Coming back to the matter of dialogue for a moment or ten, I thought I would talk a little about swearing, cursing, profanity and expletives. Needless to say, some of those may be contained within.
Now, as I said in the Liebster post, I do swear a lot myself. Always have done, as far as I recall. My first, which was not strictly a curse word, but still one I shouldn’t have been saying, was “whores”. Or “hoors”, if you want it in dialect. It says something about my family that one of them would say that in front of a four year old. And that my repeating it would be a source of general amusement. A football match was involved, in case you was wondering.
At my current workplace, although not my current position, I am also on record for swearing during my first annual review. Again, it says something about my boss at the time that she was more amused than anything else. Incidentally the fact that I’m now in a different position is not connected, in case you were concerned.
I don’t swear for shock value. It’s never that studied or anything like that, it’s just my natural way of speaking when I’m around familiar people. I don’t just walk up to people and say “What the fuck do you want?”, I’m pretty sure that one would get me fired. And I’m not indiscriminate about it either, there are still certain things I won’t say in front of women. Because despite evidence to the contrary I do try to be a decent person.
So when I’m writing, my characters tend to swear as well. Or at least, the younger ones do. Off the top of my head, I can’t immediately think of any of the supporting characters at 200+ years that swear repeatedly. The closest that comes to mind right now is Lord Feodorenko and even then, it’s in Russian.
But since Ash and most of the other center stage characters are younger they are a lot freer with their language. (A number of them are American as well, but I don’t think that’s a factor). Again, I don’t do it for shock value, it’s just how I imagine them speaking.
I know that there are bound to be people out there who might be put off reading by this fact. That’s okay. And I’m sure that there will be others who might think it’s an indication of either a limited imagination or vocabulary. I don’t believe that and I don’t think anyone who has seen episodes of The Thick of It would either.
But as someone more famous than me once said, “I know at least 127 words, and I still prefer fuck.”