Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by cutecat22, Sep 17, 2014.
Well, what if I want to write:
I'm assuming you're using it in its other meaning of combined with or also used as, yes? Be that the case, it's a different word, and come cannot substitute for it. It would be cum.
Yes I am (also used as)
And that's what I thought but after the last discussion we had regarding the word cum, I thought I'd check.
Yurp. In this case, the word has a different etymology and is a direct pull from Latin cum, meaning with or together with. Note the similarity to the Spanish preposition con (arroz con pollo), which has the same meaning.
Can't you just say scarf, blindfold combo? To me when you start mixing Latin with English words things start to get awkward.
I could, but the sentence at the moment reads "I can picture him now, in the introverted and strange darkness of the scarf-cum-blindfold."
I'm editing the bit of erotica I shared on here a while ago.
@Wreybies as always you are the voice of reason. Thanks x
I think especially in erotica, I'd avoid the word in that context. I know, it's a useful word, but I really think it's kind of been ruined by the other meaning. I know what it means, and in a piece of writing from a different era it wouldn't jar me, but in something contemporary, it would.
Assuming you've already established that the scarf is being used over the character's eyes, I think I'd just go with "blindfold", with no need to reiterate that it used to be used as a scarf.
that was my feeling to start with. I don't use the word "cum" in erotica, I prefer come, orgasmed, climaxed etc. the scarf, until this point, has been called a scarf but I didn't want to go straight in and call it a blindfold. I don't want to stop readers reading because they are thinking "blindfold? It was a scarf two minutes ago?" Hence the reason for scarf-cum-blindfold.
Why mix languages in this situation? I'm sorry, I don't get it and I don't think many readers will either.
I would understand 'magna cum laude' or 'cum laude'. And I would recognize 'con' used meaning 'with' because Spanish phrases like 'con queso' are commonly heard. I might understand the use of 'sans', because I use it myself, but also we see it commonly with "Medecins sans Frontieres" (Doctors without Borders).
But I've never seen 'cum' used the way you are contemplating and even worse, I think 'semen' first when I see the word, cum.
Agreed, my first thought was of ejaculate. In the context of erotica as well as the context of a blindfold I would call the use of the word ill advised.
I would agree were it not for the fact that the phrase is hyphenated.
That's what makes the big difference from it being sex related. The whole definition of the word cum, in English, is:
—used in hyphenated phrases to link nouns that describe a person or thing with two jobs, uses, etc.
I've seen it frequently and wouldn't give it a second thought. I read a lot of British novels, mostly murder mysteries, from the first half of the twentieth century; I would very tentatively guess that this is where I've seen it.
I think that's where I'm used to seeing it, too.
And in those places I wouldn't give it a second thought either.
But in a piece of contemporary erotica?
Also, it would not be hyphenated.
scarf cum blindfold
Also note that this (foreign word) is one of the correct uses of italics.
as a counterpoint, I've seen "boat cum dinghy" or whatever several times. it does come across as old-fashioned nowdays, but it is still used. I would avoid using it in an erotica piece, though, because--yeah. for the same reason you might want to avoid phrases like "he sat stiffly erect in the chair."
Can you use it in a sentence for me? Maybe if I could see how it is used....
It's usually hyphenated. This is according to Merriam-Webster and the New Oxford English Dictionary.
Some examples from a Googling through dictionaries:
My garage-cum-workshop is well equipped.
She appointed the actor-cum-diplomat to the post.
The hotel has a small bar-cum-restaurant.
However, I tend to agree with Cogito that I don't usually see it with hyphens. I think that I'd expect it to be
My garage cum workshop is well equipped.
She appointed the actor cum diplomat to the post.
The hotel has a small bar cum restaurant.
It's usually not italicized since it's been a part of the English language for several centuries now, so it's not considered to be a foreign word.
Also, the New York Times, New Yorker, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Chicago Tribune all use hyphens. That's how I would write it.
That's weird, because all the examples I see up there are using hyphens.
I would suggest that if all the Dictionaries are doing it, they might have some legitimate input where the English language is concerned.
I wade through the sarcasm to note that I am curious as to why the dictionaries don't match what I'm used to seeing. It may, again, be the difference between early-twentieth-century British and current usage.
I hope you were wearing hip-waders.
I think there is a possibility that language, like so many other things, has changed over time. There are things out there that primarily have one use rather than multiple uses and as the hyphenated phrase was to explains that something had two uses, the odds are now that you have two objects rather than one.
Shopping list-cum-reminder board. (Not seen one since I was in the war museum.)
Apron-cum-peg bag. (Haven't kept my pegs in my apron pocket since ... Actually I never have but my grandmother did.)
Light fitting-cum-power point. My gandmother's sewing machine had a power cord but rather than be plugged into a wall socket, it was plugged into the hanging light fitting!!!!
I'm with @Cogito. Italics, but no hyphens. It is a non-English word, no matter how long it's been used, and the italics would help differentiate it from it's pornographic homonym.
Then we should italicize words like a priori, ad hoc, habeas corpus, avant-garde, per capita, camouflage, and en route (among many other words) as well. But we don't. That's because they've been a part of the English language a long time. This is consistent with the CMoS, Merriam-Webster dictionary, and a few other style guides I've seen.
Separate names with a comma.