I feel like I can no longer open up a book and experience clean reading. Profanity litters the pages like “the” and “a.”
I’m a little uptight. Okay, maybe more than a little. But I was raised by parents who didn’t let us curse ( I’m the only one in my family who still doesn’t curse) and took that to heart. I can actually count on one hand how many times I’ve actually said one. I didn’t feel very good about myself when I used it, but no one around me seemed to have an opinion about it.
I find cursing to be crude and unsophisticated. I also appreciate the power of words and words like enraged, furious, and incensed carry more power than pissed off. Total honesty. I cringed just writing that. And that’s probably being mild.
I appreciate elegance, sophistication, and a mastery of words (and the ownership of or access to a thesaurus). I don’t think cursing is a necessity as a rule.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not wholly against cursing. I don’t think books should always be squeaky clean. Indeed, I think profanity can be effective and pack quite a punch when used sparingly and for effect. I also recognize that some books, because of the setting or characterization, depend on cursing to keep it real.
But I still don’t believe every book needs pages filled with curse words. It’s actually insanely off-putting to me. And, seriously, every character has to curse? I don’t know about you, but I can have all kinds of conversations with different people without a single curse from either of us.
I also think it’s something fantasy books have a problem with. If it’s in a made-up world, some of the language is also often made up. Which means curse words tend to be made up. But I don’t think they are quite as emphatic as they could be either because they’re over used or they’re just too different that they become another word like “forest” and “sword.” I can read them without feeling the emotion that’s supposed to be behind them. They’re like fun little words.
I hate opening up a book and seeing curse words on every other line. It doesn’t bode well for the rest of the book.
I appreciate their use, but can they be used less often?