Bloggers, if you use swear words in public posts — especially the f-word, c-word, or g-d-word — or even “freakin'” — when we all know what you’re thinking — I beg you to reconsider. Someday, I think you’ll be sorry you chose to express yourself that way.
You may feel that taking advantage of your freedom to use any words you like makes you a rebel, a free spirit or a trend-setter, but I believe it brands you as a trashy person — even if you’re a kind person with high morals and a contender for Mother or Father of the Year.
Writing peppered with swear words offends some people and makes them cringe. Some readers will stop in their tracks, and won’t finish reading what you wrote. Is that what you want?
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve uttered my fair share of swear words — and I don’t pretend to be perfect.
But saying something privately to a friend and writing it for the world to see are very different.
What you write can have long-lasting consequences — and leave a different impression than what you intended.
Your words may be accessible to your children and grandchildren, your parents, your employer, your neighbor, your current and future friends, your mate, your minister… and by other people you want to wow with your intellect, creativity and writing skill. How smart is it to use vulgar language?
You can argue all you want, but profanity is considered rude and disrespectful by a lot of people. Would you talk that way to your grandma? A potential employer? An acquaintance of your parents? A coworker? A supervisor?
My opinion may be unpopular and may brand me as “old-fashioned” or “out of touch,” but I believe that — if not now — at some point in your life, you’ll want to be known as a person who has class. And part of being classy is having good manners and considering other people’s feelings.
The words you write now may still be widely available in 20 or 30 years — when you’re at a different stage in life. You may regret writing them, and there’s no guarantee you can “take back” anything published on the Internet.
You might want to keep that thought in mind before you press the “Publish” button on your next blog post.
One of the nicest things about the internet is that there’s always something for everyone.
Vanessa D. recently posted…Evicting the Monster in my Computer
I think there is a time and place. I prefer to use alternative words, and I find it disingenuous and often lazy when curse words are substituted for better, more precise language — even another curse word! However, I also think that using some salty language with purpose and consciously can be an effective writing tool as well.
Kristin Wald recently posted…Living Like Luna Lovegood
You make a good point and you said it well. I think a lot of people apparently write the way they talk (?) and don’t consciously use the words as a writing tool for a specific purpose.
Huh. I think it depends on the kind of blog you have.
Shaun Hoobler recently posted…mobile app dev
I strive for the most honesty I can muster when I write, and sometimes that includes swearing. I used to try to keep it clean, but it was restrictive in a way that hindered authenticity in my writing. Authenticity above all else, in my opinion.
But yeah, it’s a big internet, and there’s always something for everyone.
Natalie D recently posted…Judee
I honestly don’t agree. I think perhaps it CAN make a person look trashy if it used in an insulting way towards other people. However, I also don’t like throwing words like “trashy” around about people I don’t know.
I use such words in both my prose and poetry. I wouldn’t use them in something I was writing for a younger audience, but the blogs I write for are for an adult audience. Do you think I’m trashy? I suppose you do, but I submit to you that you don’t really know me, so it is not for you to make that decision about me.
You don’t like to use such words in your work, and that is fine. However, not everyone operates by your standards, and perhaps, just perhaps, that does not make those who don’t bad people.
I don’t mean to insult or offend you or anyone else. The blog post is my personal opinion, and, of course, other people obviously have other opinions. That’s fine and we don’t all have to agree on this one thing.
I didn’t say you were trashy or any particular person was trashy — it’s the writing, not the person, that sounds coarse or uncouth or whatever word you want to use, to me. It’s kind of like if you used bad grammar – like “he don’t like beans.” Hearing people say something like that makes me cringe, but it doesn’t mean the person who says it is a bad person.
I just don’t like to see people — especially women — use the “f word” in every other sentence for no reason other than they can. I do worry about who’s going to see it and think badly of them in the future (fair or not), and I believe their children will think “if mom writes that way, it’s fine for me, too.” Could cause problems in school and in life.
This was the first time I blogged about anything controversial — just getting a discussion going and stepping outside the box, I guess.
Thanks for commenting.
I had a writing teaching tell me once, don’t ever use foul language in a piece…except if it really adds something…I relate that to the authentic piece Natalie mentioned above. The teacher gave her blessing to using foul language in memoir dialogue, assuming it was actually used in the event or memory you are re-telling. Again it goes back to authenticity. I do try to steer away from foul language as much as possible, but I’m not one to use it in my day to day life much now that I am older and wiser, other than the occasional “s” bomb.
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