Clarification: When I write, I don't prepare or organize my ideas, I just write what I would say if I was talking to you in person, so sometimes my blogs end up a little messy. I don't even proof-read what I write before posting it so you may find grammatical mistakes and poorly written sentences. Sometimes I'll read my blogs a day or two after publishing them and I may re-write things that weren't too clear and any embarrassing grammatical mistake. Also, English is not my first language, so I apologize if reading my blogs become a struggle. Of course, if this is the case, I would imagine you wouldn't continue reading.

Mar 23, 2013

That F*cking Magical Asterisk

For many years, since the beginning of my internet "social life", I've found a little peculiar the way some people use f*cking asterisks. You know, when the asterisk replaces one letter in an offensive word to sort of make whatever you're saying less obscene. I'm not sure why I find this interesting, perhaps it's because I can't recall asterisks being used the same way in Spanish.

In Venezuela, where I was raised, people make use of profanities more often than in the US. An example I often use to illustrate this is the way guys greet each other. It's not rare to hear guys greeting one another by saying something that approximately translates to "what's up, faggot dumbass?". No, really, I'm not f*cking joking. Another instance: you can express something similar to "oh, come on, man!" by saying "pussy faggot dumbass" (coño marico huevon!). Profanities are used so much in so many different kinds of situations, that we often forget their original meaning. I could say I'm an expert cusser. On the other hand, this type of language is not acceptable in serious situations and communications, just like here. In fact, there's a lot more freedom in that regard in the US, like for instance, we can't say words like ass or dumbass or bitch on TV or radio. So, we Venezuelans must develop serious skills to be able to constantly switch back and forth from dirty to clean modes during our every day lives. 

You would think Venezuelans could benefit from the use of the magical asterisk, but that's not the case, that's not how it works in Spanish. If we want to sound decent we simply replace the whole offensive word with a more acceptable one, limiting our celebrated colorful form of expression. That's why doing this makes more sense to me, because in Spanish asterisks are not magical. A profane word with or without a f*cking asterisk, is equally offensive, I mean, it's not like the asterisks confuse the readers and make them become uncertain about the intended spelling of the asterisked words. "Maybe it's fick, but it could be feck, hell, there are 5 vowels, it could be anything!" We know you wrote f*ck, we know that you thought about the word f*ck, uncensored and without asterisk, and that you meant it. But that's the way it is in Spanish. English does not follow the same rules. 

The English language is wild and free like the wind, which could make it confusing and illogical at times. You know, Guinea pigs aren't from Guinea, you don't park on parkways or drive on driveways, and all that. In English, asterisks are f*cking magical. It doesn't f*cking matter what you write or its meaning, you can say sh*t, f*ck, motherf*cker, anything, and the asterisks will transform whatever you wrote into something decent and proper that even the children can read without the risk of them picking up any naughty language. You can write something like I'm going to f*ck your mother's c*nt and make her suck my f*cking d*ck, you assh*le! and the most that could happen is that some people might think you may be having personal issues, but no one ever will put in question your decency. It's truly remarkable.

Yep, those f*cking magical asterisks kicks ass. I even designed a t-shirt in their honor.

Addendum: If you thought I was joking about the t-shirt, here's a picture of me wearing it:

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