Sep 7, 2013

What are you really saying?

DH and I were raised in homes where swear words or profanity were rarely - if ever - heard.  

However in today's society, if you watch television, listen to music, participate in a conversation, or read a book, you run across them constantly.  I've observed that most swear words are substitutes for a more formal or scientific word.  Would swear words sound as shocking or startling if the speaker used the formal word?

Take the F-bomb for instance.  How effective would it be to have a television actor shout, "Sexual intercourse you!" at an antagonist?  Or how about, "You're an absolute mothercoitusing idiot!"  Sounds pretty stupid, eh?

Then there's the word "sh*t" which can be a verb or a noun.  I can't remember having heard someone say, "I've got to go defecate."  And I've never heard a person say, "Holy bowel movement! Would you look at that!"  (Actually, if I heard someone say that, I'd die laughing.)

If you're really trying to shock or startle, then you shouldn't use a swear word all the time as it loses its effectiveness.  It becomes boring to the ear or eye.  I don't know how many free books I've deleted off my Kindle after reading a few pages because nearly every word out of a character's mouth is profanity.  Maybe the writer thinks that is defining for the character.  I think it's boring and shows a lack of imagination.

And I'm not saying that there are not times where the use of a swear word is justified.  I was recently describing a person and his despicable actions to my parents and the only word I could think of to accurately characterize him was to call him an a**hole.

Yeah, I have a weird brain and think about weird things.  Oh well.


1 comment:

Lynn D said...

I enjoyed this post very much.