Open Mike: Do You Support The ‘F Word’?

The Open MikeI’ll be taking a study break from Novelr until late December, which means my posts here will be fewer and further between. Yes, I know this sounds quite awful, but I’m currently studying about 4 hours a day and it’ll only get worse as my Finals approach. Guest posts and community alerts are welcomed – I can come online, but only in very short bursts – so please shoot me an email if you’d like to write something for the blooking community.

I’d like to do an open mike before I vanish. An open mike is a post where you take the center stage, be it in the commenting section below, or back in your own blog, about a topic I’ll be discussing today. Brains turned on, then? Alright.

Here’s what I’d like to know: would you rather censor foul language for the sake of your audience, or would you keep it in your story, because that is telling the truth? Where do you stand when it comes to vulgarity in fiction?

This is an argument I’m pretty unsure about, because there are very valid opinions on both sides. On one hand we have Stephen King, who defends his use of the f-word because he is writing about common, working-class people, and they say fuck more than they do foie gras. On the other hand (the cleaner one, you’d suppose) you have the argument that it is just impolite to litter your prose with, well, impolite language. The most creative treatment of vulgar language I have seen is by children’s writer Diana Wynn Jones. Yes, you got me right – a children’s author. In her book Wilkin’s Tooth the neighbourhood bully is a particularly rude child, and he frequently uses (in her words) ‘colourful language’. Jones treats this quite literally – her dialogue from the bullies is filled with “orange” and “black” and “you purple red green boy you!!” Witty stuff.

Where do you stand on this issue?

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