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GrassyGnoll
2009-04-21, 11:55 PM
I've been coerced to write a speech for graduation and want to pack in something for the careful reader. Already facing restrictive censors, I want to slip in dirty words through liaisons between words.

The only one I can think of is "cunning linguist". Anyone have suggestions?

KnightDisciple
2009-04-22, 12:47 AM
Why?
I mean, I ask this in all seriousness. What particular reason do you have to try to slip dirty words in? :smallconfused:

Quincunx
2009-04-22, 01:34 AM
Suggestion: Be more subtle. FAR more subtle. Keep in mind that your only guaranteed listeners may well include your family.

[EDIT: If you _must_ do this, and that is your capstone example, I'd recommend stealing from previous comic acts instead, nicking one-liners and sparing space for a single "inspirational story" that takes a hard right turn into a punchline. Keep your censor in mind and try not to pick routines from the times they'd be familiar with.]

Cheesegear
2009-04-22, 01:35 AM
Anyone have suggestions?

When you reach for the stars, try not to land on Uranus. :smallamused:

Quincunx
2009-04-22, 02:09 AM
D'you know people on this side of the pond pronounce that Yur-un-us instead? Kills the comedy. "Semper ubi sub ubi" doesn't work either.

thegurullamen
2009-04-22, 02:28 AM
Suggestion: Be more subtle. FAR more subtle. Keep in mind that your only guaranteed listeners may well include your family.

[EDIT: If you _must_ do this, and that is your capstone example, I'd recommend stealing from previous comic acts instead, nicking one-liners and sparing space for a single "inspirational story" that takes a hard right turn into a punchline. Keep your censor in mind and try not to pick routines from the times they'd be familiar with.]

I really have to agree with this. Surely you can squeeze some meaning into an opportunity like this and honestly, it's a lot better than flimsy jokes you lifted from Austin Powers 3.

Heavy use of cliches building to an ironic punchline are encouraged. Bonus points for use of inflection; if you can make your words mean something entirely different by saying it in different ways, then getting by the censors shouldn't be difficult. Just don't go in there thinking that they won't shut the mic off if you start a sarcastic rant.

Killer Angel
2009-04-22, 02:34 AM
Why?
I mean, I ask this in all seriousness. What particular reason do you have to try to slip dirty words in? :smallconfused:

Well, i don't know, but the OP said he has "been coerced to write a speech". So, maybe it's a subtle revenge?

Quincunx
2009-04-22, 02:54 AM
Suggestion_02: Background info is necessary.

For dodging censorship, mining material they won't be familiar with, and/or zinging the censors:
Age of your censor? Age of your parents (approximate)? Are any of them not from the U.S.? Probability that your parents will take your cell phone away during the last summer you'll have with your high school buddies if you embarrass them too much?

For knowing what classes of joke you can make an innocent lead into:
Have you had a summer job? What extracurriculars have you? Do you have justification for going into the board-banned-topics during the speech? (If so, I'll snip some non-partisan one-liners and PM them to you.) Will you be wearing a graduation gown or some clothing more easily flashed open?

GrassyGnoll
2009-04-22, 06:04 PM
Why?
I mean, I ask this in all seriousness. What particular reason do you have to try to slip dirty words in? :smallconfused:

Several. A savage rivalry between the journalist and leadership blocs, revenge against an acid tongued yuppie and his mouth piece, and a means to protest and humiliate a system that ASB approves every letter.


Suggestion: Be more subtle. FAR more subtle. Keep in mind that your only guaranteed listeners may well include your family.

So far the "cunning linguist" line has eluded the censors. I'm ready to get James Joyce on their behinds.


Suggestion_02: Background info is necessary.

For dodging censorship, mining material they won't be familiar with, and/or zinging the censors:
Age of your censor? Age of your parents (approximate)? Are any of them not from the U.S.? Probability that your parents will take your cell phone away during the last summer you'll have with your high school buddies if you embarrass them too much?

For knowing what classes of joke you can make an innocent lead into:
Have you had a summer job? What extracurriculars have you? Do you have justification for going into the board-banned-topics during the speech? (If so, I'll snip some non-partisan one-liners and PM them to you.) Will you be wearing a graduation gown or some clothing more easily flashed open?

Censors will be between mid-thirties to mid-fifties. Parents will not hear this speech until the graduation, but will probably have the same age range. The principal is an immigrant from Ethiopia (he's not the target: a shrew of an administrator and her perma-smiling minion are). Family of mine present will range from hell-raising drunk to former hell-raising drunk.

Busboy at a fancy restaurant. Journalism, mathelete, writing club, and the GSA; so nothing popular.

I may have underscored the level of scrutiny under which this school operates. Last year's speech was gravely threatened for ending with the question over whether you were "taking care of your business", a favorite line of said shrew. Cap and gown are a yes.

Dervag
2009-04-22, 08:28 PM
What happens if you give a speech different from the one that passed the censors?

In general, I would advise that you avoid crudity or simplicity. Be smarter than the kind of patronizing, micromanaging minion you're talking about is likely to give you credit for being, not dumber.

snoopy13a
2009-04-22, 09:45 PM
Honestly, don't be that guy.

Your parents are going to extremely proud that your giving a speech at graduation, don't disappoint them. All the teachers who think highly of you are going to have their last memory of you as an immature jerk. For some of your classmates, this will be one of the greatest days in their lives, don't turn it into a punchline.

GrassyGnoll
2009-04-23, 01:44 AM
What happens if you give a speech different from the one that passed the censors?

I get slide tackled off the stage.

Liaisons so far considered:
"finish it" (too incidental)
"bit cheerier" (she was a bit cheerier once I got to know her)
"fell at the time out" (fell at the T.O., can't work the "the" out of there)
"see yourself in tea" (getting "see you in tea" would be one great feat of grammatical gymnastics. Alternative: t-shirts?) I know, I'm chummy with a body builder/potential prom king. "Caleb, everytime I see you in t-shirts I'm reminded of the laundry I've left unfinished at home"
A mention of Richard Cheese?

Quincunx
2009-04-23, 01:53 AM
Ok, we do need to spell it out for you. The "cunning linguist" bit--don't use it. It's old. It's dumber than the proverbial sophomore, and makes you sound like something dripping down a woman's thigh (take your pick of the options, the simile still works). Worst of all, the instant "cunning" leaves your mouth, everyone knows what's coming anyway, killing whatever shock value it might have had back in the sixth grade. It can't even be salvaged by subverting Blackadder and Baldrick's "I have a cunning plan, my lord". If you absolutely cannot bear not working in some innuendo, look at pre-1970s comedy. Benny Hill routines. Up Pompeii wordplay. Early Mel Brooks. Laugh-In might work, but my favorite exchanges from that are all dialogue and impossible to replicate with a single speaker. Mind you, that doesn't stop you consulting with people who can keep their mouths shut before graduation and have the lung power to scream out one or two lines of repartee during the speech.

". . .Thank you. It's the result of rigorous training: hours of clutching, grabbing, squeezing. . ."
"Sounds pretty tough."
"Exhausting. I never knew how strong a girl could be."
"--There's a girl in the class?"
"No, there's twelve."
"The rest of the students must like that!"
"I certainly do." :smallbiggrin:
--Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, "Gotcha" (Quickies Intro)

It's allusions, not liaisons. Would've cleared that up earlier if I had figured out what you meant before now. Again, "cunning linguist" is so worn-out it's no longer an allusion. While I'm on the topic of definitions, your concept is not subversive; subversion involves setting up one situation and then delivering something unexpected. An adolescent mocking the 'serious business' is never unexpected, no matter how well you package your barbs. For heaven's sake, you mentioned that someone tried the same exact stunt with an inside joke last year! How is a repeat performance subversive?!

The most subversive act I can think of, putting myself in the cherry-red high heels of my high school's prim principal, would be to show up and declare, "I was going to give a speech but I couldn't be bothered to prepare one". Violating the pomp and solemnity of graduation would have scored more deeply than segueing into a George Carlin rant. Better yet, you can then salvage that with an emotional and vulgarly informal 'shout-out' to your family and the parents of your friends in the audience. Think of sports fans after their team has won. Ladle on the accolades, even throw in some about people you barely know to families you've never met (preferably that kid who had to beg extra audience tickets off of other students), get the audience cheering you on and fast, so that they'll boo if someone cuts you off--ignore all of your precious education and the administration entirely and especially if they cut the mike. The people who matter are pleased and the people in cherry-red shoes are snubbed. Grab a speech off of a homework-sharing site, tweak it so that the first few words align with "I was going to give a speech, but" (this is a time-honored rhetorical device, you will be able to find a speech which starts this way), get it approved, go on your merry way. The more academically driven your school is, and the further away from the unwashed hootin' and hollerin' masses it tries to be, the better this will work.

If I remember right, those caps and gowns are rented, limiting the amount of shenanigans you can do with needle and thread. However, if you flatten the sleeve on your arm so that it looks wide from the side, you can temporarily seal most of the cuff on the inside (it's a rental, just tape it shut with a tape that doesn't leave goop behind) and get two storage areas. If you can get fabric to match the color of the gown, you could cut two 'wings' that lie on the side of the sleeve lying against your body--firmly attached on the back crease, sticky-dot-velcroed on the front--and have a display surface once you loosen the velcro and hold out your arms. Line your graduation cap with tinfoil, shiny side out, after testing how badly it messes up flash photography when you toss or wave your hat. If you have a very dark robe, there's such a thing as reflective black tape (http://www.reflectivelyyours.com/generic141.html), but I'd definitely run the flash photography test on a sample before spending money on it. (Find a motorcycle. Photograph it.)

rubakhin
2009-04-23, 03:34 AM
"What? I can't believe you'd start an argument over whether or not I respect you for your mind. I thought we both knew that I have nothing but vast deference (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vas_deferens) for you."

Also: vast herd.

Boo
2009-04-23, 03:52 AM
I can think of one joke that could be slipped in.

"I remember back in history class we were studying old battles, specifically the battle (or battles) of Ypres. All I could ever think to myself whenever I read it was "That sure left a stain behind."

Fun Fact: The British sometimes called Ypres "Wipers"

How you would work that in is your job since I have no idea what the body of your speech consists of.

*tries thinking of more*

Perhaps say a dirty phrase in a different language (possibly ancient), then continue with "...Which means: blah blah nice things blah" Good luck on that one, however.

thubby
2009-04-23, 05:56 AM
"i proudly stand erect upon this podium"
:smallsigh:

black_Lizzard
2009-04-23, 11:50 AM
"i proudly stand erect upon this podium"
:smallsigh:

Too obvious.

I'd suggest writing the entire thing sarcastically. Mock people by over-praising them.

Fifty-Eyed Fred
2009-04-23, 06:10 PM
This is just stupid. Don't do it mate, you'll regret it.

GrassyGnoll
2009-04-23, 07:22 PM
The most subversive act I can think of, putting myself in the cherry-red high heels of my high school's prim principal, would be to show up and declare, "I was going to give a speech but I couldn't be bothered to prepare one". Violating the pomp and solemnity of graduation would have scored more deeply than segueing into a George Carlin rant... the better this will work.

Again, I'd like to remain intact by the end of the ceremony.


If you have a very dark robe, there's such a thing as reflective black tape (http://www.reflectivelyyours.com/generic141.html), but I'd definitely run the flash photography test on a sample before spending money on it. (Find a motorcycle. Photograph it.)

"What? I can't believe you'd start an argument over whether or not I respect you for your mind. I thought we both knew that I have nothing but vast deference (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vas_deferens) for you."

Also: vast herd.

These are awesome ideas and you two should feel awesome.

I'm going to need some clarification on the type of speech Quincunx is getting at. Without some damn fine tight-rope walking I'll get shut down. Bad.

thegurullamen
2009-04-23, 09:34 PM
These are awesome ideas and you two should feel awesome.

Assuming you still have Internet access after this, I'd like to know how this turns out.

Sneak
2009-04-23, 10:18 PM
Why don't you just write a real speech?

It is possible to write a clever, funny speech that's still ultimately relevant and appropriate for graduation, you know.

And honestly, the stunt you're thinking of pulling just won't be that funny.

If you just try to cram as many "liaisons," as you call them, into your speech, it'll just end up sounding really stilted and awkward. You don't write a speech by starting out with a few random, irrelevant, completely disconnected phrases and then bridging the gaps between them. And if you do, it will be painfully obvious (and your speech will probably make no sense at all).

If you really want to stick it to the proverbial man, do what Quincunx suggested.

If you want laughs, just write a funny speech.

Because the speech you are writing now will achieve neither of these goals. What it will most likely achieve is an awkward silence and a smatter of insincere, uncertain clapping.

And if you are still planning on doing this...as Quincunx pointed out, don't do the "cunning linguist" bit. It's not clever anymore, and everyone will know what you are trying to do.

But seriously, man. Don't be that guy.

Good luck.

EDIT: Also, why is this is Media Discussions? :smallconfused:

GrassyGnoll
2009-04-23, 11:03 PM
If you just try to cram as many "liaisons," as you call them, into your speech, it'll just end up sounding really stilted and awkward. You don't write a speech by starting out with a few random, irrelevant, completely disconnected phrases and then bridging the gaps between them. And if you do, it will be painfully obvious (and your speech will probably make no sense at all).

And if you are still planning on doing this...as Quincunx pointed out, don't do the "cunning linguist" bit. It's not clever anymore, and everyone will know what you are trying to do.

It's been noted that "cunning linguist" is too blunt. Also, I've found the ratty 1980s book I got the word "liaison" from. Quincunx is right, allusion is the word I'm looking for.

It looks like normal speech as it is. More sardonic than the leadership goons' drafts, but passable. I didn't write it around allusions.


EDIT: Also, why is this is Media Discussions? :smallconfused:

Writing and its presentation are media.

Colmarr
2009-04-23, 11:58 PM
Don't do it.

In 20 years time, you won't look back on this fondly. You (and most of the people who are proud of you) will wonder why you were a d.ck.

Quincunx
2009-04-24, 08:32 AM
Intact? Intact?!??! Are you defending your virginity here? What can the assistant principal do to you, put you over her knee and spank you? Demand a 'letter of apology' before handing over your diploma, opening herself up to another round of humiliation? Here is where black_Lizzard's plan would come to fruition. Pile it on high enough and deep enough, turn every snippet of hyperbole into a reference to Great Works of Literature, comb out all snark and sarcastic turns of phrase, send it to at least five community newsletters and newspapers for reprinting along with a copy of the 'offending' speech, and she won't have the imagination to be able to deny you the diploma. You seem to hold the idea that you will come out of this looking innocent. That's impossible no matter what speech style you eventually choose. Start forming contingency plans.

Get hold of All the King's Men. I have the novel, but if the IMDB database quotes are enough to go by, the movie has the essential part as well--Willie Stark's first speech. If you get the book, it's easier to go to the end of Chapter Two and flip backwards until you find it. That is a subversive speech. That is someone expected to spit out the material desired by the political party (read 'administration') and instead speaks directly to the audience, revealing that fact. Passion. Rapport with the audience, and with the band (read 'techies') who should be on the side of the political party, but instead decide to let the people hear him out. He builds his rapport with Bible allusions; you'll have to use anecdotes about your classmates which your parents know, and I recommend getting them to start filling their families' ears with such incidents now. It's purple prose a warrior would be ashamed to hear, but the technique is solid.

One last note. Get permission to carry the full text of your speech to the podium, on the grounds that you're nervous and note cards are insufficient. That's permission for a prop, either the speech itself (again, see the book) or for items folded within.

Brewdude
2009-04-25, 11:42 AM
Did you see Observe and Report? This will be about as funny as the detective giving the results of the psyche report to that dude.

Write an ACTUAL funny speech. You ain't a sophomore no more, writing a sophomoric speech will just fall flat.