To that end, I created a brand new tool, which I immediately christened the Fuckety Index.
Swearing - using bad words
You calculate your personal Fuckety Score as follows:. Then hit Replace All. You are writing Amish Romance. Or Cozy Mystery. Your book is unsweary. Any mainstream fiction can have a Fuckety Score in this range and not be thought of as especially sweary. This is pretty normal for any gritty genre, such as crime. You are very sweary and are probably dangerous.
So,um, I think your writing is great, yeah? Not too much swearing. No, no.
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Not at all. On more general fiction, you just need to feel your way for yourself. On the other hand, the probability is that past ages swore much more than we do, and a writer like Antonia Hodgson deals with the Georgian period in a very different way from Jane Austen. Agent submission builder Get an agent in one hour.
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In just one hour. Redraft your manuscript like a pro, with this easy guide. A short guide to obscenity, profanity, cussing, and swearing in the novel. In this post, we discuss swearing and bad language when it comes to writing fiction. Is that fucking OK with you? It is? How much do novelists in a fairly, though not extremely, gritty genre generally swear? And are there any rules which govern the scale or amount of your swearing? And I should fess up.
Free plotting worksheets. What to do about reader emails I should say as well that any vaguely sweary author with half-decent sales will get emails from mostly American readers complaining about the use of the f-bomb. Swearwords on the page are stronger than swearwords in life Having said that, you also do need to bear in mind that swearwords sound fiercer on the page than they do in life.
How to Swear: Understanding the Grammar of the Top 7 Curse Words | Scribendi
When swearing is just lazy There are examples, however, when swearing is just lazy. Take this snippet for example from Old Habits : Ghost malls are even sadder than living people malls, even though malls of the living are already pretty damned sad places to be. My italics The italicised bits — a damned , a fucking — are used just as intensifiers.
How much swearing is normal? Is that a lot? Or a little? Fuckety Score of 0 You are writing Amish Romance. Fuckety Score of 0. Fuckety Score of 1. Fuckety score of more than 2. It's a touchy subject, and one at the focus of some enjoyable debate in the past week. So let's talk about it, shall we? Note: This post is centered around a bunch of developers arguing about cursing in presentations, but the discussion is applicable beyond those bounds, so if you aren't a developer, don't let that turn you off.
Also, since this post is about profanity, you're likely to find some ahead. If you're prone to the vapors at the sight or discussion of profanity, you may want to bring along your smelling salts.
When is it OK to Swear In Writing?
Image remixed from Zach Holman. GitHub developer Zach Holman presented a talk that quickly spread among the tech and startup crowd, in large part due to his fun and attractive slide deck. His slides were so nice that he wrote up a post on slide design for non-designers , which we posted about two weeks ago. His talk, and his slides, made use of profanity—even the dreaded f-bomb. And that's where the conversation started. Microsoft employee Scott Hanselman pitched the tent poles of the anti-swearing camp in his post, Profanity doesn't work , and his take is pretty simple:.
It makes you look crass. When is it appropriate and why is it appropriate when other things aren't? Hanselman feels that "words that are evocative of sex and feces are in fact not appropriate", and the long and short of Hanselman's argument is that since swearing has the potential to alienate your audience, it should be avoided. There's certainly truth to the first part. Profanity does alienate some people.
If you've ever spent a few entertaining hours looking at user reviews of movies on IMDb, you can find absurdly detailed analyses of how many swear words a film contains, regardless of the film's much more substantial content. Following Hanselman's post, developer Rob Conery offered his take on the problem of swearing in presentations, titled Fucking Your Way Out :. The slide [at right] is taken from a talk by Zach Holman.
The Science of Swearing
It's a gorgeous slide deck and Zach shows a deft hand at communicating ideas in a very concise way. I want to make this clear again: I'm not offended at the presence of the F-bomb, I'm offended that someone with his talent takes the easy way out. Making your point with profanity is what the general population uses as punctuation to emphasize a point. It's conversational punctual shorthand.
Conery's main point appears to be "Educated folk should not use words common among the uneducated masses" my words, not his.
blacksmithsurgical.com/t3-assets/spirituality/red-creek-waltz.php He even goes so far as to call them "Walmart words" his words , which, frankly, is more offensive than any profanity I'd heard in Holman's talk. Between these two common anti-profanity arguments, both clearly hold some truth. So how about the flip side? Holman posted a response, called simply Swearing , and breaks down his defense of swearing in presentations to three main points:.
I'm less concerned about my overall reach than I am with connecting with my audience. Put another way: I'm content with losing a handful of people if that means I connect much stronger with everyone else.
Your reputation is your brand. Just like a company, your brand can be deeply impacted by a small group of passionate followers. I've been seeing this for years- the same avatars retweet me, the same names show up in discussions about me, the same sites help promote my projects. I'm fortunate and humbled to have these people at my back. I wouldn't have nearly as many of them if I played it safe. I enjoy keeping an edge, and they respect that.
Someone else could construct a beige persona and cultivate a following, but that would be less effective for me because I'm not nearly as good at fitting that personality. Holman isn't the only speaker whose persona has a little profanity in its grout.