Friday, January 11, 2013
To Swear or Not to Swear, That's the Bleeping Question
Cat on a Leash. By the way, self-promotion of my ePublication in the first sentence must be some sort of record on this site. Anyhoo, when I asked her what she thought of it, she replied, "It was interesting." When I queried for specifics she didn't comment about the characters or the plot. Instead, she pointed to the tale's liberal use of curse words.
See, I'm not a habitual swearer in real life, despite being born and raised in New Joisey, nickname being "The F&*%(@g Garden State". With five small kids running around the house and sneaking up on me when I least expect it, any dirty word coming from my mouth normally ranges in the low PG range. Even when I was a young whelp the use of the colloquialisms for fecal matter and fornication didn't feel right on my tongue. So, since I didn't smoke, drink, or leave nasty, anonymous comments on other blog sites, I gave up heavy swearing. However, not when it came to writing.
For some reason, typing these words into the dialogue of a fictional character doesn't bother me in the least. Fact is, I get a strange thrill when I have one of the folks I create tell someone their comments are bullsugar or for them to go flaggle themselves. I cleaned those words up for you readers - just in case you didn't know. I reason it in this manner; these words are not being said by me, but from someone not of this time or place who doesn't care what everyone else thinks. Or, perhaps I'm channeling my filthy mind into one of my characters as an excuse to let loose the curses.
Are these viable excuses? Probably not. Does it mean you shouldn't add swear words to your stories? Hell...I mean, heck no. The 's' 'and 'f'' words, and their many cousins, are as common to the American vernacular as prat, git, and wanker are in British language. Don't be afraid to use as much, or as little, of them in your stories. Except, perhaps, if you're writing a tale for elementary school kids. Then again, if you've ever heard those tykes out in the playground...
Do you allow your characters to swear, even if you don't? Or are you a potty mouth while your characters conversations are as pristine as the driven snow? Let us know.
Posted by RichardK at 6:38:00 AM