Thursday, June 18, 2009

comments on cursing

I really don't like PSA-type entries, especially when it comes to defending my work. Your work should speak for itself, but some people are either deaf or just refuse to listen. I feel like I have to make this clear though.

A lot of you may have noticed that some of my work contains cursing, some even strong cursing. They are not G-rated works and were never intended to be. They were never intended to be R-rated or any rating for that matter. If that's what you're thinking, then you've missed the point entirely. My works are designed to be expression and I refuse to allow propriety to stand in the way of my expressions.

Now, I personally do not swear. In the context of a joke, maybe I might let one out. The point here is context. Cursing is addicting and I don't do that for that reason. It's also inappropriate at almost any point in any time. Further, curse words are the most limited of all the words in the English language. I'll prove this to you:

The most “intelligent” words are the ones with very specific meanings. You can make yourself look impressive if you use a really long word appropriately. Good vocabulary is having and using the right tools.

Now, let's look at “fuck,” the world famous F-bomb. It can be used as a verb, a noun, an adjective, or an interjection. Just with a glance in an online dictionary, there are thirteen uses. I'll bet you that the word is even more versatile than that in the right hands. To put it very simply, “fuck” is a the complete polar opposite of an intelligent word and you usually make yourself look like an idiot when you use it.

Just because I don't use words like that though doesn't mean that my characters don't. In order to draw you a complete picture of a character, I need to draw every part. Including the ugly parts. In fact, especially the ugly parts. I would be doing myself, my characters, and you, my readers, a disservice by not including the parts of speech my characters use.

Now, you personally may have something against strong language and I understand that. I do too. In fact, I hope you take offense at the language. Don't get me wrong, if you don't find language offensive, then don't. You need to read my stories as you are and take whatever you get from it in that context. Your interpretation is up to you.

If the language offends you, then I've succeeded. I've done what I need to do as a writer, or at least one of the things. I've created an emotional reaction in you. Through my work, you've experienced something. It doesn't exactly matter whether it was what I had intended to be in the work; what matters is that you get something out of it. I've gotten what I need, now I'm giving it to you.

Think of it this way. It's like a hammer. I bought this hammer and used it to build a desk. Well, I was done with the hammer and so I give it to you. You don't build a desk. Instead, you use it to tear some old shelves up. These are two completely opposite uses for the same thing, yet they are both the “right” use for a hammer. Our context of need for this tool is different, just as our context of reading something is different.

Now, let's get something clear. Your context of offense does not change anything in my stories. Period. I will not conform my stories or the characters within them to please an audience. My readers are not the point of my work. The point is the expression. I'm not writing to entertain. I would write whether or not anyone read it all. I enjoy sharing what I've written though. I enjoy reading comments on them and learning. I like to discuss my work as well. It also brings me an indescribable joy to know that others enjoy what I write.

But I need you to understand that these things are secondary. I want to share my stories with you, but I'm not going to change what I write for you. There is cursing in some of my stories because that's the only way of expressing what I mean to express.

I hope I've cleared some things up and I especially hope that the people who know me can understand.

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