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<   No. 1728   2007-10-20   >

Comic #1728

1 {Head Death stares silently at Death of Insanely Overpowered Fireballs and Death of Inhaling Hatmaking Chemicals.}
2 {Head Death keeps his steely gaze on them.}
3 {More staring.}
4 Death of Choking On A Giant Frog: {in the background, whispering to Death of Being Wrestled To Death By Steve} OH MAN, THEY'RE BONED.

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I wondered about using the word "boned" in this context in what is, after all, declared to be a PG-rated comic. The word is not in common usage with this meaning here in Australia, so I'm not entirely up on the complexities regarding its use. It seems clear enough that it's of the same provenance as "screwed", which raises a warning flag immediately. However, "screwed" has migrated far enough into everyday speech that I, for one, don't consider it a profanity, and I would not hesitate to use it in the comic. I wasn't so sure about "boned" though. And of course, if I couldn't use that particular word in this case, most of the joke would have been lost.

So I consulted with some American online acquaintances. Every single one of the dozen or so who I asked said that they did not consider "boned" to be offensive and, more importantly, that it would not raise an eyebrow if included in PG-rated material.


2018-05-30 Rerun commentary: I think I first heard the word "boned" used in this idiom on Futurama. Which I suppose in hindsight is a fairly good indicator of acceptability in PG rated material to American audiences. Ah, good old Bender.

In the years since this comic was originally published, I think "boned" has become significantly better known in Australia, and I probably wouldn't write the original annotation above the same way today.

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