Author Topic: Do you mind swearing in books?  (Read 11679 times)  

Offline kisala9906

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Do you mind swearing in books?
« on: July 14, 2013, 07:06:43 pm »
I hope this is the right place to post this question.
I just finished reading a book called Undrawn. The main character, well really most of the people in the book swore a LOT! F*** was used on almost every page minimum once, and GD was used several times, I once counted 5 times in 3 sentences. I know I swear sometimes and I don't mind the occasional swearing in books but this was really excessive! Am I being way to picky about this? I am not sure I would have loved the book without it but I can tell you I would not have hated it AS much. Thanks for your thoughts. 

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    Offline metal134

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #1 on: July 14, 2013, 07:11:00 pm »
    It doesn't bother me at all.

    Offline cinisajoy

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #2 on: July 14, 2013, 07:47:08 pm »
    It would depend on the book.   If it is labeled religious fiction yes it would bother me otherwise no.   Now having said that if the swearing is because of the action then it is appropriate.  But if it is just F this, F that for no reason other than using the words then it would be a turn off and I would probably not finish the book.
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    Offline NogDog

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #3 on: July 14, 2013, 07:48:32 pm »
    Generally, I'm okay with it, at least up to a point. It bothers me when it sounds to me as if the author is just using it as a cheap way to generate emotion, tension, or whatever. It doesn't when it fits the characters and the situation. Of course, that's all very subjective, I guess. However, I do find there is generally some level where it just gets overbearing even if, in theory, it fits: I read in part to enjoy how an author uses the English language, and if every third or fourth word is one of the same few expletives, it just wears on me and becomes annoying and boring.

    Offline The Hooded Claw

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #4 on: July 14, 2013, 10:06:32 pm »
    I was in the Army. It is impossible to offend me by profanity.

    On the other hand, if heavily-used by characters to whom it seems inappropriate, it bothers me just like any other out-of-character behavior. And certainly if heavily used in an inappropriate genre--Romances always or nearly always fall in that category, I believe--It is certainly unfortunate unless somehow very clearly indicated in the description/back cover (not that anyone reads covers after converting to ebooks...).
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    Offline history_lover

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #5 on: July 15, 2013, 02:27:56 am »
    I am not offended by swearing in the slightest (you could liberally throw the C and F word around and I wouldn't blink an eye) and I think swearing in novels lends realism in the right places with the right characters. There are scenes when I actually think a lack of swearing would be unrealistic. But when it's that excessive, it equally sounds unrealistic to me, like the author is deliberately trying to be provocative and the swearing doesn't add anything to the scene or character development. Especially if every single character is talking like that, it would just strike me as terrible character development.

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #6 on: July 15, 2013, 03:02:55 am »
    It doesn't "offend" me. . . .but I don't tend to like the type/style/genre of book that uses excessive swearing.
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    Offline lmroth12

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #7 on: July 15, 2013, 03:04:33 am »
    It would depend on the genre and how often the swear words were used and whether it was character appropriate. I generally stick to the classics or fantasy or contemporary authors who write carefully crafted plots and spend time on character development, so I don't encounter a lot of swearing. But if I read a thriller as I occasionally do, and DON'T encounter a swear word or two it just doesn't seem to ring true. Violence and swearing just kind of seem to go together, as it is angry people who commit violence and it is usually angry people who swear as a way of venting their frustration at finding themselves unable to control their circumstances in certain situations. The rule of thumb I have found to be true is that the more violent the character, the more frequent the swearing.

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    Offline MineBook

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #8 on: July 15, 2013, 05:34:30 am »
    Excessive swearing is "bad tasting book" for me.

    Offline TWErvin2

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #9 on: July 15, 2013, 06:46:45 am »
    I don't go out of my way to find books with swearing, but sometimes for the characters and story being told, it's appropriate. If it reads that way, it doesn't bother me. Like a few others have said, if it sounds force or there to add drama or as an over used technique employed to generate emotion, it falls flat and bothers me.  If an author can reasonably avoid F-bombs, I appreciate it, but it's not a requirement for me to pick up and read a novel or short story.

    Online Atunah

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #10 on: July 15, 2013, 06:56:04 am »
    No, I don't mind swearing. If its there its there, if not its not. I con't care either way. I just want the book to feel authentic. So if swearing fits, then it fits.

    Offline Clark Magnan

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #11 on: July 15, 2013, 07:25:08 am »
    I don't mind swearing in a moral sense. It does offend me as a lover of language. The F-word is ubiquitous - people use it as a noun, verb, modifier - it can signify good or bad, or simply substitute for the word "very." I hate that. There is almost always a better word to describe what you mean, but people are lazy with their language.

    That said, I've only proven that many people speak with lots of "colorful metaphors" in their language, so when characters speak that way in a book and it is appropriate to the story (not meant for kids, religious grandparents etc.) then who am I to argue. If characters spoke the way I wish people did, the story would quickly sound fake.

    Offline Mike D. aka jmiked

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #12 on: July 15, 2013, 07:47:15 am »
    It depends... I don't mind profanity at all, but I find vulgarity to be tiresome in real life as well as in books. I will stop reading a book due to vulgarities. That applies to movies and tv shows as well. One of my favorites quotes sums it up pretty well:

    I can see that an insufficient, or perhaps even defective, socialization process has led you to believe that four-letter words add power to language.
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    Offline kisala9906

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #13 on: July 15, 2013, 10:29:09 am »
    This was just used a lot in talking back and fourth to brothers and their dad mostly. It didn't "fit" IMO because there was no real reason for it. One was an artist and the other two were lawyers. It was like F dude what the F are you thinking? are you F out of your mind type stuff. I looked over it at first but it got to be every other word almost and really started grating on my nerves.

    Offline Sam Kates

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #14 on: July 15, 2013, 10:36:11 am »
    I think it depends entirely on context. People in stressful situations often swear so to place characters in crises and then not have them use profanities doesn't ring true. I remember reading a Jules Verne novel (Journey to the Centre of the Earth) when I was a young teenager and the main characters encounter a dinosaur. They said something like, "Oh! Look at that prodigious beast!" I know Verne was writing in a different age when swearing would likely have got his book banned, but it's always stuck in my mind as a wholly unconvincing reaction to a life-threatening situation.

    Offline QuantumIguana

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #15 on: July 15, 2013, 11:43:56 am »
    I don't mind swearing as such, but I find people who routinely swear to be uninteresting people that I don't much care to read about. I have nothing against a good swear word when the situation really calls for an intensifier, but if it is used too often and too casually, it destroys whatever impact it might have had.

    Offline Stephen_Melling

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #16 on: July 15, 2013, 12:20:24 pm »
    Good question. I don't mind swearing in books. However, some writers overuse the 'F' word so much it eventually becomes a chore forming the word in your mind. It also dulls its effect and becomes, instead of shocking, merely tedious.  ::)
      
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    Offline NogDog

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #17 on: July 15, 2013, 12:39:39 pm »
    This reminds me of tests that seem to indicate that people who don't normally swear a lot seem to get more benefit from it when they do. Specifically, they can cope with more pain while swearing than when they don't swear, while those who swear a lot get little/no such benefit. Not exactly sure how that might apply to readers -- just thought I'd throw that out there under the general idea that too much can reduce its effect, perhaps?

    Offline Debbie Bennett

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #18 on: July 15, 2013, 02:40:43 pm »
    If it's appropriate to the character and genre, that's fine. I'd expect there to be swearing in crime or thrillers or from street gangs and army boys. But I don't like swearing just for effect.













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    Offline MariaESchneider

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #19 on: July 15, 2013, 04:12:19 pm »
    I don't care for it.  I'm not offended, but it often interrupts the flow.  Yes, I know people talk like that, but like an accent in a book, it can become tiresome to read.  It's one of those things that if used artfully, it gives a character(s) personality, but if used "realistically" it's usually too much.

    Charlie Huston is somewhat famous for his characters cursing/style, and while realistic, you have to skip every other word to get to the story because curse words like that aren't even adjectives, they're more like "uhm," and 'you know' type of expressions.   In Maggie For Hire, by...Danley, it interrupted the story because it felt like a cozy/nice girl character trying to play tough girl and fell flat.  Both were good stories, but would have been improved with less cursing.


    Offline bordercollielady

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #20 on: July 15, 2013, 04:35:48 pm »
    I've never liked the "F" word.  Guess it is my upbringing.   :'(   If there is a lot of in a book - I think the author is trying to be sensational which doesn't endear him to me.  (I'm the same way about movies)    On the other hand - if the rest of the story is really good - I will keep reading but I still don't like it.

    Offline Mandy

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #21 on: July 15, 2013, 05:39:05 pm »
    It doesn't bother me unless it's really over the top like OP described. But it tends to bother me more when I hear it in a movie versus reading it in a book.

    Offline kisala9906

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #22 on: July 15, 2013, 06:03:46 pm »
    I just went back and looked, the word F*** was used 124 times in a 218 page book. The word GD was used 38 times, D*** was used 3. For me that is just to much and it got old really fast.

    Offline Thomas Robins

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #23 on: July 15, 2013, 06:41:38 pm »
    It's not my favorite thing. I'll accept it can be an artistic choice, and even that it could make sense for a character in context. However, I do not swear and their is little to no swearing in my workplace (seriously, I can go weeks and not hear cursing at work). When I read/hear it, it sticks out like a sore thumb and takes me right out of the book. It just pulls me right out of the book. If there is a lot of swearing in the book, then I can't lose myself in the story.

    Offline telracs

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    Re: Do you mind swearing in books?
    « Reply #24 on: July 15, 2013, 07:29:11 pm »
    i don't wanna spend time in real life with people who swear a lot, so i don't wanna spend my leisure time reading them.

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