08
Jan
09

paging lenny bruce

So I’m working on a piece in which the characters have relations with each other. And… unfortunately, I don’t think there’s any way I can do what I want narratively with the romantic encounter unless I get a bit, uh, graphic. So graphic, in fact, that I’m having to debate which spelling to use: “come” or “cum”.

In the absence of a style manual on this delicate matter, I’m leaning towards “come”, mostly because I feel like it’s classier. My memory’s fuzzy on these things, but it seems like  Penthouse used “come” in its “I never thought this kind of thing would happen to me, but I was installing aluminum siding on my house when my gorgeous neighbor…” Forum letters, while I think I remember seeing the “cum” spelling in less mainstream volumes like Juggs or Swank in their comparable “I never thought this kind of thing would happen to me, but I was volunteering in a soup kitchen when this gorgeous homeless lady…” fake letters section.  Needless to say, using porn mags as a measuring stick for anything is making me uncomfortable. 

Off the top of my head, I can’t recall Roth or Updike using the term one way or the other.  Oh, and didn’t Quiet Riot use the latter spelling in their 1982 hit “Cum on Feel the Noize”? Because that brings the two sides back to a tie.  You can see why this is so difficult.

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