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Thread: Cum vs. come

  1. #1
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    Cum vs. come

    I promise I scoured the boards to see if this had been discussed elsewhere, but couldn't find anything about it. I am wondering how each of you approaches the spelling of, well, cum.

    From the look of things, my editor assigns "come" to the verb - the act of it - and "cum" to the noun - the mess of it. Is this correct?

    I know I'm in for a thread full of puns. Come one, come all, come on, everyone.

  2. #2
    It's too hot to play. SuperModerator alleycat's Avatar
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    I think it's actually "come" (as vulgar slang) either way, although "cum" is often used by those writing about their sexual escapades.



  3. #3
    Cowabunga dude! Synonym's Avatar
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    Ah, welcome to the world of purple prose. Actually, I cringe everytime I see 'cum'.

    If a character calls it that and 'in character' usually uses slang I suppose that would be fine. Otherwise, it's got a real name so don't be afraid to use it. Most of the time I use come. As in--I'm going to. The results are sperm or taken for granted and handled accordingly. It's a messy business, so to speak, you can refer to cleaning up and avoid naming what's actually being cleaned up...most get it.

    Here's a good place to get some pointers. (pun intended) Post number 4 has some links that will help you, the whole thread is worth a read. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/...d.php?t=154304
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  4. #4
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    I've had editors change 'come' to 'cum' in one of my books, I think it was. In relation to pre-come (as I spelled it) being altered to 'pre-cum' (by then, before I received the final copy back.

    I hate it, hate it, hate it. If you ever see that in any of my books, I DID NOT PUT IT THERE.

    Come = erotica. Cum = badly-written porn.

  5. #5
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    My editor preferred come instead of cum.

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    the world is at my command jennontheisland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarletpeaches View Post
    Come = erotica. Cum = badly-written porn.
    That's always how I've seen it. My introduction to the word cum was in Penthouse letters to the editor. I will forever associate it with that no matter how hard the romance/erotica industry tries to legitimize it as a noun, or verb.
    You are more than welcome to take anything I say personally, whether it was intended that way or not.

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  7. #7
    It's too hot to play. SuperModerator alleycat's Avatar
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    It's so tempting to do puns in this thread . . .



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by alleycat View Post
    It's so tempting to do puns in this thread . . .
    Scroll up; I anticipated them from the get-go.

    And now here I am, offering "get-go" by way of pun fodder.

    Seriously, thank you to all who have weighed in, and may continue to.

  9. #9
    The moving hand, having writ... AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    I use come as the verb, to reach orgasm for either sex, cum as a noun, the substance produced by the male. So far, every editor has left it alone.

    Maryn, who prefers this but is open to editors' input
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  10. #10
    Angel Wing Fetish VoireyLinger's Avatar
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    IMO, cum is always a noun, meaning the ejaculate or the vaginal fluids. I hate this spelling and refuse to use it. My editor tried to force it on my last book and I revised the sentence to remove it.

    Come can be the above or the act of having an orgasm. I like this one. It makes my inner sex kitten happy.

  11. #11
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    I'm not fond of the word cum. Not because of any erotica/porn distinction (I'm not overly interested in the debate), but because it pulls me out of the scene. Cum is a preposition looking for a home: my bedroom-cum-salon of discontent. Come, used in context, cannot be mistaken for anything other than what it is, therefore, no new word is needed imo.

  12. #12
    The moving hand, having writ... AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    Ooh, someone knows Latin! (Cum means 'with'.)

    Maryn, veni, vidi, nada
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  13. #13
    the world is at my command jennontheisland's Avatar
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    veni is its own pun here
    You are more than welcome to take anything I say personally, whether it was intended that way or not.

    Eat This.

  14. #14
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Using veni, we can avoid the whole debate.

  15. #15
    The moving hand, having writ... AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    That was the plan. Cain't put nothin' over on this group!

    Maryn, using search and replace for I came replaced with veni
    Kindness. It doesn't cost a damned thing. If you're smart, you'll spread that stuff all over the place.

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  16. #16
    Benefactor Member Manuel Royal's Avatar
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    The word is "come", for either orgasm as a verb, or semen as a noun. Spelling it "cum" is bad English, and jarring unless the whole piece is full of irregular spellings.

    If a publication has a policy of using the form "cum", it strikes me as cheap and unsophisticated. As someone noted, it's associated with such things as "Letters to Penthouse".

    (You sometimes see "come" used in the verb form in 19th century erotica; don't think it was used as a noun then. And more often, they used "spend". "I am spending, I am spending, I am spent.")
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  17. #17
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maryn View Post
    Maryn, using search and replace for I came replaced with veni
    I started to do the same thing, but there's just too much veni-ing in this ms. (Can there ever be too much?)

  18. #18
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    I checked one publishing site (Phaze) I think, and their rule was come was the verb, cum (as in semen) was the noun. So it probably depends on who you're writing for. I've certainly seen it used both ways (is that a pun?).
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    New kid, but no need to be gentle. KathleenD's Avatar
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    In the early 90s, I used to write those letters that appeared in men's magazines, purporting to be "real adventures."

    The editor that bought my work never commented on the strangeness of the woman's name on the sub and the first person male confessions, but he did say that a man writing amateur confession spells the noun as "cum" - spelling the noun as "come" marked me as female and/or highbrow.

    On my own, working in online video games, I've also noticed that anyone spelling a particular endearment as "hun" as opposed to "hon" or typing out the whole word "honey" was always a biological male - even if presenting as a woman. No exceptions that I've seen in ten years of such work. The one time I saw a woman spelling it that way, I later learned that the woman was a post-op transsexual - someone born a male.
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  20. #20
    Cowabunga dude! Synonym's Avatar
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    That's an interesting observation. Hmmm. I wonder why? It's odd, I'll have to watch for it more closely.

    On second thought, all the amatuer writing I've seen from men, so far, do seem to utilize the 'u' most of the time. Cool. Thanks.
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  21. #21
    Benefactor Member Boston Steve's Avatar
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    My manuscripts, as written, use come as both verb and noun. If an editor wants to change the noun to cum, that's on them, not me.

  22. #22
    Cowabunga dude! Synonym's Avatar
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    Hah! I'd make them hunt the words down too. Noun, verb, noun, verb. That could take a while with the right story.
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  23. #23
    Cool in the Pool Fruitbat's Avatar
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    I use "come" as the verb and "cum" as the noun, but I think the jury is still out on this one. If use of it as a noun is fairly new then the commonly accepted spelling is probably not through gelling, which is why it's controversial. If I was subbing directly to a publisher, I would check to see if they had a preferred way, and go with that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NVS View Post
    From the look of things, my editor assigns "come" to the verb - the act of it - and "cum" to the noun - the mess of it. Is this correct?
    Cum is for pornography, which is what everyone else writes.

    Come is for erotica, which is what I write.

    It's not my first choice, but one of the synonyms I choose from, based on the action, and the characters involved.
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=cum
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  25. #25
    Benefactor Member Boston Steve's Avatar
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    Oh no, not people trying to draw artificial lines between "porn" and "erotica" again.


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