1. ElvishPenguin12
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    ElvishPenguin12 New Member

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    Question About Cursing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ElvishPenguin12, Sep 23, 2006.

    I've recently run into a dilemma while working on one of my stories and I wanted to gather the opinions of some other people. Is it too out-of-place to use modern everyday curse words in a fantasy/sci-fi story. In my case, the world I created evolved from our own, but I'm still not sure whether or not modern swears would work. I was thinking of creating my own, but am hesitant to do that because they might not have the same impact. I was just wondering what other people thought about this.
     
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  2. Spherical Time
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    Spherical Time Contributing Member

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    Well, yes, I think that it's okay for a couple of reasons.

    1. If the world that you write about evolved from our own world, then someone will probably remember the swear words.

    2. Even if it was a completely different planet in a completely different universe, you're probably writing your book in English, and the people that will be reading it will be reading it in English.

    Therefore, if you want them to understand what the character is saying, you should use a word that the audience will understand.

    I also have one last thought: You can always create a new swear word, and have your characters use it. I'd be careful though, to make sure that it hasn't already been used.
     
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  3. DagunZain
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    DagunZain Member

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    I think it's perfectly acceptable, like ST said. The story of my namesake does not take place on Earth, but is earthlike, so I throw in a few made up words to change the vernacular a bit, but still have to remind myself that I'm writing for an audience (hopefully, that is...), and most of the audience reads English. Maybe work in the word in context of something familiar to the reader.

    And impact is what you create. I've seen brawls started over one word. Give it weight.
     
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  4. trailer trash
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    trailer trash Senior Member

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    Curse away. It is a valid form of comunication and in writing it has become acceptable when used correctly.
     
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  5. Fixed
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    Fixed Member

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    cursing can't be like the jokes we use nowadays though like "i f'ed yo momma" etc, when you use it in a book it has to be because of the seriousness and not to make a witty remark, other than that yes sure, cursing is perfectly acceptable, some of the greatest writer's use it such as Stephen King
     
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  6. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    Just don't overuse it. Don't curse just to curse. Make it fit the character.
     
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  7. Spherical Time
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    Spherical Time Contributing Member

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    Some very fun characters swear all the time though.

    Beldin and Polgara from Eddings' Belgariad spring to mind.
     
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  8. WhispWillow
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    WhispWillow Contributing Member

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    I wouldn't advise to have a swear just for the sake of it though. Also it has to fit your character.
     
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  9. Spherical Time
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    Spherical Time Contributing Member

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    Oops, yes, WhispWillow is of course right. I meant to say that in my post above, but aparently I forgot to.
     
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  10. Peter
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    Peter Member

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    As has been said, swearing is fine, as long as there is a reason for it and it fits with your character.

    The one thing you need to be aware of though, is that language, especially profanity, has a tendency to evolve with time. What we use now to communicate won't be the exact same in twenty years. So having your characters speak like Dr Dre or Rab C. Nesbitt won't sound right, and in twenty years will be redundant.

    The only swear word I can think of that will definitely be around in a hundred years, is "****" (the f-word if this is being censored).

    Actually, be careful not to use any modern terms in your story.

    You could perhaps invent your own bad language.
     
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  11. WhispWillow
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    WhispWillow Contributing Member

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    Inventing words can be fun. Maybe a bit of a challenge but, fun nonetheless, if you get into it. Its adds a bit of extra uniqness about your story.
    (and
     
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  12. WhispWillow
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    WhispWillow Contributing Member

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    Inventing words can be fun. Maybe a bit of a challenge but, fun nonetheless, if you get into it. Its adds a bit of extra uniqness about your story.
    (and when you have made an embarrsing spelling mistake you can simply claim that you made the word up:D )
     
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  13. DagunZain
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    DagunZain Member

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    That's going to be my all-time favorite line now, lol. That's great.
     
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