Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Using Swearing and Dirty Words in Your Writing

[If you have virgin eyes, please skip this post.]

Fuck is a great word. Perhaps one of the best in the entire English language.

If you think it lacks a certain subtlety, fair enough. There's an entire spectrum of synonyms you can use instead, ranging from the formal (Latinate words like fornicate or copulate) to the euphemistic (phrases like do it, bang or go at it) to the juvenile (at the risk of revealing my intellectual maturity: hide the salami, laying pipe and many others).

However, none of these words packs the punch of a sentence like this:

Fuck you, you fucking fuckface.

It's simply glorious to be able to use "fuck" in so many different parts of speech.

But in writing, to what extent is this just another form of cheating? Swearing and sexual references grow tiresome with overuse, and they will make your writing sound adolescent and amateurish.

As with every other writing devices, use this device in moderation.