Gazillion? Bajillion? Umpteen million? Curious (and nosey) minds want to know!

    Saturday, November 15th, 2008 at 08:31
  • Monday, November 17th, 2008 at 14:47 | #1

    As a noun, Gazillion. I use “humongous” as an adjective.

  • Monday, November 17th, 2008 at 14:58 | #2

    Huge-mongous.

  • Thursday, November 20th, 2008 at 13:23 | #3

    I’m totally in the bajillion camp, although gazillion has passed my lips a few times, and I’m more likely to say “really F-ing huge” because that’s the kind of girl I am.

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