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Old 06-19-2015, 07:11 PM   #1
twowheels
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Profanity In Books

I'm reading a book now that has a bit of profanity. In ~386 pages it has maybe 80 uses of a few choice words, including a particularly profane one starting with the 6th letter of the English alphabet, and even more of a word with scatological connotations starting with the 19th letter of the English alphabet.

When I look at the reviews I see that there are more than a few that complain about the profanity.

To be honest, the profanity didn't even catch my attention until I read the reviews. Yeah, I guess if I really thought about it would have said "yeah, I guess it has a few 'bad' words", but they were all used in contexts like "Although he didn't give a flying duck about the state of his room." I mean, I was more offended by the fact that this sentence isn't even a complete thought!

So... out of curiosity... how do YOU feel about profanity in books?
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Old 06-19-2015, 09:00 PM   #2
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Old 06-19-2015, 09:36 PM   #3
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Honestly, it depends on the circumstance. And even then, there are a lot of gradations.

For instance, I know some folks who complained about the language in The Martian. But honestly, if I were left for dead on Mars I'd be swearing up a storm, too.

But it's pretty easy to tell when language has been inserted just for its shock value. I tend to stop reading when that happens.

I guess I don't have as much of a problem with the language as I do with its use and misuse.
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Old 06-20-2015, 01:36 AM   #4
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I don't care, and rarely notice particularly, because a decent writer will make sure that it's in character.
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Old 06-20-2015, 09:05 PM   #5
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It's been a while since I read Lady Chatterley's Lover, but I seem to recall some choice use of words that had direct relevance to the acts being described.

So, yes, I think context is everything.
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Old 06-20-2015, 10:16 PM   #6
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I'm not put off by swearing if it's used in realistic situations. By that, I mean in the real world. If fantasy novel characters start dropping f-bombs then that just breaks the illusion for me. I prefer the narrator to just say "He swore and...".
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Old 06-20-2015, 10:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck_in_Japan View Post
I'm not put off by swearing if it's used in realistic situations. By that, I mean in the real world. If fantasy novel characters start dropping f-bombs then that just breaks the illusion for me. I prefer the narrator to just say "He swore and...".
To be fair there are a lot of modern English words that seem out of place in such stories when you know their etomology.
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Old 06-21-2015, 12:19 AM   #8
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If a book is using cursing dfor shock value alone, it becomes rapidly apparent and I will put the book down.

Generally I find this to be indicative of a bad writer anyway, so not much of a loss.

If the profanity is used in a world-building way and accurately depicts the way characters would behave, I tend to ignore and gloss over it to the same degree I pretend people in real life didn't say anything... and not make a big deal of it.

Reviews are better than apps though!
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Old 06-21-2015, 09:03 AM   #9
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So what is the title of the book twowheels?
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
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So what is the title of the book twowheels?
I always avoid that to avoid it becoming a side discussion into the content of that particular book. :-)
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