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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  Screenwriting Class  /  Question / observationMy current project is a west
Posted by: JohnI, May 16th, 2018, 11:32am
My current project is a western. Taking a long time but interesting because there as not as many instruments to employee to get message across as say a modern drama.
That being said dialogue becomes even more important.
In trying to research - Iíve been watching a lot of westerns/ researching times/ and reading scripts.
Heís my question / observation. In modern westerns - many of them employe cuss words to make the characters seem harder - more shocking. They include a number of F bombs! (See deadwood and youíll think youíre reading something out of penthouse magazine.
Many of these words though are twentieth century born. I.e. the F-bomb. (Originally a acronym for - For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.)
My question is it seems those in power want these in, but they are not true to the story.

Interestingly recent award winners like Coen brothers True Grit and Hostiles donít use a single one.

To write true to the setting or for effect?
Posted by: StevenClark, May 16th, 2018, 11:39am; Reply: 1
Always thought bombís acronym was Fornication Under Consent of the King.

BTW, Iíd go for realism.

Steve
Posted by: Zombie Sean, May 16th, 2018, 11:42am; Reply: 2
I remember watching episodes of Deadwood in my screenwriting class back in school and being completely turned off by their usage of the F-word in the show. It just didn't ring true to me and took me out of the fact that it was a Western. I don't know anything about Westerns but I feel that they didn't use/have the word back then. Could be completely wrong though.

Personally, I'd stick with "softer" words ("Hell," "Damn," "Shit," "Bastard," "Son of a bitch," etc.) for the most part. I'm sure they had other "cuss" words back then and maybe you just gotta do your research. But I'd leave out the F-word as much as possible. Just me though.
Posted by: eldave1, May 16th, 2018, 12:19pm; Reply: 3
IMO - realism
Posted by: Forgive, May 16th, 2018, 6:30pm; Reply: 4
Hi John, not entirely sure what you're on about but ' f*ck' traces its its history back to the 1300's and is considered the third most offensive word in the English language after motherf*cker and c*nt.

F*ck likely comes from a number of Germanic languages and their derivatives, Swedish, Dutch, Norwegian: focka, fokken, fukka (to breed, copulate).

There's plenty of speculation on various beginnings:Forced Unwanted Carnal Knowledge, etc, but limited evidence that this is so.

There is anecdotal evidence that variations on the word existed before the Western period.
Posted by: LC, May 16th, 2018, 6:37pm; Reply: 5
http://buddiesinthesaddle.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/old-west-cuss-words.html

http://www.oregonlive.com/history/2016/01/old_west_cursing_what_if_deadw.html

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-103301.html

http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/columns/intelligencer/n_10191/

https://www.legendsofamerica.com/we-slang/3/

Plenty more where that came from.
Research with a quick Internet search is an easy thing these days.

Oh, and read Bone Tomahawk. Love that movie, except for one excruciating scene.
I thought the remake of True Grit very lacklustre.

To answer your question I'd make it authentic. The dialogue in BT is very entertaining. A big part of its success.

Youíve been squirting lemon in my
eye since you came in. I didnít
commit a crime.




Posted by: JohnI, May 17th, 2018, 12:50pm; Reply: 6
Great articles

Thought most of it.

Felt hostiles like True grit slow - but I think the dialogue was purposely like that in order to show the blandness / slowness of the west.
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