We’ve discussed the appropriateness of swear words on this blog before, but Paul Gilligan writes on his Pooch Cafe blog about the troubles finding the appropriate euphemism that doesn’t have double meanings for international audiences.
Anyone who has spent even a small amount of time with the strip will have noticed Poncho’s penchant for spouting off. The family-friendly vibe of the comics page necessitates keeping Poncho’s expletives G-rated, which presents a challenge: people in the midst of an eye-popping conniption don’t usually choose words like “gosh” and “golly”. So I began using the word “friggin'”. Well, I was informed quite heatedly by a few elderly folks of the British persuasion that “friggin'” actually had a meaning sexual in nature which for the sake of any gentler readers of this blog I will avoid defining here. So then I tried using the word “freakin'” in Poncho’s outbursts. This caused some complaints from people who felt “freakin'” was a too thinly veiled substitute for a certain other word that starts with “f”. One paper even took it upon themselves to change the “freakin'” to “friggin'” , which provoked another letter from one of the earlier British complainants in which he now vowed to never allow his grandchildren to read my “smut” again.