Thursday, March 13, 2008

Come vs. Cum

To me, cum (pronounced 'kūm) is a Latin conjunction meaning "with" or "and." For instance, magna cum laude means "with high praise" and office cum library is another way of saying "office/library."

Cum used as another word for orgasm or semen was something I only saw in poorly written free fiction. In my opinion, come is the correct spelling for both verb and noun. However, this topic was brought up in an on-line author group and apparently cum as both verb and noun is acceptable for some publishing houses.

Color me scandalized!

I had published authors telling me they used cum and cumming in their writings ALL THE TIME! And their editors accepted it!

Now, I can go on and on about why I believe this is wrong, but I have insufficient time to rant properly.

So, here's the question I posed to these authors: What's the past tense of cum?

Their answer: came.

Not cumed or cummed but came.

So, uh, shouldn't the present tense be come?

(Yes, I'm anal retentive. Did you catch my rant about ménage? How about the rant about poor research? And the one about TSTL heroines?)


TJ Michaels said...

Girlfriend, can you please put a disclaimer at the top of these semi-rants? Something like "Not responsible for coffee snarfed on keyboards" or something like that?

*tj running for the 409 and a paper towel*

And I agree with you. I use 'come' because 'cum' just seems (excuse the way I'm going to say this) half-assed to me. But then again, misspellt wordz jes kinda rub me da rong way. ;D

Angela James said...

Funny, were you on our editor loop yesterday? Because we were just discussing this. I've always felt like erotic romance writers who argue that they don't write porn shouldn't use such a porny word. It just reminds me of Penthouse Letters--which can be thoroughly enjoyable but are porn, nonetheless :P

Anonymous said...

TJ - My apologies! Do I owe you a new keyboard?

Angela - My point exactly! It's such a little thing, but it annoys me to no end.

Anonymous said...

And forgot to add: It's so unprofessional.

Mechele Armstrong said...

Somehow I missed this before now. I don't care for the word cum in erotic romance either.

I do think it sounds pornish.

HowLynnTime said...

coffee and soda snarfed must be in the diclaimer! I don't use that word at all in that flavor. I seem to have a food to sex addiction.
cheating --- belly up to the buffet
sex -- hide the hot dog
sweet sex - cookie nibbling
mean sex - ganking the devils wine
come - joyful fruit, ta-daa, cookies baked with love, magical dessert.....come on what kind of ick is cum....blech. If writing for PH forum...hey spelling optional....who cares. But seriously, in real books...that is offensive to me because it lacks any creative juice.......hehehe.

bwfrank said...

So I know this is an old post, but while writing a snarky Facebook comment I found I needed to know how to spell this colloquial term for semen, and I generally find that Google knows the answers to these vexing questions.

Anyway, I'm just writing to say that, in this instance, "anal retentive" might be a poor choice of words.