Thursday, January 20, 2011

What the eff is your problem? When not to swear...

So, I may or may not have a swearing problem.  It all depends on if you think cursing like a sailor is a problem.  Personally, I don' least not in most situations.  Certainly, there are times you just shouldn't swear. church?  Even if you aren't religious, I don't think any of the religious people in the church with you would care very much for your eff-bombs.

Today, my swearing (non)problem came to a head, I think.  See, as a speech pathologist, I cart around a lot of toys.  Some are nice and quiet and, well, some like to talk to me in my travels.  While driving down the highway, I think nothing of hearing a MOOOOOOO from the backseat.  While entering an elevator, I have been known to get odd looks as my bag starts vibrating and laughing (tickle me elmo anyone?) :)

Now, I have this new toy, Countalong Cookie Jar.  Could someone please tell me why toys like this don't have off switches?  This morning, I put little Countalong in my trunk and headed to my appointment.  The whole way there, she kept asking me to play in that automated toy, adult-sounding-like-deranged-child voice.  "Hi!  I'm Countalong Cookie Jar!  Let's play!  Please put in a cookie! .... Please put in a cookie!  .... Please put in a cookie!"  After, like...some insanely long amount of time without getting her damned cookie, she finally had mercy.  "Let's play again REAL soon.  Byebye!"  BUT, after the next sharp turn, she was at it again.

I know I know.  "Get to the swearing part!" you're all yelling at me.  I hear you I hear you.  And, here it comes.  So, after my 40 minute trek to my appointment, I finally park and go to my trunk to get the toys I need.  As soon as I open the trunk, there's little creepy sounding Countalong: "Please put in a cookie!  Let's play again REAL soon!  Byebye!"  To which I reply, "FUDGE YOUR FUDGING COOKIES AND GO TO HELM!"

...sort of.  What I actually said had much less to do with sailing and chocolate than this blog-safe version.

Not a big deal.  I mean, swearing at inanimate objects is no biggie, right?  Everyone does that.  Right?  RIGHT?

But, it was a big deal.  Well, maybe a little big deal.  After my ode to fudge, I heard a voice behind me.  "Everything alright?"  I turn to see my client's parent peeking out their front door.  Evidently, they'd seen me pull up and had opened the door for me.  And they'd heard the whole thing!  I turned bright red and chuckled, "haha...You know those V-tech toys...hahaha"  Yes, yes, chuckle away your profanity, Amanda, chuckle it away!

Fortunately, Parent didn't say anything else about it and seemed remarkably willing to treat me like a normal person, rather than a lunatic who goes on swearing tirades at her toys.

This experience made me think about all the places we may or may not swear.  I swear in front of my parents, do you?  I didn't used to.  I think I started at some point in high school and no one ever really made any mention of it.  I don't swear at work (usually!  Except for toy induced tantrums in my clients' driveways.  haha).  I don't swear at the gym...though I'm not really sure why.

I do swear in my book a bit.  Not a lot, and certainly no eff-bombs.  So, what do you guys think of swearing in young adult literature?  (...or, swearing at toys? hehe)


  1. Hm. I'll swear occasionally. At one point I swore a lot. I don't so much now. Just fell out of it, I guess. There is some swearing in my MS, but it's a very small amount and it's for a definite reason.

    I think swearing in YA depends on the book! If it's a bunch of guys being guys, it's gotta be there. If it's a girl who's not into that, then it won't be. Really, depends on the characters and circumstances! I wouldn't want to see it in every book and, usually, it doesn't really NEED to be there...

    :| Hm. Now I'm getting contradictory. I'll just stop now...

  2. I don't usually include swearing in my YA or MG work because in what I write it wouldn't add to the characters or situations. In other YA novels I've read, the authors use it sparingly but it works and seems necessary to the character.

  3. Oh no! I totally cringed when a got to the punchline of this, haha. My sister is at vet school and one of her fellow students keeps accidently dropping the f-bomb during mock client interviews. He is rather infamous now she says. Anyways, I don't mind swearing in YA as long as it's not just for the sake of it. I mean, lets face it, people (including teens), swear!!

  4. I rarely used it at all in my last MS, but it pops up in the language often enough in TR. Oddly enough, I practically never swear, but it feels so appropriate for certain characters in TR. But in general swearing doesn't phase me at all. I work in a male dominant industry and work with lots of Execs with my clients. I find the higher up a person is with a company, the more likely I'm to hear a few choice words from time-to-time. :)


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