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Come vs. Cum

6 Mar 2008
tags: ,

To me, cum (pronounced ‘kūm) is a Latin conjunction meaning “with” or “and.” For instance, magna cum laude means “with high praise” and office cum library is another way of saying “office/library.”

Cum used as another word for orgasm or semen was something I only saw in poorly written free fiction. In my opinion, come is the correct spelling for both verb and noun. However, this topic was brought up in an on-line author group and apparently cum as both verb and noun is acceptable for some publishing houses.

Color me scandalized!

I had published authors telling me they used cum and cumming in their writings ALL THE TIME! And their editors accepted it!

Now, I can go on and on about why I believe this is wrong, but I have insufficient time to rant properly.

So, here’s the question I posed to these authors: What’s the past tense of cum?

Their answer: came.

Not cumed or cummed but came.

So, uh, shouldn’t the present tense be come?

(Yes, I’m anal retentive. Did you catch my rant about ménage? How about the rant about poor research? And the one about TSTL heroines? Yeah, I so should change the blog title to “The Cranky Writer.”)

11 Comments leave one →
  1. azteclady permalink
    6 Mar 2008 1:27 PM

    I don’t think you are cranky. It’s more that you are a tad… ah, focused. :D

  2. Anonymous permalink
    6 Mar 2008 11:15 PM

    Haha, it’s like you put my thoughts down … in type. However, generally when I say things like that, people a) don’t know what I’m talking about b) think I’m bitchy c) am getting too intense.
    I’m not the biggest fan of “cum” but I’ve seen it in enough places, I suppose that my response is just a slight eye roll/sigh.
    I wouldn’t mind “artistic license” with books/writing (ok so maybe I still would) – as much if it weren’t for people taking that as “gospel.” The misuse of the word “real” – double negatives, and gross misspellings make me sad. Unfortunately, there seems to be no stopping it, or any sort of remedy.

  3. 6 Mar 2008 11:32 PM

    when I say things like that, people a) don’t know what I’m talking about b) think I’m bitchy c) am getting too intense.

    You, too?

    I try not to get so worked up over issues like this one, but something inside me dies when it happens. One day, we’re going to wake up and find Euro-English in place.

  4. 6 Mar 2008 11:32 PM

    azteclady – You’re such a sweetheart to be so euphemistic!

  5. azteclady permalink
    7 Mar 2008 1:20 PM

    Hey, it’s not a euphemism. You are focused on correct use of language, and there’s nothing wrong with that! *grin*

    One of my most favorite quotes deals with this:

    You may have an idea worthy of winning the Nobel Prize, but if you don’t express it clearly, you may as well have not had it~~~Spyral Fox

    If a person cannot use language properly, then she can’t express herself clearly, can she?

  6. limecello permalink
    8 Mar 2008 10:18 AM

    I had to stop reading the Euro English post 1/3 through – that… I can’t handle it. Is that for real?
    And yes, that does happen to me. Pft. Stupid people. Unfortunately, I think it’s had the adverse effect so that now I generally only have inane conversations and can’t handle serious ones due to my “conditioning.” Now it also results in my classmates thinking I’m a moron.
    p.s. – the anonymous comment was me.

  7. Rodney permalink
    5 Aug 2009 12:02 AM

    Hi, I found this old blog post doing a search on Google.

    I know this may sound crazy to you but…

    I am the person responsible for changing the spelling of “come” to “cum”.

    The spelling change originated in the Tri-state area (where I’m from) many many years ago (before internet became mainstream). I didn’t do it intentionally though. I just had it in me that it was spelled “cum” and I always questioned my friends about it. They said it was “come” but then I said it was “cum” and everyone I said this to agreed that my spelling was better.

    Then it spread like wildfire…

    Too bad no one will ever believe me since this is unverifiable. The thing is, there is no record whatsoever as to the origin of “cum” to prove it was me. Seriously, who’s going to keep track of that? Despite all of this, I know very well that I am the one responsible for all of this and I am glad that I have left my mark in history.

  8. Ann Bruce permalink
    7 Aug 2009 5:57 PM

    @Rodney: Not knowing how to spell a four-letter word is not something of which I’d be proud.

  9. 14 Aug 2009 2:47 PM

    Tri-State area, LOL. Great thinkers over there.

  10. 1 Dec 2011 2:39 PM

    I agree with you one hundred percent. I find that publications such as penthouse and playboy tend to use (and over-use) cum as the verb and noun. In my own writing I try to avoid using the word at all because sometimes it simply seems to be a cheap way of stating the obvious in an erotic scene (ie: “he wanted to make her cum”). Somehow “come” seems a better way to put it, and not as confusing in connotation. Coming, come and came are the verbs I would prefer to use and to read. Cumming and cum not so much (unless I’m reading fanfiction, then I understand considering much of that is written by a much younger audience). Thanks for the post!

  11. 23 Jun 2012 6:37 PM

    It just seems like a sleazy word. I’d only cum on a page if the character was really disgusting.

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