People have been swearing since spoken language was first used. Good parents encourage their children not to cuss, and terrible parents raise their kids in a sea of profanity. What is a cuss word? Society deems certain words to be profane, grossly insensitive or offensive. What is their purpose? A swear word should sting readers/listeners. The effect is like an exclamation point!!!
Society considers people who often curse to be crude. They have limited employment and friend options. Yet, certain social groups expect rude language.
In the past, media did not contain swear words. Only rated R movies and “adult” themed books had offensive language. Now, the airwaves, books, magazines, and the internet spew profanity at every turn. Last night, I saw a broadcast commercial that vocalized the F-word and recently saw a billboard with the S-word prominently displayed.
My parents did not encourage foul language, and I choose not to use it in my present social interactions. However, I did some research for this blog and found an article that challenged my views.
Cursing may be a sign of intelligence
Swearing may be a sign of honesty
Profanity improves pain tolerance
Cussing is a sign of creativity
A person may throw expletives instead of punches
Does profanity have a benefit? The above article illustrates some positives, and I believe some occasions require swearing. Yet, many people would argue that it is possible to achieve goals without profanity.
What about my books? I do not wish to offend the world and have only used two curse words in a book. Yet, I understand that by not cussing, I limit my characters. People expect the villain to swear and the good guy to lose it in a tirade of obscenity. Plus, all anti-heroes must cuss up a storm, or we consider them weak. While I am aware of my shortcoming, I still do not wish to cuss unless absolutely necessary.
Should I push the envelope? How about ten cuss words per book? Hmm. I will try #*$%@ harder!
You’re the best -Bill
February 10, 2021
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