Tag: Neil Perry

Neil Perry

To Cuss or Not to Cuss

 Cussing. Swearing. Cursing. Blaspheming. Call it what you want. Many people do it, some don’t. Writers know how important word choice is. Dialogue is more authentic when it sounds like how ordinary people talk. So what is a writer to do about “The Seven Dirty Words You Can Never Say on Television” made famous by George Carlin when arguably all but one of those words are heard frequently in the conversations of ordinary people.            My father had a master’s degree in English from Boston University, uncommon in his generation. He worked in promotion and advertising throughout his career, beginning with a stint in the Navy under Admiral Halsey working on the Victor at Sea series. Believe me, this man knew his words. An excerpt from a little parent bickering: “Kay, don’t be so banal.”Would this man ever start a sentence with “Gosh”? Hell, no. Kay, on the other hand, replaced words she considered “vulgar” with ones acceptable to her. Sh*t became “burp.” “When are you going to pick up all that burp in your bedroom, Michele?” I’ll save how she renamed body parts for another day.            How we use our words is a reflection of who we are and what […]

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