There was an interesting comment that somebody calling himself Inside Fandom left in the "Masturbation" post. I didn’t write it, and I don’t know who did, but I didn’t want it to get lost in the clutter:
"t3h ebil fanficcers"
Fanspeak. Sort of like jive, but with wurz speling. In fandom communities the
presumption is that anybody who isn’t really a fan – they actually refer to it
as ‘passing’ – can possibly get it, when they say ‘get it’ they mean ‘fandom in
In other words, youse either with us or you don’t get it. Sorta like what we
used to tell our parents when we were teenagers and they wanted to know the
names of the kids we were ‘hanging’ with, and what funny smell emanated from our
clothes, or how pretty the plant with five leaves growing on our windowsills was
and how nice we’d taken an interest in horticulture.
At some point, the childish stuff ends. That happens when we grow up. When we
just get older and we don’t grow up, we look for fanfic about TV characters
masturbating so that we can masturbate to it. We continue to have the hots for
David Cassidy in all his 15 year old glory on the Partridge Family. We have
intense and heated arguments with others over the characterizations of cartoon
We keep doing that even after we get degrees and jobs and look perfectly
normal to the outside world. Whenever somebody questions our proclivity to
invade the sexual privacy of real people, or why we like to write fanfiction
about children having sex, we trot out the degrees and the jobs and we call what
we do ‘scholarship’ and wonder what sort of pervert the person questioning the
action is. That’s called transference.
The most intense discussion of what happens here on Mr. Goldberg’s blog takes
place in LiveJournal land in threads that are largely protected.
Authors, scholars, whoever, do not make any statements here because who wants
their publisher or tenure committee to know that they used to write, and maybe
still do write, lies about real people’s sex lives. Heaven forfend they know we
get off on writing stories about underage people having sex. How about it coming
out that the author of that hot new fantasy series still gets off on Mutant
Ninja Turtles slashfic and spends her off hours making fun of people on Fandom
Wank under an assumed name then TALKS about it on the journal she keeps under
her real name?
There are academic papers to be had in all of this, but the only ones taking
it seriously are the ones with a vested interest in making it appear harmless.
This rings true to me. How about you? And I may be revealing my vast ignorance (which I do here daily) and the limitations of my well-thumbed edition of Websters Dictionary, but is there really such a word as "forfend?" Is there a reason why the "fen" don’t use the word forbid?
10 thoughts on ““t3h ebil fanficcers””
Per http://www.merriamwebster.com (yes, I have real print dictionaries in my home, but I can’t cut and paste from them), the definition of “Forfend” is:
Function: transitive verb
1 a archaic : FORBID b : to ward off : PREVENT
2 : PROTECT, PRESERVE
Fen probably use it because it’s seldom used in common parlance (just as fen like the word “parlance” more than “conversation” or “speaking”)and has a more arch tone than “forbid.”
“Four fen” is a really small convention.
Um…”t3h ebil fanficcers” was definitely used as a mockery here. The author was deliberately exaggerating what the obvious opinions around here are of fanfiction writers (I mean, all fanfiction writers write porn and all have no life because they are all pod people made in exactly the same mold. Everyone knows that!). It’s not an inside joke and it’s not a special code.
Of course the joke isn’t as funny anymore now that you needed it explained, but still…
Fanspeak is fandom’s way of saying ‘groovy’. All kinds of weird catch phrases, almost a dialect. After a while, they forget that the rest of the world doesn’t understand them. They toss it around and mock people who don’t ‘get’ what ‘OH NOES!!! MY BNF IS PASTEDE ON YAY!’ means.
Forfend is fancy, so is methinks, thou doth protest too much, owling shit to each other, discussing spuffy and spew, wank, canon and fanon and convincing themselves that their ‘serious’ fic concerning Aslan having sex with Peter in heaven can be taken as anything other than a really bad joke, or something written in really poor taste.
The grammar in my posting was horrible. Sorry. I’m glad it rings true.
In it’s purest sense, fandom is supposed to be fun. But fandom people take themselves seriously, which pretty much lets the air out of the windbags. The academic papers are laughable because honestly, who gives a shit what the gender and sexual bent of fanfic preferences are of people reading Merry/Pippin torture fic. (I’m not making that up. One of Lee’s favorite people is working on that one. I’ll provide a link if he wants it. It’s public and not secret, as far as I know. It’s got department approval and everything. Not sure I understand the nuance, it’s all too stupid to contemplate and my kids are never going near Texas A & M-Commerce. College is too damned expensive and important to waste on places that support scholarship like that.)
The paper chase is stiff, tenure is nice, but not unbreakable and in a world that elevates Smallville to a level on par with say…To Kill a Mockingbird, this kind of thing seems reasonable.
Ficcers meet up and friend people who can help them, sometimes the wannabe writers become real writers, using the fandom to help them push the pulp. In Narnia, earth is a Shadow of Aslan’s country. Fanfiction is a shadow of the real world of publishing. Often the two cross but nobody is going to put on their jacket flap that they promote Narnia slash, or they write Harry in leather. I’ll bet that people who befriend or give endorsements aren’t aware of the potential powderkeg hiding in the pixels.
What Lee puts up here is the tamer stuff. The fandom faithful get a big kick out of the fact that Lee hasn’t ‘found’ the really seamy stuff.
So, yeah, laugh at them, make jokes, but they aren’t living in their mom’s basement and they aren’t wearing capes. They’re probably teaching your kids, reading your pathology specimens, or making a name for themselves in young adult or children’s books.
Fanfiction is a shadow of the real world of publishing.
Meaning what? That all (most?) fanfiction writers are real novelists dying to get published? It may be true of some, but mostly, it just isn’t so.
Some of us do not particularly wish to start to climb the slippery slope of the beginning professional writer because (for one thing) we’d really struggle to match our current income and the mortgage has to be paid. Besides which I (for one) don’t want something I do for amusement to become how I earn my living; that would take the fun out of it.
“Heaven forfend” is a pretty common alternative to “Heaven forbid.” It suggests a little more drama or shock. It’s not a fandom word, just maybe one you haven’t come across-it doesn’t come up much outside of that expression.
Hey! No sooner do you ask the question, and “Forfend” is Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for December 15!
English speakers have been using “forfend” with the meanings “to forbid” and “to prevent” since the late 14th century (and the meaning “to protect” since the late 16th century). These days, however, the “forbid” sense is considered archaic … “Forfend” comes from “for-” (an old prefix meaning “so as to involve prohibition, exclusion, omission, failure, neglect, or refusal”) and Middle English “fenden” (a shorter variant of “defenden,” meaning “to defend”).
(Do you think the folks at M-W are just doing this to torment you?)
I’ve got to buy a new dictionary…I’ve had this one since 1983.
Some of us do not particularly wish to start to climb the slippery slope of the beginning professional writer because (for one thing) we’d really struggle to match our current income and the mortgage has to be paid.
Why would trying to be a pro writer cut into your income? Does your job really take that much of your life?
If you can find time to write fanfic, then surely you can find time to write things aimed at pro publication, can’t you?
Look, the way I see it, this Goldberg guy is pretty weird..
Lee Goldberg’s comment to the fanficcers is, “Oh you guys are lazy and not really that good, and some fanfiction is weird and oh you don’t ask permission, and so that makes me really angry because you guys must be pyscho *whine whine whine*”
And fanficcers are like, “So what if we’re lazy?? Some parts of everything is weird! And there is no basis to “ask permission” since no one except YOU gives a f*ck. Get over it! …who is pyscho now?”
From an objective perspective, who looks more stupid? Really, there are much more worthwhile things to put your energy into that bitching about this movement called fanfiction.
Abbey- couldn’t have said it better myself.
Heaven forfend is a common phrase- maybe it’s more commonly used in UK or something? Otherwise not sure why you wouldn’t have heard of it.
I too have no idea what your problem is with fanfic. Perhaps he just wants to feel superior and arrogant- which is fine by me, some of us have nothing to make up for, some of us have nothing to prove to anyone but God. Makes you feel a little sorry for the guy don’t it?
Btw, so called “1337 speak” is nothing to do with fanfic whatsoever. It originates from Crackers making websites they didn’t want to come up on search engines, so they replaced some letters with numbers and it spread from there. People on boards started thinking they were clever using it and so it went on. Fanfiction writers tend to be internet and forum based people, ergo some writers use 1337 and txtspeak. However, just how many basic IQ tests have you done?
All fanfic writers use the net. Some net users use 1337. Therefore, all fanfic writers use 1337. True or false?
I’ll leave you to think about that, poor lil Mr Lee Goldberg. If you’re still struggling feel free to email me.