To Swear or Not To Swear: That is the Question
I have been toying with this idea for a while now and I was never quite sure whether I should include swearing/cursing within my blog posts; after all, anyone could be reading this. Still, I feel it’s important that my blog posts are as authentic and organic as possible. also, I come from an area of England where swearing makes up around 45% of our vocabulary (I may be using hyperbole) and so I thought to myself “If I was talking to my brother – a massive fantasy fan – would I swear when talking about a new book?” and the answer is YES, I most definitely would. THere are a few things I have considered when making this decision….
- Proportionate: It is important that if I do swear, that it is not something that loses credibility or its power (and indeed it does have power) because it;s being overused. After all, in a conversation i wouldn’t swear every other word, usually anyway. I’ll need to make sure that it is being used as it would in a conversation.
- Context: and I can’t stress this enough. If I opened a blog post, say, a book review post, with “Now then fuckers”, that is not going to go down well. I mean, who wants to be referred to in that way? If any swearing is being used, then I need to make sure it’s being used for a reason, for example, I’ve just read an awesome book and there’s a part that makes me shout “SHIT, no way!” Then damn, I’m going to say that, it’s me. What I won’t do is use it when it doesn’t need to be there or where it’s used willy-nilly.
- What words: hmmm, this is precarious ground. The main swearwords I use begin with ‘F’ and ‘S’, as you’ve seen already in this post. But there may be a few others I’d like to use, for example, ‘Bastard’, it’s used regularly in the North East and has positive and negative connotations, so I’ll continue to use it in that way. However, there are some that I would obviously never use, for example, the mother of all swear words, you know the one that begins with ‘C’. and any other swear words that are used mainly to be derogatory; I’m thinking ‘whore’ and others along the same lines. It’s not that I have any particular problem with those words (aside from the fact they’re inherently sexist) it’s just that I would never choose, or need, to use them.
- Audience: This was the trickiest thing for me when making this decision. Some people who read my blog have been doing so since I started, and they’re used to reading (or not reading) certain things. I was worried that they will see the swearing within my posts and be instantly turned off by it, and I get it. My only hope is that people will accept the swearing for what it is; a form of expression, and not take it for something it isn’t; a shock tactic or a lack of lexis.
So, with that out of the way, I think I’ve cleared a few things up for those who have suddenly seen swearing within my posts. It’s a conscious thing, and not something that I take lightly or will be overusing.
I welcome all feedback from those who do swear in their posts, and from those who don’t, I’m eager to get alternative opinions.