The title of today’s blog is not facetious. I do swear. Kind of a lot.
I try not to in public. Much like public displays of affection, I find it inelegant to be assaulted by profanity that I’m not participating in. I think keeping a lid on my foul mouthed habit is only polite and try to reserve it for private situations and friends who have known me long enough to not take offense. As a result, a few of my acquaintances have been surprised to find themselves on the receiving end of a periodic f-bomb. (Yes, I’m the person who should receive this paperweight as a gift.) In the past curbing my tongue has not particularly onerous, but since my child has moved into speaking and comprehending, you know, actual words, life as a purveyor of profanity has become more difficult. Now I can’t even swear in my own home?! Word swaps and humming the Star Spangled Banner do not really help. (Son of a goat monkey, keeping my swearing on the inside is hard!)
In most of my books, I’ve minimized the swearing to a solid “hell” or “damn” because well, my grandmother likes to read my books. But recently, I’ve begun working on a story that moves my swearing habit to the forefront. Rather than really “messing some stuff up”, I am straight “f***ing some s*** up” for a change. And ooooh, does it feel good. Ah profanity, how dost though trip lightly off my off my keyboard and onto the page? Very lightly indeed.
Many comments on profanity seem to insist that profanity is the crutch of mind unable to think of something else to say. I completely disagree. To correctly use profanity one must have an understanding of language that allows you to use the f-word as a verb, a noun, and an adjective. (Yes, it really can – see examples here).
Will my completed manuscript stay chock full of profane goodness? I don’t know, but I’m sure as f*** interested to find out.
Bethany Maines is the author of the Carrie Mae Mysteries, Wild Waters, Tales from the City of Destiny and An Unseen Current. You can also view the Carrie Mae youtube video or catch up with her on Twitter and Facebook.