It’s a simple fact of life that people swear. If you’re writing fiction about real people, or at least real people of certain fairly common temperaments under some circumstances, you ought to be prepared to write the occasional swear word. Of course, we’re not all writing fiction, and there’ll be many of us writing fiction who stick to “cleaner” topics and characters. Still, I thought swearing might be an interesting topic to bring up.
There are plenty among us who’ll see swearing as a degradation of the language, and there’s a very frequently-used argument that if you must resort to using swear words, your vocabulary must not be very good to begin with. I don’t think it’s a sound argument, but then, I do love to swear, so maybe I’m biased. Comedian and author Stephen Fry has taken up the topic as well and agrees with me, for what it’s worth, noting that many of our writers with the most prodigious vocabularies are also fond of swearing. You can watch a short video here if you’re interested.
So, what do you think? Is swearing an occasional evil necessary for the sake of realsim or is it perhaps even an art in its own right? Or is it something to be avoided at all costs? Let’s keep Erica’s tips about writing about controversy in mind and keep the comments clean no matter the opinions we’re expressing. There is, as they say, a good time and place for everything, and this blog is by and large a family show.