Monday, July 16, 2012

Muff It

To demonstrate today's point, would this quip be as funny without the word shit? Source: Pintrest


Today's poetry Monday has been interrupted by better programing. :0)  I'd like to explore the use of profanity - do many people really notice it?

As The Legend of Lady MacLaoch gains popularity I’m starting to find (along with all the awesome 5-star reviews!!) that a handful of readers comment on the use of the f-word in the book. Strangely enough I note that Rowan on the first page uses it but for the life of me I can’t remember where else. Which is interesting since, I WROTE it. :0)

This brings me to the dilemma of Forged. Forged is currently in the midst of being edited and well, there is a fuckload ton of swearing in it. Specifically by the main character who is a dark brooding fellow who doesn’t give a shit hoot about what people think about him thus doesn’t mind doling out the curses like candy at Christmas time. Even my editor wrote in the margins halfway through “There is a lot of cursing in this …" With this in mind and the sprinkling of reviewers who noticed the f-word in Legend, do I tone down my ways or say fuck-it "to hell with it!" and keep the book how it was written?

The reason I ask is this, in my home growing up (mom you might want to not read this next part…) I grew up learning the basics of swearing before I hit preschool. There is one such incident that is burned into my mind that makes me quite confident on knowing this fact. I was in preschool on the playground slide when the class bully came over and grabbed my dress as I came down. Whether or not he intended to pull me off the slide, yank my dress, or tear it like he did I’ll never know. But, I do know that I went nutty and chased him down, which at first he thought was funny until I opened my mouth. As I chased him like a wild banshee hollering a string of epithets about his person and parents I was caught, scolded and put in timeout, while he was handed a tissue and pat on the back.

So with the early and everyday use of cursing in my life I’m no longer sure of what is “socially acceptable” levels of profanity. There is of course the school of thought that cursing should be kept to a minimum, like for the moments where the hammer meets your finger instead of the intended nail head. And my aunt who was raised quite proper advises no profanity ever. “The term ‘badass’ … might this word instead be replaced with ‘cool’ or ‘awesome’?” Taking that advice though seems a lot like obeying the speed limit: it’s the law but in real life who does that 100% of the time? (read: NO ONE).

But, I wonder, is there a middle ground in all this? Can a character have a foul mouth and still be endearing? It happens in movies and excessively in the HBO series Deadwood, why not in books? And has it been done before?

Anyone know of a good book with an endearing character that swears a lot?
Help a girl out and put it in the comment box below. In the mean time let me leave you with a little George Carlin. 


George Carlin: Seven Dirty Words





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