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  1. #1
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    John Ringo's Vorpal Blade

    This is the last series of his that i have not read
    Read the first one "Into the Looking Glass" -excellent book
    I am about half way through "Vorpal Blade" and noticed that the "f***" word has been replaced with "grapp, gappling, ect ect" and the "S***" word has been replaced with "Maulk"

    At first i thought it was mil. lingo, but then the cuss words that usually riddles his book (not a bad thing) are missing, leading me to believe that he has replaced all the cuss words, which kinda makes me sad, it just adds a certain flare that might not be other people's thing but i enjoy it

    Sorry about the rambling, does anyone know if this was just what he wanted to do, or did he recieve complaints, cause im pretty sure he doesn't care

  2. #2
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    does anyone know if this was just what he wanted to do, or did he recieve complaints
    To be honest kildar, I'm not sure complaints would cause such a change. Writers write what they want to write, and issues such as that would normally be picked up by the editor/publisher before it was published.

    Sometimes writers do it for effect, and your own phrases can sometimes convey your point so much easier than using a more traditional expletive: look at the way Battlestar Galactica's phrase 'Frak' has been accepted, for example.

    The general advice though is that such changes are to be used with caution: Damon Knight coined a phrase for it: 'Call a rabbit a smerp' mentioned HERE.

    Mark / Hobbit
    Mark

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKildar View Post
    Sorry about the rambling, does anyone know if this was just what he wanted to do, or did he recieve complaints, cause im pretty sure he doesn't care
    Yes he wanted to use those words to keep the books rated non-X as opposed to the Kildar books, and yes people complained... In later books they are somewhat changed and it grates less on the ear The idea is that Vorpal Blade and the later books are the modern analog of Heinlein YA action sf, so they should be read by 14 year olds too, hence the non-X part...

    Anyway I've just read book 4 Claws that Catch a week or so ago and it's still big time fun. Read Manxhome Home after Vorpal Blade and then this one, they are zany fun, zanier than Vorpal Blade...
    Last edited by suciul; June 11th, 2008 at 07:20 AM.

  4. #4
    Give me liberty! Ouroboros's Avatar
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    This very topic has been addressed by Ringo on his website, so here's the man himself answering a fan's query-

    If I do use expletives, people complain and say (incorrectly) that 'soldiers/sailors/marines don't talk that way.' And, correctly, that it offends many people and often is not suitable for children.

    If I don't use expletives, people complain (correctly) that 'soldiers/sailors/marines don't talk that way.' Soldiers, marines and sailors do use 'salty' language. But that offends many people and often is not suitable for children.

    If I use alien terms, the first group is calmer because it is not things like 'sh*t, f**k and motherf**ker.' (Maulk, grapp and behanchod, respectively, although Behanchod is Rahni (Indian goatherd dialect) not Adar and actually means 'one who bears children upon his sister.') I fully anticipate some day getting an email from an offended Brahmin. (I have gotten a couple from Indian readers saying 'You know behanchod is a real word, right?' 'To which I respond: 'Not to Americans. Although I hope it catches on. It's got alot more flair than MoFo. There's nobody that can curse like a goatherd. Nobody.')

    The second group understands the reasoning (generally from having grown up with golden age SF which did the same damned thing and often commented on it with asides like 'Jason could not believe that the Preacher even knew the explicit Arcturian curse word he'd just uttered which involved a form of deviancy impossible for humans to imagine given their simple two gender mating system...'). They occasionally pick up some of the words for use at, say, work.

    'Grapping server, boot you piece of maulk!'

    They are, admittedly, mostly geeks. Although often well armed ones.

    It does, alas, create a third group which complains that 'it interrupts the reading flow.'

    To which I reply, in the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln:

    You can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot please all of the people, all of the time.


    Take care,



    John

    For further background, one of the people who dislikes it is Toni Weisskopf, the publisher of Baen. But she accepts it for the historical versimillitude. The Vorpal Blade series is designed to be very much like classic SF. The only thing I've avoided is things like the Adar being big smokers and the term 'news hen.'

  5. #5
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    Thanks a lot guys that answers my question, and thanks a lot boros i looked on his site but i guess i missed it

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