don’t you just love it when even your headings rhyme? (unintentionally)
I’ve been thinking about addressing this issue for a while now. Let’s talk the “F” Bomb and gratuitous cussing/cursing/profanity/etc.
Recently I was mocked by an Indie writer because I used “carp” instead of “cr*p,” and she went on to very obviously use “cr*p” and more in her dialogue. I was thoroughly put in my place, you know, if my place was the same as it had been before her condescension.
As writers, words are ours. We use them to define characters of all types, especially in dialogue; to describe a landscape; to make poetry that sings; lyrics that evoke, sometimes provoke. We use words with intention. We choose particularly. We want that one word that will transcend or immediately convey.
I read The Godfather at a very young age, probably too young, but that’s neither here nor there, well, except for the fact that it gave me an early introduction to graphic language (and sex) which was further enhanced after reading Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead not too much later. (Yeah, I was a weird tween who turned into a weird adult.) The reason why I mention this is to simply state that I’m not the profanity police. While I’ve not read it all (or heard it all even though I used to only use public transportation), I have recently been left to wonder why some writers liberally pepper their dialogue with colorful language in books where it hardly seems appropriate.
A mentor whom I very much respected told me that words like the F-bomb should be used judiciously so when they are used they resonate. How can a word resonate if it’s used five times in a sentence? What does it even mean anymore if you use it as an adverb for, well, everything?
The reason why I decided to write this post now after giving it consideration for so long is that I just read a book review and the young book reviewer thought that her analysis could use peppering. A. Lot. Of. Peppering. (eye roll) Needless, IMHO, peppering.
What are your thoughts? Why do you think people are no longer careful with their writing? Do you think it matters? Do you care one way or another? Are you put off by liberal peppering? (I used liberal without a political slant.)
I am all ears…except for the nose, mouth, eyes….