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> Shadowslang for 2070, Chummer and dren are for old folks!
Redjack
post Sep 4 2008, 02:26 PM
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A couple of thoughts on Shadowslang/shadow-profanity. The language we use, even in games, pervade our lives and became an integral part of our vernacular. The two primary issues with this when considering profanity are that it is considered unprofessional to use profanity in general speech and that it creates a barrier to the inclusion of teenagers. Argue as I am sure some will, it does not change the fact that mild violence is more socially acceptable than profanity. As a business professional, I would rather avoid accidental slips caused by becoming desensitized to profanity in casual vocabulary.

Also, the point of 'like it or not it is part of the Shadowrun history' is completely valid. In the end, your game is your game and my game is my game. For my game, we don't feel the need to cuss like sailors to have a good time or 'feel the genre'; Shadowslang works just fine.

QUOTE (Wesley Street @ Sep 4 2008, 08:11 AM) *
You know, after 20 years of in-game time it might be time to make up some new shadow profanity. Oh snap, you doubleplus meatbag blenders!

I agree.... anybody else?
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Sir_Psycho
post Sep 4 2008, 02:48 PM
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I would definately prefer new slang than a completely unexplained and contrived retcon in an attempt to be "edgy". What's next? Orks calling eachother niggers?

I still use old slang, because I love it as game flavour. But I might be open to new slang.
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Ancient History
post Sep 4 2008, 02:49 PM
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It has been noted that the current crop of books have a bit of a potty-mouth flavor <display_sheepish>. Its not that we don't invent new slang and terminology (wait for Feral Cities), but no-one wants to overdo it. I for one would be open to some more sufficiently clever bits of slang.
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NightmareX
post Sep 4 2008, 02:59 PM
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I fully agree with Wes there. Personally I would rather see some integration between the "quaint" (as noted in Night's Pawn) present day slang/"swearing" and classic shadowslang. Because simply it is a fact that shadowslang was prevelent in SR society from (at the latest) '50 to '64. Likely earlier than '50 due to how long it would take for such slang to achieve saturation. Thus, I cannot help but see the current use of contemporary slang as a retro fad of sorts (save for Fastjack of course).

That said, Redjack does have a point about the use of having alternative "swear" words. It has in the past come in rather handy IRL for me even. Reflexively belting out a "frag", "drek", or even "poodoo" tends not to have the same effects as the real thing at work, and is oddly satisfying like one has gotten away with something. Juvenile a bit I suppose, but meh (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wobble.gif)

Lastly though, applying a liberal peppering of fucks, shits, etc doesn't make material more compelling, more intelligent, or more mature regardless of what popular culture would seem to think. It sure as hell didn't work for White Wolf.
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Murrdox
post Sep 4 2008, 03:00 PM
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In my game we use (or I use, I'm still encouraging my players) various Shadowslang and custom curse words.

I've always liked "drek". It flows off the tongue nicely, and works well as an expletive.

"Frag" I'm not so hot on, I just usually use the english "F" word.

I know a few Japanese words, so I try to use those in some dialog, mostly higher-class individuals. A random NPC in the barrens is more likely to say "Yo" than "Konichiwa".
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It trolls!
post Sep 4 2008, 04:00 PM
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QUOTE (Murrdox @ Sep 4 2008, 05:00 PM) *
I've always liked "drek". It flows off the tongue nicely, and works well as an expletive.

"Frag" I'm not so hot on, I just usually use the english "F" word.


Same here. Maybe it is because in German "Dreck" actually is also a valid curseword. The reason I don't like "Frag" all that much is bthat it reads like FASA had tried to make the books more appropriate for children (which was probably the reason).
Apart from that, please feel free to invent some new slang and please add a "Seven words you can't say on Trid" fluff piece to the corresponding sourcebook!
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Redjack
post Sep 4 2008, 04:03 PM
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QUOTE (It trolls! @ Sep 4 2008, 10:00 AM) *
Apart from that, please feel free to invent some new slang and please add a "Seven words you can't say on Trid" fluff piece to the corresponding sourcebook!
That rules! (and a fitting tribute as well).
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Wesley Street
post Sep 4 2008, 04:21 PM
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It all depends on the tone of your game and what you consider acceptable in-game behavior. Some games are your classic-good-clean-fun style, some are more gritty. It's whatever the group is comfortable with. I had a DM drop an in-game, in-character f-bomb during a D&D session. Though I'm an adult who has used profanity in anger or pain or jest, I was a little shocked and didn't care for it. It broke the mood. In terms of SR, I personally would have trouble GMing for a PC who followed a toxic or blood magic path of magic or was a serial killer rapist. It's too twisted for my taste.

That said I can't think of more than twice when in a SR4 rulebook or supplement a contemporary "R-rated" profanity was used. I'm sure there have been more but they must have not stuck out in my mind. Reaction against it seems overblown. It raised an eyebrow but it didn't particularly bother me. I'm of the mindset of where, "Well, you are playing a game where traditionally you're a professional criminal. Slang and profanity are part of the landscape. And if I had kids I wouldn't want them playing this game at all until they hit high school, neutered speech or not."

R-rated profanity has been around for centuries and I don't realistically see it disappearing from the vocabulary of the populace in 50-70 years time. That said, I can see new slang and terms being introduced; drek, frag, hoop, whatever. I listen to hip-hop music and I learn new street slang all the time. "Skeet skeet skeet" didn't seem all that bad... until I found out what it really meant. But I don't see new terms replacing the old; merely complementing them.

If I was developing this game line I would tell my writers, "If you want to use contemporary profanity in your characters' speech that's fine. Just make sure it fits the tone. Hobgoblin is shaping up as a bit of a blue-collar twat but the rest of the regular shadowposters tend to be level headed, educated and intelligent. And if you are going to use profanity, mix it up a bit with either the retro-future-slang from earlier editions along with any foreign slang you see creeping into the vocabularies of the time period." British slang and profanity is a good pool to pull from (toerag, tosser, wanker, slag, bollocks, shite, arse, piece of piss) as are Chinese (Firefly's a good example) and Japanese (kusottare! yariman! manko!). Orwellian Newspeak is another good source. We're globalizing as a culture and that should show in a 2070s time period. I say "bollocks" all the time and I'm from Indiana! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

My GM philosophy on this is: Don't say anything that would be racially inflammatory in real-life but if you want to mock the Flava-Flav (yeaaaaah, boyeee!) and cracker redneck cultures, go for it. Also, don't drop in random foreign phrases when a character is speaking English (ex: a Cuban woman shouting "Ai, papi!"). That's a lazy writer's trick to show ethnicity and is mildly insulting.
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BRodda
post Sep 4 2008, 04:41 PM
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QUOTE (Sir_Psycho @ Sep 4 2008, 10:48 AM) *
I would definately prefer new slang than a completely unexplained and contrived retcon in an attempt to be "edgy". What's next? Orks calling eachother niggers?

I still use old slang, because I love it as game flavour. But I might be open to new slang.


In my game street orks use Tolkien as a reference for their slang, I did a big post about it a while ago.

It made a lot more sense considering one of the biggest trog gangs were the Sons of Soron.

As for swear words, I don't have a lot of them as cursing is back in vogue in my setting.

So its not "F#$% you!" its "May a Shediem find your cooling body!" or "May the bugs take a fancy to you!"

It is dramatic and colorful. It also ties into "snap" contests; expletives show that you are stupid and unimaginative.
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The ubbergeek
post Sep 4 2008, 05:55 PM
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The classic slang have a taste, but as quoted, you have to admit... It sounded like mellow, light censoring. And there is quite a few rpers who found it... lame, frankly.


Same remark toward D&D's infamous Planescape Cant, albeit it have a more historic (based on real ancient english slangs), fantasy bent.
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Ancient History
post Sep 4 2008, 05:58 PM
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What's the average Dumpshocker's reaction to the term "scut" for a person of either gender who engages in prolific and undiscerning sexual relations with multiple partners?
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BRodda
post Sep 4 2008, 06:08 PM
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QUOTE (Ancient History @ Sep 4 2008, 12:58 PM) *
What's the average Dumpshocker's reaction to the term "scut" for a person of either gender who engages in prolific and undiscerning sexual relations with multiple partners?


I don't like it. We tend to refer to people like that as "Plug and Play" or a "Universal (Input/Output)"
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Ol' Scratch
post Sep 4 2008, 06:13 PM
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I prefer just using standard profanity. But then I prefer my games to be more Tarantino-ish than Winnie the Pooh-ish.

Even when new slang terms come up in the real world, they usually fade away like a fad after a few years as the classics come back into vogue. I don't see that changing any time soon, especially now that the entire world is communicating on a regular basis.

That's not to say that I don't use some of the quaint-by-2070 slang of older editions with my characters, both PC and NPC. It's just that when a situation really calls for profanity, as opposed for mere emphasis, the standard profanity comes spewing out. I rarely envision one of my characters having the presence of mind to censor himself with a "frag" when he gets shot in the chest anymore than I see myself saying "gosh darn it" when I get extremely frustrated in the real world.
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Chrysalis
post Sep 4 2008, 06:13 PM
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I would feel you are more Scottish grandma than street credible if you were to use a word like scut.

Zoyne is far more disrespectful.

-Chrysalis
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paws2sky
post Sep 4 2008, 06:13 PM
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This issue seems to come up just about every other time I discuss the old SR and the new. Count me among the crowd that is a bit turned off by the so-called "potty mouth" phenomena in SR4. I'd be all in favor of seeing some new "canon" shadowslang.

You know, I always liked reading the shadowslang, but it seems like we rarely used it in game. It was more interesting reading things like frag and drek instead of fuck and shit.

In a similar light, I find things like Firefly/Serenity's approach to cursing to be very clever: do it in another language. They don't use it enough to make the characters seem truly bilingual, but they certainly seem to have picked up some choice swearing and insults from Chinese. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

As a side note: I've sought to cut the ED/SR connection in my games, going so far as to rule that Or'zet and Sperethial are derived from two real world artificial languages - Klingon and Quenya, respectively. Most of my players (the ones who care) get a chuckle out of it and it reinforces a running theme of my games that the future is heavily recycled (fashion, slang, fads, furniture, etc.).

-paws
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K M Faust
post Sep 4 2008, 06:51 PM
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I don't want to give the impression that Shadowslang doesn't appeal to my adventurous side, I'm just thinking of (like FarScape, a show I hold dear to my heart, but used slang a lot in each episode) where to draw the line so it's not the main focus of each adventure. Over use can become abuse. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/cyber.gif)
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Wesley Street
post Sep 4 2008, 07:43 PM
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QUOTE (Ancient History @ Sep 4 2008, 01:58 PM) *
What's the average Dumpshocker's reaction to the term "scut" for a person of either gender who engages in prolific and undiscerning sexual relations with multiple partners?

Indifferent. Sounds like British rhyme slang or something from A Clockwork Orange. My droogies.
QUOTE
Zoyne is far more disrespectful.

If you're a superstitious Greek throwing rocks at a pregnant teenager. Doesn't quite have the punch in the West.
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TeOdio
post Sep 4 2008, 10:00 PM
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"Why you go around cussin all the time? Save those words for when you really angry, that way people know your're serious." Attributed to Socrates, ex con philosopher in Always Outnumbered, Always Out Gunned. I feel that there is a difference in profanity and slang. The same profane words used today will more than likely be the same profane words we use in 2070. I would guess with the rise of city speak, the Aztlan resurgence, and Japan cultural exportation, profanity from Japanese and Spanish origins would creep into the shadows as well. Slang changes from generation to generation. Go and watch any "gangster" movie from the 30's and 40's. They are riddled with slang we don't use today. A lot of slang is only used by certain groups. An Alamos 20K cell made up of spoiled corp brats is gonna speak very differently than a group of inner city Sons of Sauron orks, yet they may be talking about the same things. Even careers and hobbies carry their own slang terms. Who here knows what a twink and a munchkin are? Try telling the high school jock he is a twink because he spends so much time in the gym maxing out his strength attribute and he's gonna show you how twink he is. I generally don't use slang in running my games because frankly, I don't want to come off seeming like an idiot. If I feel one of my players is "not in tune" with the person they are talking to due to pervasive slang, I just tell he or she they are having a hard time making out what the person is saying. One thing I can use with confidence is occasional profanity. It is always understood.
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Beetle
post Sep 4 2008, 10:49 PM
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I find my group tends to mix up standard SR slang and regular old cursing. I have noticed a lot lately that "Frel, Frak, and Smeg" are all the four letter words I really need. They are quite versatile.
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Sir_Psycho
post Sep 5 2008, 02:03 AM
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QUOTE (Chrysalis @ Sep 4 2008, 01:13 PM) *
I would feel you are more Scottish grandma than street credible if you were to use a word like scut.

Zoyne is far more disrespectful.

-Chrysalis

QUOTE (Wesley Street @ Sep 4 2008, 02:43 PM) *
Indifferent. Sounds like British rhyme slang or something from A Clockwork Orange. My droogies.

If you're a superstitious Greek throwing rocks at a pregnant teenager. Doesn't quite have the punch in the West.

We could always bastardize words like these. Both nadsat and swear words from foreign languages could be legitimate. It might seem contrived, but when you think about it, words go in and out of fashion all the time, and when some sim-star with a penchant for old flatvids watches Clockwork Orange and then drops Horrorshow in an interview, that kind of thing can catch on pretty quick. Also, Horizon is probably behind it all.

Here's a list I've got on my computer (No idea where from)


Angel n. A benefactor, especially an unknown one.
Arc n. An arcology.
Breeder n. Ork slang for a "normal" Human.
Business n. In slang context, crime, Also "Biz."
Buzz Go away. Buzz off.
Chipped adj. Senses, skills, reflexes, muscles, and so on, enhanced by cyberware.
Chummer n. "Pal" or "Buddy".
Comm n. The telephone.
Corp nl, adj. Corporation. Corporate
Dandelion Eater n., adj. Elf or elven. Highly Insulting.
Dataslave n. Corporate decker or other data processing employee.
Datasteal n. Theft of data from a computer, usually by decking.
Deck n. A cyberdeck. v. To use a cyberdeck, usually illegally.
Decker n. Pirate cyberdeck user. Derived from 20th-centery term "Hacker".
Deckhead n. Simsense abuser; anyone with a datajack or chipjack.
Drek n. (vul) A common curse word. adj: Drekky
Dumped v. Involuntarily ejected from the Matrix.
Exec v. Corporate executive.
Fetishman n. A talismonger.
Frag v. Common swear word. adj: Fragging.
Geek v. To kill.
Go-go-go n. A bike gang or gang member.
Heatwave n. Police crackdown.
Hoi Hi Hello. (Familiar form)
Hose v. Louse up. Screw up.
Ice n. Security software. "Intrusion Countermeasures," or IC.
Jack v. Jack In, or enter cyberspace. Jack out, or to leave cyberspace.
Jander v. To walk in an arrogant yet casual manner; to strut.
Kobun n. (Jap) Member of a Yakuza clan.
Mr. Johnson n. Refers to an anonymous employer or corporate agent.
Mundane n. adj. (vul) Non-magician or non-magical.
Nutrisoy n. Cheaply processed food product, derived from soybeans
Nuyen n. World standard of currency.
Oyabun n. (Jap) Head of a Yakuza clan.
Panzer n. Any ground-effect combat vehicle.
Paydata n. A datafile worth money on the black market.
Plex n. A metropolitan complex, or "metroplex".
Poli n. A policlub or policlub member.
Razorguy n. Heavily cybered samurai or other muscle.
Samurai n. (Jap) Mercenary or muscle for hire. Implies honor code.
Sarariman n. (Jap) From "salaryman." A corporate employee.
Screamer n. Credstick or other ID that triggers computer alarms if used.
Seoul Man n. A member of a Seoulpa ring.
Seoulpa ring n. A small criminal gang with connections to others like it.
Shaikujin n. (Jap) Lit. "Honest citizen." A corporate employee.
Simsense n. ASIST sensory broadcast or recording.
Slot v. Mild curse word.
Slot and Run v. Hurry up. Get to the point. Move it. Emphysema
So ka (Jap) I understand. I get it.
Soykaf n. Ersatz coffee substitute made from soybeans.
Sprawl n. a metroplex (see Plex); v. fraternize below one's social level.
Suit n A "straight citizen." See Shaikujin, Sarariman.
System Identification Number (SIN) n. Identification number assigned to each person in the society.
Trid n. Three-dimensional successor to video.
Trog n. (vul) An Ork or Troll. From "troglodyte." Highly insulting.
Vatjob n. A person with extensive cyberware replacement, reference is to a portion of the process during which the patient must be submerged in nutrient fluid.
Wagemage n. A magician (usually mage) employed by a corporation.
Wetwork n. Assassination. Murder.
Wired adj. Equipped with cyberware, especially increased reflexes.
Wizard n. A magician, usually a mage; adj. gear, wonderful, excellent.
Wizworm n. slang. A dragon.
Yak n. (Jap) Yakuza. Either a clan member or a clan itself.
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sunnyside
post Sep 5 2008, 03:00 AM
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Right now I use a blend of slang and the real thing.

I think the trick is that curse words have to "work".

Some do and some don't.

Drek works well.

Also smeg and gorram work well, so I may try and incorporate them at some point.


Any foreign language equivalents for the F-bomb? That seems to be the hardest to get right.

Hmmm playing with babel fish (which may translate for the sex angle more than the curse)

French - Baise
German - Bumsen
Italian - Scopata
Portugeese - Foda

While Bumsen is kinda funny and Foda might work I don't know if I'm feeling them so much.


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Caine Hazen
post Sep 5 2008, 03:49 AM
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Also remember slang tends to to shift in time. In fact considering the 20 year gap, lots of those "edgy hip" new pieces of slang that were being used (cause anyone could say fuck..it was old hat) are now seen as old and stale by the new youth. Perfect way to pick out the old timer or person not "hip to the lingo". Your children are not going to use the slang you do, and most first ed 2050 characters should be getting into their late 30s to early 40s now. I always think n it from that perspective, and note that by the time 2090 rolls around, that the cursing should have shifted again.
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sunnyside
post Sep 5 2008, 03:53 AM
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Specific slang shifts. But the "core" curse words have been the same for, well, I dunno. A long freaking time.
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MJBurrage
post Sep 5 2008, 04:32 AM
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Given the perseverance of fuck and shit as curse words in the English language (a millennium or so) they are not going away anytime soon, and they fit the criminal types of the Shadowrun world. Having said that I also like and sometimes miss frag, drek, etc.

I have always assumed that frag and drek made their way to Seattle via city-speak, and that assumption seems to fit with their decline at the same time that the retro-punk culture of the '40s and '50s has declined.
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Blade
post Sep 5 2008, 09:18 AM
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QUOTE (sunnyside @ Sep 5 2008, 05:00 AM) *
Any foreign language equivalents for the F-bomb? That seems to be the hardest to get right.

Hmmm playing with babel fish (which may translate for the sex angle more than the curse)

French - Baise
German - Bumsen
Italian - Scopata
Portugeese - Foda

While Bumsen is kinda funny and Foda might work I don't know if I'm feeling them so much.


I don't know for the others, but in French we don't use "Baise" (which is the translation for the "having sex" meaning). We have a lot of curse words (and after hearing a lot of foreigners using English curse words, I'm proud of it), but I think that the best one to replace "fuck", according to the use, would be "merde" (shit) or "putain" (means prostitute literally, but is used as a "generic" curse word).
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