Tag Archives: swearing

No Filter

We have a student worker in our office this summer. She isn’t just some random kid, no she’s the great-granddaughter of the company’s founder. Lately, she’s been helping me sort through some very dusty, boring paperwork which means she sits in my office.

She’s 18…I think, so I shouldn’t feel so bad, but she’s one of those kids who just looks innocent. Me + innocent teenager = corruption. Why? Because I can’t function without my music to get me through the day. My MP3 player will roll through anything from ABBA and Santigold to Jay-Z and Slipknot with a stop in just about every genre in between. This means um, some swearing…in some cases, it means a LOT of swearing.

But that isn’t all. Oh no, I also mumble to myself throughout the day. I know I do it, but I can’t really help it. Maybe it’s a product of having spent too many years griping about people under my breath, but I talk out loud. And naturally, not all of that talk is G-rated. I’ve never hidden the fact that I have a foul mouth. My writing even reflects it, but when I’m around certain people, I do attempt to curb it.

Except I keep forgetting she’s sitting in my office. So when I get an e-mail I’m not happy about, I mumble something along the lines of “oh for f***’s sake!” and anything else I can think of that may (or may not) help me vent some of my stress and irritation.

I’m not ashamed…per se. More like I’m thinking, ‘Please don’t tell your great-grandfather’…he’s 94 and still tours the yards and he’s an utter sweetheart…who once trained to be a priest. Yeah…a priest. You see? Corruption is just a word away.

Oh, I suppose I should mention that yes, my manuscripts contain a lot of salty language. It’s well, second-nature to have my characters speak like I do. If I get published, it’ll probably offend some people (I’ve read a few complaints from well-know authors who don’t believe romance heroines should talk like sailors), but it’s language I’m actually comfortable with. Does this mean I can’t have a completely non-offensive, intelligent conversation? Naw, I can hold my own. I even know some pretty good words when I want to use them.

I’m just a Southern girl who swears like a sailor, listens to music other people find offensive, and I’m fine with that. It’s who I am.

So now the question is…who out there will I need to use a filter for if I meet up with them at Nationals?

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Filed under humor

Cursing a Blue Streak

Yesterday I happened across an article about Lori Foster’s upcoming release, Back in Black. Since I absolutely love (LOVE) those SBC guys, I’m eagerly anticipating this novel. The article, however, wasn’t so much about the book as it was about characters and how their language makes them more authentic. Specifically, how some characters’ use of “coarse” language makes them more genuine. You can read it here: http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Unabashedly-Bookish/Type-Dirty-to-Me/ba-p/462476

Now, let me just begin by admitting something to you all: I swear like a sailor, or rather a sailor’s daughter. Yup, my stepdad who raised me, was in the Navy. I once told him that since he never got any tattoos, swore, or drank himself silly, I had to do it for him. It isn’t that I drop the F-bomb with every other word, but I do use it a lot. I’m sorry if this lowers me in some of your eyes, but it’s just the way I am.

When I’m reading, I’m not offended by the characters’ use of poor language. If anything, for me, it adds to the authenticity of the story. I imagine how I would react in similar situations and think, “Yes, I would definitely be screaming that word at that moment.” You’re walking along a dark, deserted street minding your own business (never mind that you shouldn’t be doing that in the first place because it’s stupid and dangerous). Some fiend (I do love that word), jumps out and accosts you. Do you scream “Oh my!”, or do you let loose with a big, fat “Fuuuuuu-“? (I’ll substitute my favorite word with “fudge”). The latter seems the obvious selection.

I understand a lot of people would rather not read/hear swearing. I respect their choice, and curb my tongue in their presence. However, when I’m reading, I don’t mind salty language. Yes, it’s coarse and, in some people’s opinions, the markings of a lack of education. Yet these words are part of language. They have roots in the history of our language.

Now, for those of you who think I’m completely uncouth, when I’m unable to use the language I’d prefer to, here are samples of my substitutions:

Son-of-a-biscuit-eater!
God bless America!
Fudge!
Fudgesicles and brownies! (when I’m really upset)
And then there are the foreign swear words I use when nothing but the real word will do. I wouldn’t say I pride myself with a large vocabulary of foreign swear words, but I can curse in German, French, and Spanish.

How about you? How do you feel about such language in books you read? For the writers, how do you feel about using them? Do you feel as though there’s a big no-no stamped on such language? What are some of your favorite non-swear words?

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Filed under Writing