Bad Language

Swearing Emoji

Ah, you clicked on a bad word. That’s interesting.

“I grew up as a part of America’s lower middle class, and they’re the people I can write about with the most honesty and knowledge. It means that they say shit more often than sugar when they bang their thumbs, but I’ve made my peace with that. Was never much at war with it in the first place, as a matter of fact.”

– Stephen King. On Writing.

If you’re offended by bad language, I get it.

Like King, I grew up in a middle-class home. Mine was a Methodist family in England. We went to church every Sunday, and it wasn’t unusual for my Dad to be up in the pulpit, preaching.

(Most of the services were pretty boring, but my Dad told stories that made his sermons funny and memorable. I guess the apple didn’t fall far from that tree.)

But no one in our family ever swore, and when the foul language rained down at school I stayed mute.

For years.

Then one day, with all the inevitability of constant exposure, I said a bad word. It just came out like a reflex.

I remember the stillness in that moment …  feeling the significance of crossing that line.

Of course, nothing happened and no one noticed. But for me, it mattered.

I swear more now, but it’s never become my default. Outside of fiction, my bad language tends to be low-key, infrequent and for comic effect.

And like Stephen King above, I’ve made my peace with it.

The job of a writer is to find the right word, and sometimes that word isn’t so nice.

So fucking what?

Ha. See? Minor comic effect.

When I swear on this site it indicates emphasis, anger or comedy.

It’s not often that I swear on behalf of clients, but it has happened once.

Thanks for reading. Hit back to return to the scene of the crime, or choose a new path.


P.S. Also, swearing is now officially good for you … so … you’re welcome.


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