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I wonder how should I play some hot-tempered NPCs when it comes to swearing. First, there are sex-based and ancestry-based insults but even that is slightly outdated because procreation is different and infrequent at 10AF. Would infomorphs shout "hack you" at each other?

When we're at it, what about other bodily influences on swearing? Should scatological swears be popular in a setting where many morphs have clean metabolism? And synth- and infomorphs have no metabolism?

What about blasphemy and profanity?

So, how do people swear in Eclipse Phase?

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I'm surprised--given that I understand Eclipse Phase to have a rather rich background--that this isn't addressed. Many science fiction games have glossaries devoted to their slang (e.g. Cyberpunk 2020, Shadowrun). There's nothing in the books about this? –  Hey I Can Chan Aug 24 at 12:36

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Here, it's worth noting David Drake's comments on translating from future/ancient languages:

One of the problems when you’re writing of either the past or the future is ‘How much should I translate?’ I don’t mean simply language: there’s a whole complex of things that people within any society take for granted but which vary between societies. (But language too: I had somebody complain that the Arthurian soldiers in The Dragon Lord talked like modern soldiers. My reaction to this was that I could write the soldiers’ dialogue in Latin, but the complainant couldn’t read it; and if I’m going to translate into English, why on Earth wouldn’t I translate into the type of English the same sort of men speak today?)

The desire for verisimilitude is nice, but excepting one part of language for "updating" while leaving the rest the same provides not an updating but a fraking bowdlerisation. Given that you're not going to be getting Ph.Ds in linguistics, don't bother updating your vocabularies. The cognitive dissonance engendered by one language's profanity, blasphemy, and scataological language which provides for the necessary frission of swearing in that culture's listeners doesn't translate at all well.

If you want a sense of the alien, change how florid different cultures are with their swearing. Floridity maps well to common English, but gives a sense of cultural distinction. If a culture swears in paragraphs/poetry, and the other grunts out single-syllable words, both are understandable, and different.

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This answer is relevant, but it's worth mentioning that Eclipse Phase is set near enough in the future that most modern languages haven't actually undergone that much drift; As a result, this answer is more about cultural differences than idomatic ones. –  GMJoe Aug 25 at 5:38

Swearing doesn't appear to have changed much from the present day. In the core book alone, fuck (or some variation like clusterfuck) appears 36 times, shit (or some variation like bullshit) appears 14 times, and damn appears 7 times. I could keep searching, but from all the fiction I've read swearing hasn't evolved.

There is plenty of new terminology/slang (pages 25-27 in the core book cover some of it), but it mostly deals with new factions/locations/technology. There are some new insults, but they are mostly directed at specific groups like zeroes (those without mesh access).

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+1. Most swearwords in common use have gradually grown divorced from the social taboos that originally caused them to be considered offensive. Many swearwords are now only offensive because they've been used as swearwords for so long; The actual taboos they used to violate are long gone, or at least a lot weaker than they were back when the word became verboten. (The "Euphemism Treadmill" is a related concept.) –  GMJoe Aug 25 at 5:34

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