Tag: swearing

TO CUSS OR NOT TO CUSS

To cuss or not to cuss, that is the question. Readers, I am serious. I want to hear from you and lay this beast to rest. The question is, are readers offended by swearing and what is sometimes called “off-color” language? One of Merriam-Webster definitions for off-color language is “verging on the indecent” and lists the following synonyms: bawdy, blue, gamy, lewd, off, racy, ribald, risqué, salty, spicy, and suggestive. There isn’t a word on that list that I don’t love. I happen to swear a lot. I blame it on being a lawyer for many years. My father blamed his swearing (and drinking) on having been a “Navy man.” Maybe swearing is genetic. I love words and swear-words are no different. Using tame substitutes doesn’t work and is lame. “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a darn,” will never replace “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” But here’s my dilemma. Some readers don’t agree and are offended by salty language. I remember an editor asking me if a particular word was worth losing a reader and I capitulated. Recently, while editing a book I’ve written, Grammarly popped up and suggested a particular cuss word I used might […]

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