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Old 03-16-2009, 11:21 AM   #31
rhadin
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Originally Posted by Dr. Drib View Post
The word doesn't bother me at all, either. I'm just wondering if it is indeed reflective of the character's mindset, or a laxity in creative writing.
I wonder if this is an age-related thing. I do mind repeated use of such words in movies and books and when I read a review that mentions the habitual use of such language, I don't buy the book or see the movie.

Years ago, when I lived in Los Angeles, I went to the Comedy Club a couple of times. Back then it was the place to go for entertainment, according to the locals. Twice was enough. I never understood why people found the use of profanity (every-other-word spoken) was funny; I certainly didn't find it funny.

OTOH, my son, who is in his late 20s is bothered by the language. When we discussed it, he pointed out that his friends had been using such language since elementary school and so he became armored to it.

As he pointed out, the same holds true with graphic violence. It doesn't bother him, but I won't view a movie loaded with gratuitous graphic violence -- no matter how "great" the reviewers think it is.

My attitude is this: A truly skillful writer doesn't need to rely on profanity, only an unskilled writer does.

Last edited by pilotbob; 03-16-2009 at 12:34 PM. Reason: fixed quote markup
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:31 AM   #32
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[QUOTE=rhadin;395969]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Drib View Post
The word doesn't bother me at all, either. I'm just wondering if it is indeed reflective of the character's mindset, or a laxity in creative writing./QUOTE]

I wonder if this is an age-related thing. I do mind repeated use of such words in movies and books and when I read a review that mentions the habitual use of such language, I don't buy the book or see the movie.

Years ago, when I lived in Los Angeles, I went to the Comedy Club a couple of times. Back then it was the place to go for entertainment, according to the locals. Twice was enough. I never understood why people found the use of profanity (every-other-word spoken) was funny; I certainly didn't find it funny.

OTOH, my son, who is in his late 20s is bothered by the language. When we discussed it, he pointed out that his friends had been using such language since elementary school and so he became armored to it.

As he pointed out, the same holds true with graphic violence. It doesn't bother him, but I won't view a movie loaded with gratuitous graphic violence -- no matter how "great" the reviewers think it is.

My attitude is this: A truly skillful writer doesn't need to rely on profanity, only an unskilled writer does.
I don't use much, if any profanity in what I write, but I think it has a valid place in literature, and does not indicate lack of skill. A lot of these words are losing status as profanities in any case. As the language changes and mutates, so the words lose or gain meaning. 'Fuck' is considered more profane than 'Sod', whereas 'Sod' is actually the more profane in meaning. I believe it all comes down to intent and intonation.

'You lazy fucker,' Bob said, a broad smile crossing his lips as he spoke.

'You lazy fucker,' Bob said, his face set to stone, his fists balled tightly.


Time and place I suppose.
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:35 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by rhadin View Post
My attitude is this: A truly skillful writer doesn't need to rely on profanity, only an unskilled writer does.
I was once assigned A Catcher in the Rye in High School. I read a bit of it... but really never finished it. I complained to my teacher that I stopped reading it due to the "profanity"... he didn't buy it. Got an F on that one.

BTW: This was a Catholic High School with ordained "brothers" as most of the teaching staff.

BOb
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:49 AM   #34
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If it is a part of an environment or a character using profanities is OK with me but when I was reading Black Man/13, I found it a bit too much. However, I accept it that it be neccessary to convey the real feeling of the situation.
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:05 AM   #35
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I'm not suggesting that a writer's work has to be or should be profanity-free. Profanity does have its place and moments. Unfortunately, some people rely on it as the means of communication and some authors so lace their work with profanity that the only thing I get from the story or character is that the author knows a lot of profanity.
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