On Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 2:19 PM, Eleanor McHugh
<eleanor / games-with-brains.com> wrote:

Does this mean that "bastard" in "lazy bastard" does not have the same
value at all than bastard in e.g. "take this you bastard"? This kills
me ;) but actually there are lots of those expressions in other
languages I know "salopard" in French or "figlio di putana" in Italian
can be used as compliments. However this is a dangerous feature and is
normally used in face to face situations where the context, a friendly
setup and a broad smile or tap at the shoulders bear much more
semantic meaning than the words.
So I can maybe be forgiven, as would be Bill's mom ;)?

Concerning Bill's advice, I believe it is very import for us foreign
speakers, because these subtle things lead normally to very vulgar
expressions, strangers use so often when learning a language. Maybe
that is why I am so worried about it.

Thank you in any case.
Robert