*Maybe give this one a miss if you’re easily offended*
If you’ve read my ‘About’ page, you’ll know that I like to swear. It really annoys me when people say that swearing shows a lack of vocabulary, because that just ain’t the case!
I’m a good girl – always have been – but I love to swear. I get stressed easily, especially at work, and cursing merrily at the computer whenever it refuses to co-operate always makes me feel better. I don’t swear at people (okay, maybe just my husband when he’s being especially annoying), but I find that certain words are great for emphasising strength of feeling.
But bad language in writing can easily offend people. I learned that early.
When I was about thirteen, we had an English teacher who was close to retirement age. Unfortunately for her, she had a lisp, and was the recipient of a lot of teasing.
Once, she set us an assignment to write a story about two bank robbers, who I seem to remember were called Lefty and Ned. I thought it would be more realistic for my criminals to swear, so I asked for her permission to include a few words. Nothing too extreme – I was only thirteen! The teacher was actually effusive in her consent, so I got to work crafting my story, throwing in plenty of instances of ‘bloody’ and ‘crap’.
A few of my friends saw what I was up to, and decided that swearing in their stories looked like a good idea.
On the day we received our marked assignments back, the teacher called all our names and asked us to come out of class. We all got up, to catcalls of ‘Head’s merit’ from the boys.
Unfortunately for us, the teacher was pissed. She’d conveniently forgotten giving her permission for me to use swear words, and riled herself up into an angry rant as she told us all off for our language.
That’s about the worst telling off I ever got.
So I guess my point is that bad language has its place, but not everyone is going to like it. But I think it’s better for some people to love the work, than for everyone to just think it’s okay, but forget about it as soon as they put it down.
Whilst on my travels looking at sweary images, I came across a blog that knows how to transform bad language into art and thought I’d share – Beautiful swear words