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Old 01-31-2020, 07:37 AM
psychonaut is offline
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Europe
Posts: 6,139

RIP Reinhold Aman (editor of Maledicta)

Better late than never to announce here that Reinhold Aman, a prolific writer and scholar on the subjects of swearing and bad language, died last year at the age of 82.

I have The Straight Dope to thank for introducing me to Aman and the journal/magazine he founded, Maledicta: The International Journal of Verbal Aggression. In his May 3, 1991 column, Cecil quotes extensively from several Maledicta articles to answer a reader's question about obscenities in the world's languages. Maledicta and other works authored or edited by Aman have also been occasionally mentioned or discussed here on the Straight Dope Message Board. All this led me to become a regular visitor to Aman's website in the early 2000s, and I had a few interactions with him in the Usenet groups where he lurked.

Aman had a rather interesting life, and his lifelong fascination with abusive language proved to be his own undoing. In the 1990s he was convicted of sending threatening communications through the post and sentenced to several years in prison. He was released on probation just as the Internet was taking off, and found the lure of online flame wars so irresistible that they became a crippling addiction of his (and nearly got him thrown back in prison when some of them spilled over into real life).

I've written up two obituary/memorial articles on Aman that I thought I'd share:
  • Reinhold Aman, 19362019 appears in Humor: International Journal of Humor Research and focuses on his contributions to the study of humour.
  • The Oracle of Opprobrium: Reinhold Aman, 19362019 is a much longer article in Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics. It has more details on his chequered personal life and interactions, including his feud with Randolph Quirk, the nastygrams that landed him in federal prison, and his online participation.
Old 02-02-2020, 07:39 AM
JKellyMap's Avatar
JKellyMap is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 10,073
Thank you for this. Quite a character, quite a story, and a theme that resonates with every human on Earth, yet isn’t taken as seriously as it should be.
Old 02-12-2020, 08:37 AM
psychonaut is offline
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Europe
Posts: 6,139
Thanks for posting, JKellyMap. For a while I was beginning to think that nobody had seen this thread at all.
Old 02-13-2020, 02:04 PM
norvalnormal is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 142
I was a subscriber to Maledicta through its final issue. Sorry to hear of his end ...


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