Strange Charmed Life Reaction

Ven ven at vvcrane.fsnet.co.uk
Fri Apr 6 20:58:19 EDT 2001


Lizzie wrote

> I just wanna see if anyone else finds this as strange as I do--I think I
> may have gotten a rather strange reaction to Charmed Life from a friend of
> mine the other day.
> 
> Okay, so here's my strange story.  Like many of you, I pushed a friend to
> read CL.  She finished it--rather quickly, especially for her--and I asked
> her what she thought.  Her reply is going to be after a long bit of
> space--please don't read if you're underage.
> 
> 
> s
> 
> p
> 
> a
> 
> c
> 
> e
> 
> c
> 
> m
> i
> l
> l
> e
> n
> i
> u
> m
> h
> a
> n
> d
> a
> n
> d
> s
> h
> r
> i
> m
> p
> 
> not being too explicit here or anything, but don't wanna tick anybody off.
> 
> The first thing my friend said to me was "Was that one phrase towards the
> end meant to be a sexual entrende?"  I nearly fell over--I've never really
> thought about anything in connection with CL as being hugely
> sex-themed.  So she flipped it open to the scene near the end in the
> garden, where Cat is tied up and the assorted bad witches and warlocks are
> hunting for Fiddle, and one witch calls out. . . . and I freaked.  I told
> her I couldn't believe she'd read that into it, and she told me that she
> couldn't believe I never had.  So I'm just a little unsettled by the whole
> thing. . . anybody else?
> 

Wow Lizzie I immediately sussed one of these transatlantic 
translations here, not actually because this innuendo doesn't exist 
in UK English, it does, (since at least the 17C, sorry Deborah) Its 
just not that bad. So I called my American friend, Vicki, and yup 
she finds the p word a lot cruder than I do, although under 
American influence it is becoming more so here.

I checked the dictionary and meaning "the female pudend" it is 
given as slang but it is slang derog when used as a term for a 
woman. The latter sense is what I think of as American -- though it 
has caught on here -- the former sense was far more common in 
Britain until very recently. At the time Dwj was writing CL  I should 
think the dire but popular British sitcom "Are You Being Served" 
would have been on. This was mainstream family entertainment 
and every episode featured double entendres about Mrs Slocum 
and her cat. The idea was that this silly middle aged woman never 
realised what she was saying but the cheeky young man and the 
sharp young woman did. 

I did spot the potential double entendre in CL a while back but just 
thought that either it hadn't occurred to Dwj or that she put it in as 
something  a vulgar old witch  might say under the intoxicating 
atmosphere in the garden. I definitely thought it was vulgar rather
than obscene.

This thing is probably more complicated by the fact that "bad 
words" are used more commonly in newspapers and on British TV 
(but mostly after 9 pm, when the rules are relaxed). US stars over 
here are always asking if they can really say this or that, and they 
usually can. So I guess we're less sensitive, or do I mean 
desensitised. I remember seeing a UK survey of people's
attitudes to various words they might hear on TV, rated as to how 
objectionable they found them. The c word and the n word were 
way out in front, and clearly not acceptable to a large majority at 
any time (which I have no quarrel with). Number 3 was the f word 
but it came way behind and was found acceptable in some 
contexts by most people (I say it without a qualm so long as 
there's nobody in earshot it would offend). The word we've just been 
talking about would have been way down the list here.   

Finally all UK Buffy fans are highly amused at the number of dodgy 
slang terms that Anthony Head and Whozit that plays Spike put in. 
Can I presume the US censors don't know what they mean?

 




                                           Ven.

You are trapped in that bright moment where you learned your doom.
--
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