Saturday, March 29, 2008

The expletive of the...

Interviewing Kimberly Peirce about the recent film Stop Loss, Jacki Lyden notes the action in one scene: "you actually have him -- expletive the president in front of his commanding officer." (link)

The double dash represents a pause and a filler 'um'.

I've never heard expletive used as a verb. And Lyden really struggled to reach this one. I've seen "expletive" used in place of an actual expletive in writing. It's usually as placeholder as a visual bleep.

I would expect to find the past tense form once its use as a verb has been established. A Google™ search brings up very little.

One result uses up the phrase "Last Updated and Expletived Over"

Another uses several forms in the replacement brackets several times. "I [expletived] a chick last night and while I was [expletiving] her, her [expletived] boyfriend came in and beat the [expletive] out of me."

Yet another includes a heading "Expletived Divorce Lawyers" on an entry heading that freely uses some dirty dirty words.

Of the 258 results for "expletived" the use as a verb is almost exclusively used (with or without brackets) as a filler for the...well...expletive.

The heading about the lawyers looks like Lyden's use in which to expletive is the same as to cuss or to swear or to curse at.

A search for the past tense following a noun phrase might sort out some relevant results.

"She expletived" brings up no relevant result.

"They expletived" brings up none.

"We expletived" brings up nothing.

"You expletived" brings up one result. The context helps clarify the meaning:
Then, during your lunch break, you get to the chapter called, “But, It’s Not Time to Quit Your Day Job.”


Unfortunately, you dripped mustard at the same time you expletived and now you can’t return the @#$% book to B&N.

"I expletived" brings up 2 relevant results:
One that redirects right after loading (but if you're quick you can stop the page and find the sentence) -- I got a couple of blocks up the road before I realized that we were foodless. I expletived, flipped a bitch, and drove back to the Taco Bell.

and another that quotes the act then announces it:
Fuck! I expletived. I told you I was too busy to write that for another month or two.

"He expletived" brings up one result:
Oh Krif me! He expletived as he pulled out his blaster pistol and began to fire upon an on coming bug.

This isn't such a strange extension. It's similar to the likely extension of curse.n to curse.v.

1 comment:

  1. I have to say that's the weirdest use of "expletive" as a verb that I've ever seen. It is usually, in my experience, replacing another word.

    I sincerely doubt the guy in the movie actually "expletived" the president in front of his commanding officer - or anywhere. But I'm not sure I would have realized it meant "used an expletive".


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