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the language [Jun. 14th, 2004|07:22 pm]
Deadwood

gem_saloon

[dalhectar]
I've heard a lot of people say the language isn't authentic to the west, but are there any records as to what slang/curse/vernacular words they did use around the timeframe of Deadwood?

Love the show regardless.
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[User Picture]From: minirth
2004-06-23 03:22 pm (UTC)
I liked this article that HBO's Deadwood site has linked.

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/entertainment/Columnists.nsf/0/029F03EA0720C5C686256E5D000051C6?OpenDocument&Headline=HBO's+%22Deadwood%22+is+one+bloody,+*%40%23%26!+Western
But the most lasting impression of the show comes from its foul, fouler and foulest language, a stream of obscenities so over-the-top as to verge on comical.

Milch defends all the eyebrow-raising elements as authentic.

The real Deadwood, S.D., "never had a population of more than 5,000 people, and they averaged a murder and a half a day," Milch said at an HBO press session for the show in January. "Over time, that's 10 percent of the population murdered each year. That would be the equivalent of 700,000 New Yorkers. So, yes, there was a lot of violence in the camp."

As for the language, "That's the way they spoke," he said. Citing sources that include the Library of Congress' Museum of Living Memory and essayist H.L. Mencken, he added, "The one thing upon which everyone agrees was that the profanity and obscenity were astounding. It was overwhelming."

Even HBO, which isn't governed by the increasingly skittish FCC because it doesn't broadcast over the public airwaves, had "conversations" with Milch about the language, asking whether "it would be so overwhelming that it blurred the experience."

After Milch, a former teacher, produced the equivalent of a term paper on the subject, complete with 50-plus-page bibliography, the issue was dropped without a word changed.

The point, Milch said, is that "the lawlessness of the language" will establish "the idea of a community without law, of how people comport themselves in the absence of any governing principle."
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