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  1. #11
    Ouisch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Usage of "as hell"

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Thank you, RonBee & Bobk.

    I have a related question. Should I try to avoid any expressions which contain the word of " hell", such as "not have a cat in hell's chance", " make someone's life hell"?
    Yes. "Hell" is still considered a curse word, albeit a very mild one. Nevertheless, "hell" and "damn" are not appropriate for childen's stories.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Usage of "as hell"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    Yes. "Hell" is still considered a curse word, albeit a very mild one. Nevertheless, "hell" and "damn" are not appropriate for childen's stories.
    Thank you very much!

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Usage of "as hell"

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Amen. I don't think I am what bhaisahab would call 'a certain kind of Christian' - in fact, I'm not sure that I'm any kind of Christian - but that particular phrase just wouldn't be acceptable in a children's story. Some people, to avoid offending the sensibilities of 'a certain kind of Christian', replace it with 'as heck' (and they replace 'hell' in other phrases too - 'a heck of a day' for example), but even 'as heck' would not be suitable in a children's story. 'As hungry as anything' maybe; or 'famished'; or 'could eat a horse' or one of RonBee's alternatives (although the first one is new to me; and in Br English it seems that we 'can eat a horse' rather than a bear!)

    b
    Apparently, "as all get out" is peculiar to the USA. It is used in several expressions such as "as mad as all get out" or (as here) "as hungry as all get out". BTW, I was sticking with the "as hungry as" format with "as hungry as a bear" (perhaps another Americanism). We do have something in common. We Americans also say "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse".


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  4. #14
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    Default Re: Usage of "as hell"

    An addition: as hungry as a hawk

  5. #15
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Default Re: Usage of "as hell"

    Are words "devil" and " bedevil" unacceptable in Children's story? Thanks!

    e.g. What the devil is the outcome?
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 20-May-2008 at 01:29. Reason: clerical error

  6. #16
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Usage of "as hell"

    I think that must depend on the context of the story and the age of the children for whom it is written. Fundamentally I cannot see a problem with using either.

  7. #17
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Default Re: Usage of "as hell"

    Thank you, Anglika. I don't have the context now.

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    Default Re: Usage of "as hell"

    What age are children who love the Harry Potter books? I notice some of the 'language' in those books, though, has been omitted in the films!
    (As I recall, I'm sure Ron thinks nothing of saying 's*#t') so hell seems as mild as 'botheration!'

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Usage of "as hell"

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    (As I recall, I'm sure Ron thinks nothing of saying 's*#t') so hell seems as mild as 'botheration!'

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Usage of "as hell"

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    An addition: as hungry as a hawk
    I haven't heard that one, but the alliteration reminded me of one that's not much used now: 'as hungry as a hunter'.

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Are words "devil" and " bedevil" unacceptable in Children's story? Thanks!

    e.g. What the devil is the outcome?
    I think 'bedevil' would be OK in terms of cultural/social/religious sensitivity, but you'd probably want to rule it out on grounds of formality/comprehensibility, for that age group, at least.

    As Anglika said, though, whether 'What the devil...' is going to be acceptable depends on context. As an (imperfect, I admit) example, in a series of children's books written in the late '40s-early '50s, Enid Blyton wrote about some children who were always being moved on by a policemen who said 'Clear orf' - which, at the time, was fairly strong language to use when speaking to children. The children were not in the least offended, and referred to him as 'Old Clearorf'. That context made the otherwise unacceptable* language OK in children's fiction.

    *Unacceptable, that is, in the moral climate of the time.

    b

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