I recently read a post in which the author liberally employed the use of expletives/swear words. The article was on the subject of marketing and made a number of valid points. However the utilisation of foul language detracted from the points being made (to my mind at least) and had it not been for the employment of swear words I would have shared on Twitter.
I don’t consider myself to be a prude. There is a place in factual articles for the employment of expletives. For example a report of court proceedings will (quite properly) report that the defendant swore at a police officer and repeat the words used. I am frustrated when certain newspapers refuse to print expletives in full. Adult readers know what foul language is and are perfectly able to cope with reading it when it is necessary to their full understanding of a court case or other similar situation.
I also believe that the utilisation of swearing is justified in the context of literature. For instance a novel portraying the lives of gangsters would, in my opinion be wholly unrealistic where all the criminals in it to speak as though they where monks or nuns. In short what I am objecting to is the employment of 4 letter words for no good reason. To my mind the utilisation of such words merely to provoke a response conjures up an image of a person with a limited vocabulary (they use foul language due to their inability to find other words to express themselves). In many instances this may not be the case. None the less the liberal use of expletives gives that impression to me at least.
I am not in favour of banning things. Each blogger is entitled to write as he (or she) sees fit. It is, however a matter of regret to me that a minority of people seem to believe that it is somehow “cool” or “clever” to sprinkle their posts with bad language for the sake of doing so. I for one find it offensive. As always I would be interested in my readers views.
An interesting question, Kevin. I don’t use swear words at all when I write and I would think before I shared a post with sear words din it. It would depend on the context and extent of usage of swear words I think.
Many thanks for your comment. I agree with you, that it all depends on the context.
Hello there Kevin! I have nothing against swearing, I do it myself and am not offended by its use in general. But swearing for the sake of it or gratuitously is not big and it’s not clever. It’s a bit dull and comes across as rather ignorant. There is a time and a place for it in literature, definitely, but also a time and a place for which it has no place. Those differences are better observed than not.
Hi Lucy. I have certainly been known to use the odd expletive when my computer crashes losing the poem I happen to be working on, so I’m certainly no saint. I do, however try not to swear. As you say, there is a time and a place for everything. All the best, Kevin
Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
Like Kevin, I often find GREAT articles written by author/bloggers, but will not share them because of their (sometimes, insistent) use of swear words.
In my opinion, swear words are unnecessary when the post is intended to be helpful, informative or advisory, and merely demonstrates the lack of professionalism and sensitivity of the writer.
It is understandable to use swear words in a story, in order to demonstrate strong emotions, although, because my visitors include kids, I can’t reblog them either.
Many thanks for sharing my post, Chris. Best wishes, Kevin
I don’t think it’s offensive at all. I swear in my books! Via my characters if that’s their POV. I will also be myself and swear (if need be) in a post I blog. I don’t believe in holding back who you are, how you REALLY feel in order to “please.” Or come across as little miss perfect. I write adult books, I’m an adult and like you say” it’s my blog and I will swear if I want to”. It does not mean in any way shape or form someone is unintelligent. In my view they are just keeping it very real.
Thank you for your comments. I don’t believe in censorship. However one can express strong emotions in a blog post without resorting to swearing. To me it comes across as vulgar. I do not lay claim to being a paragon of virtue but try in my personal life not to employ bad language (not always successfully).
I agree with you as regards the use of swearing in literature. One of my longer short stories, “Samantha” concerns a young woman who is forced into prostitution. Given the nature of the plot it would have been wholly unrealistic not to use expletives.
Thanks again for commenting.
I bloody well totally agree Kevin. And that’s me banned for life!
All joking apart I think you have a valid point in that we should avoid swearing when writing blog articles. However literature is something entirely different. It is as Robbie said – dependent on the context, character and the intended audience for a novel. In my young adult book the kids say bloody about twice, in moments of stress, whereas in Finn Mac Cool, characters endlessly eff and jeff… mainly rough and ready blokes. Some never swear, others only in extreme duress. I did struggle with all this language when writing. As it is Irish thought of opting for feckin a la Father Ted but in the end thought it was a cop out.
Perhaps we should do what Gore Vidal did in his comic novel Myron.
When the supreme court ruled that each state could judge what words were obscene (so f would be ok in liberal New York while Damn was not in the Bible belt – short for God damned- taking the Lord’s name in vain) Vidal substituted all the fruity words with the names of the supreme court justices. He claimed what could be more pure than those high minded people and in doing so just made Renquist heads & Father Hills out of the lot of them…. Named after Judges Renquist and Father Hills of the Supreme court. And in doing so gave the rest of us a damn (oops sorry!) good belly laugh.
Many thanks for your comment Paul. Your example of the Supreme Court judges made me smile! Kevin
Kevin, thanks for the inspiration. Here’s a honourable mention and links to your work http://www.paul-andruss.com/where-do-you-go-to/
I feel cursing is tolerable in certain situations, but over-used by people who think it’s cool to do so. I try to avoid it myself – whether writing or speaking – and it irritates me if it’s used too often in things I’m reading, or aeven in general conversation. I won’t pretend I never swear myself at all – I manage to keep it out of my writing, but there are times the words enter my verbal communications – but I think those kinds of words should be used sparingly, and use them sparingly myself.
I agree with you Tori. There are very few (if any) plaster saints amongst us and I certainly don’t lay claim to being a saint. Best wishes, Kevin
I have worked in transport, with lorry drivers and I have sons… therefore I learned to swear and will do so amongst my nearest and dearest. I am perfectly capable of not swearing too, depending on the company and circumstances.
I apply that to my writing and it applies to reading for me too. Where the story or characterisation calls for expletives I am happy enough to read them. Where a distinct point in being made, I will acccept them, but I do hate to see writers gratuitously peppering a page with profanity simply because they can, even in fiction and consider it totally uneccessary and ill-placed in informative work.
“Where a distinct point in being made, I will acccept them, but I do hate to see writers gratuitously peppering a page with profanity simply because they
can, even in fiction and consider it totally uneccessary and ill-placed in informative work”.
I agree with you, Sue. Many thanks for your comments. Best, Kevin
Interestingly enough, controlled studies have demonstrated that those who swear have, in fact, *larger* vocabularies than those who don’t. Source: http://www.sciencealert.com/people-who-curse-a-lot-have-better-vocabularies-than-those-who-don-t-study-finds
I regularly warn people that, between my time in the music industry and my time working for the Dept. of the Army, I swear like a stevedore with Tourette’s syndrome. I also speak six languages (five of them fluently) in addition to English. 🙂
Many thanks for your comment Sharon. I had also seen the study to which you refer. I attended several boarding schools and there was certainly quite a lot of swearing among the boys. However I do my best not to swear in my private life. Best, Kevin
I happen to agree with you. What’s the matter with those – who have to swear all the time? What the – is the matter with them? Think of the kids!!! Of course, all the kids that I know, know more swear words than I ever could have imagined. After all, they’re on the internet 24/7.
Thank you for your comment. I edited for reasons which you will, I am sure understand.
Yeah..It’s not just me then…I can swear and do on very infrequent occasions…I always remember my mother swearing at my father( and it was warranted) she also never ever swore..He very pompously told her that if she couldn’t find a better word then basically shut up.I I really dislike overuse of swear words and will use the off button or not read an article. I have a child who does swear and I will admonish her in public for one particular offensive word which I really take exception to she now follows everything with a ” sorry mum” I think she does..the swearing for effect…kids. AN article I wholey endorse and I don’t think I am a prude I just find swear words offensive..call me old fashioned or what you like…to me it doesn’t denote intelligence 🙂
Many thanks for your comment. I agree with you. I also will reach for the off button when I come across the overuse of swear words. I remember as a child having my mouth washed out with soap and water for swearing by a person in a school I attended at that time. I certainly don’t advocate washing children’s mouths out with soap and water (its abuse and there is no excuse whatever for doing so). The experience did, however remain with me and has, perhaps influenced my view of swearing. Best wishes, Kevin
Reblogged this on Retired? No one told me! and commented:
Reblogged as I also don’t like swearing..in context in a film or novel I can bear it but overused..No! Not for me!
Many thanks for sharing my post, I really appreciate you doing so. Kind regards, Kevin
Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
Kevin Morris with his opinion on the use of swear words.. I use some in my private life… quite a few when I am driving but try to avoid in my writing unless really in context.. I think it is also a generational thing and that the words for some young people have lost their shock value.. what is your opinion… please tell Kevin over on his post.. and read the comments too as they reflect the views of quite a few others.
Many thanks for sharing Sally. While I don’t own a car (for obvious reasons) I have been known to swear at my computer before now but, as pointed out in my post I don’t approve of swearing on blogs. Best, Kevin
I don’t use swear words in my blog. I find their use demeans my objective of subtle and dry humor. I work very hard for my laughs and the use of an obvious word or phrase for its humor value is unfair to my readers. I also find it hard to reblog those who resort to such shortcuts. Super post, Kevin.
Many thanks for your comment John. I agree with you that swearing is unnecessary as a means of generating laughs. Best, Kevin
I swear….but mildly since I don’t see the need for Effin and Blindin.I don’t object to the use of the words in certain circumstances….context, and I’ll read it in novels though if overused I may give up before the end.
What I won’t do though is retweet it to my own followers.They can of course use it if they want but why assault some who don’t swear at all, including the young. What I also choose not to do is retweet anything religious. My followers are diverse in age and in cultural background so I don’t want to thrust different religions under their noses. Since I’m not a believer I don’t wish it to seem I favour a religion either.
Many thanks for your comment David. As an agnostic I would be wary of sharing religious posts. I would, however never say never. If I thought that a post by a religious blogger made a valid point I would consider sharing (but with the caveat that I didn’t share the blogger’s faith). I certainly would not share posts which attacked people of different faiths. Everyone has a right to their beliefs and I certainly wouldn’t want to be the one who demeaned anothers religious convictions. Best, Kevin
I do use the odd swear word now and again in my blog but it is normally of the mild variety as I really don’t like to use much effing and blinding. As othes have mentioned though, if it is in context then that is a different matter, and as adds substance and reality.
I also find that some writers use it in a humerous way, and again that does not offend me.
Many thanks for your comment Judy. As you rightly point out, context has a lot to do whether swearing is appropriate. As I say in my post, a novel about gangsters would be wholly unrealistic where they all to talk like monks and nuns. Best, Kevin
Reblogged this on Die Erste Eslarner Zeitung – Aus und über Eslarn, sowie die bayerisch-tschechische Region!.
Many thanks for sharing.
As for author blogs, one would think that someone promoting themselves as a wordsmith could find a more sophisticated manner of expressing their thoughts. However, the use of such language is necessary for certain characters.
Many thanks for your comment. I agree with all you say. Best, Kevin
I rarely use swear words in my blog and when I do (once a year or so) they’re mild. But I’m not one for censoring and bloggers can be who they are. I always have the choice to unfollow blogs that I find offensive. Just my two cents, Kevin.
Many thanks for your comment. I don’t support censorship either. People can, as you say, express themselves as they wish. Obviously all bloggers do have a right to censor comments on their own site (rather like one’s house, you have a right to say who is allowed access and if their conduct displeases you, a right to eject them). Best, Kevin
That’s true too. I’ve set up my blog to block comments containing the more offensive words. 😀
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