Comment on Writing with F-Bombs, Curses and Words of Power by Lloyd Lofthouse.
the word “fuck” can also be used in a positive context. For instance, “That’s fucking rad, man. High five!”
As an infant, I was baptized Catholic and started out in a parochial school. My Godmother made us drop a quarter in a can on her mantle over the fireplace if we used any language she considered a sin and using the word “fuck” would have led to soap in the mouth. She did that to me once. I never used the “F” word again until the Marines.
Then in MCRD boot camp and beyond, I learned how to lace every incomplete and complete sentence that came out of my mouth with profanity. U.S. Marines are masters at using profanity in every context. If I could remember some of the songs we sang while running thirty miles with fifty pounds of sand in our backpacks, the vulgarity in the cadence of those songs we all sang would probably curl straight hair in most civilians. And when we were drinking (booze) the profanity thickened intensely.
After going to college on the GI Bill, I eventually left the corporate private sector and went into teaching in the public schools where I never used profanity in my classroom, but teaching in high school I heard the F word often every day from students, and most of them used it poorly and it lost its shock value.
When challenged by the occasional teen student who used profanity in my classroom and earned a referral, I said that I could cuss with the best of them and they were amateurs compared to Marines, but in my classroom profanity got in the way of learning because of its shock value to disrupt.
Then there was the day our seven year old daughter (she’s 24 now) started cussing like a Marine in front of my wife, her mother. Boy did I get in trouble. It seems that the child picked up the profanity from me when she was helping me on projects around the house and when I made a mistakes, I’d often cuss myself out using what I had learned in the Marines. She didn’t lose what she learned from me in college either. While she was at Stanford her friends thought she was prim and straight laced in her 90 pound body until something made her mad one day in her second year and she shocked everyone within hearing in the dorm where she lived. What came out of her mouth that day was pure U.S. Marine vocabulary.
In a written story,I think profanity has a place if it develops the uniqueness of a character in the novel. My second novel takes place in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War and the main character is a recon Marine sniper and all the other marines including him use profanity throughout the novel that is fitting for them. But that didn’t stop at least one reviewer who complained about the profanity in the story that she thought was inappropriate. I don’t think she knew any Marines. Everything is relative.
Lloyd Lofthouse Also Commented
Writing with F-Bombs, Curses and Words of Power
This is where I just smile. :o)
And before I started to write this rely, I used the F word in a positive way—no one was around to hear it but me.