F*CK OFF, I’M WRITING!!
About a year ago I got kicked out of an online memoir writing group for saying that ‘…sometimes I use the F-word in my writing if it’s appropriate’.
I was told by the moderator:
‘…Only writers who don’t have a good use of vocabulary have to resort to profanity to get their point across’…
Resort to profanity? I never said I resorted to it. I said ‘I’d use it if it were appropriate.’
I was then asked to refrain from that kind of language in the group or I’d be banned from the group.
From a writing group?
For using a word?
Isn’t it our 1st Amendment right of free speech?
According to Wikipedia
“The average person swears 80 times a day”
What about all the many Classic books in literature? (Some are full of profanities in almost every chapter).
I also thought about the well-written TV shows that Bob and I have been watching on Netflix.
‘The Sopranos’, ‘Dexter’, ‘Breaking Bad’ ‘Nurse Jackie’ ‘Louie’, ‘House of Cards’, ‘Weeds’ to name a few.
All brilliantly written shows, but yeah the F-word gets strewn around — sparingly in most cases but in other cases, it is used almost in every scene!
In the Emmy Award-winning show Dexter, for instance, Dexters’ sister Deb uses the F-word in a majority of her scenes and it’s classic. It fits her character perfectly.
Dexter won many awards for writing and some consider it to be one of the best series of all time.
I also thought about the brilliant writing of the comic show ‘Louie’ written by Louie C.K. He uses the F-word often (in almost every episode) but it never distracts from the show quality. Louie also won a few Emmy awards for writing.
In most of the books I read (and I read a LOT of books) — over 100 since last year — the F- word is common.
I just finished four memoirs.
One was the memoir ‘Love Warrior’ by Glennon Milton Doyle. She used the F-Word when appropriate, not often but yep she threw it in.
I’m also reading the current memoir of Chelsea Handler. The F -word is littered so much throughout her book that in my opinion, it is overkill.
‘People think that just because you say fuck, you have a limited vocabulary; well I say fuck that!”
Honestly, to me, anyone who uses the word Sesquipedalian probably does not have limited vocabulary. By the way, the definition of Sesquipedalian is:
‘Characterized by long words; long-winded …’which might explain this long post, but please bear with me. HA.
I also found this article titled ‘Ode to a Four-Letter Word’ by Kathryn Schulz of the New York times. She is the author of ‘Being Wrong’.
Here is a bit of her take on this subject:
‘Last year, when I published a nonfiction book, reader reviews started appearing on Amazon. Here are a few:
“Unfortunately the author calls upon profanity. That alone is worth a one-star deduction.”
“I do not think the author should have used profanity.”
“I removed a star for profanity.”
Docked a star for profanity!? Of the 117,000 words in my book, just fifteen are expletives — 0.01 percent — all but three of which appear in quotations.
Here is Cole Porter, mock-lamenting the profanity of writers back in 1934:
“Good authors, too, who once knew better words / Now only use four-letter words writing prose / Anything goes!”
‘Writers don’t use expletives out of laziness or to shock. We use them because sometimes the four-letter word is the best one.’
MY 80-YEAR-OLD FRIEND LIKES THE F-WORD
Here’s another irony about the F-word.
I have an 80-year-old wonderful friend of mine Barb who happens to be a spiritual/religious and a very beloved woman. The other day on the phone she said this:
‘The F word is a good word to use for just about anything!’
She then sent me a pamphlet in the mail called
’IMPROVE YOUR SPEECH-FUCK YOU’’.
‘Perhaps one of the most interesting words in the English language is the word ‘Fuck’. It is the one magical word that — just by its sound-can describe pain, pleasure, hate and love. In language it falls into many grammatical categories.
It can be used as a verb, both transitive (John fucked Mary) and intransitive (Mary was fucked by John); as an adverb (Mary is fucking awesome) and as a noun ‘(Mary is a fine fuck). It can also be used as an adjective (Mary is fucking beautiful). As you can see, there are not many words as versatile as Fuck.
I know you can think of many more uses, but with all these uses, how can anybody be offended when you say FUCK.
You too can use this word more often in your daily speech. It adds to your prestige. Sing out loud and clear. “FUCK YOU”.
ADELE USES THE F-WORD
I just saw singer Adele the other night on the Grammys in front of millions of people when her microphone went out. The F-Word was apparently the word she yelled out so loud that the whole audience heard her.
The next day in the news they said it endeared people to her because people were reminded of her ‘humanness.’
My point is that sometimes the F-Word is perfectly fine and actually can add to a creative work.
Ok, so after I got threatened to be banned from the online Memoir group I decided to post a short note to the group. I said:
“Ok ok Ill leave your group but first I want to ask you all something”…
“Would you guys also ban George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Louie C.K, Chris Rock, Don Rickles and most every brilliant comic of our time from your group? You do know they use the F-word often in their comedy.’
I was then banned from the group almost immediately after asking this question!
I didn’t even get the chance to defend myself. Poof. Banned. Permanently. GONE!
Oh hell. Fuck em.
So I was just about to publish this article today and ironically I stumbled upon this hilarious article called
The Writers Life.
The article was basically tips for writers. Here are just a few ‘F’ word references the author used. (there were more but here are a FEW)HA!
- Don’t take your writing so seriously. Jesus. Not like you’re fucking Tolstoy, over here. Lighten the fuck UP, man. Ain’t nobody gonna read your shit. So none of it matters. Spark a bowl. Play Nintendo. Take a nap.
- Take frequent breaks. Writing is mentally very taxing, so when you find yourself getting stuck, get up from your desk and go for a brisk walk. Like to Ecuador. Seriously. What’s your fucking hurry? You think the fucking world is clamoring for your reflections on that one time you and your dad were washing the car together in your fucking driveway and you guys were spraying each other the hose and laughing, and you learned that tidy little life lesson?
(Hey, I’ll bet this author might’ve caused an even bigger stir in that writing group than I did. )
Then I found this story by writer Heather Nann:
Zero Fucks Given
‘I’m not going to tell you to fuck off, but there have been times when the f-word is the only one that makes sense. Particularly when I’m ranting against, say, an internet troll of the highest disorder. Or when I’m recalling actual words said to me.’
SOMETIMES THE F-WORD IS THE PERFECT word to use like this Tweet by Morgan Freeman.
Hey, even Betty White has gotten on the F TRAIN.
If Betty can use the word I think we all can. I found this twitter handle the other day. Betty F*ckin’ White (@BettyFckinWhite) |
Okay as a bonus for you all I happened to have saved the discussion with the memoir group because I instinctively knew that someday it could make a good story.
Having their precise words would make the story juicier, I thought. (grin)
So here is a bit more of the conversation from the actual memoir group chat, right before I was banned:
The group moderator was named Victoria. I won’t use her last name or anyone else’s in the group. Only first names to protect their ‘innocence’. Plus I’m a respectful person, usually. Ok, here’s the chat!
Victoria : Michelle We’ve never felt the need to swear in here though we might in our own lives. This may not be the group for you if swearing on the threads is so important to you.
I never said it was SO important. You obviously didn’t hear what I said.
Jennifer : I think there is a time and place for it. But for me, I always think of my “digital footprint.”Who will see my words. Will a future employer look at my posts, will my words get used against me? There are so many different cultures on this site, I always think it’s preferable to be mindful of others.
SO I am not mindful of others if I use an F word?
A digital footprint ? Hmm.
If someone searches the net and finds that you’ve used the F word you wont get hired? Come on! Someone who NEVER uses the F word might actually make me MORE concerned, I thought.
(Effing and Blinding? — Ill have to look that up —
EFFING AND BLINDING from ‘Urban Dictionary’: To let forth a torrent of obscenities and give vent to a stream of profanities. Quite simply, have a bloody good swear.)
No need for it particularly as we are from all around the world and from different backgrounds ( and different age groups ) so best to be polite and considerate. I love this group because members are funny and clever and kind.
Umm…I think I am funny, kind and some even say clever and I can also be polite and considerate. What you’re saying is that if you use an F-Word you can’t also be polite,considerate, funny, kind or clever? That’s beyond presumptuous.
Oy, this chat is getting ridiculous.
Teresia then jumped in: I enjoy this group. I am a little older and was raised in what is referred to as ‘The Bible Belt’ in the USA. I am not a prude but I was taught ‘ladies’ don’t use certain words so I cringe when someone does. I also was taught it is bad manners to be rude to people in person or in writing. This group is kind and considerate.
OMG. Am I hearing these people right?
Then Rosalie added this inane almost unbelievable comment.
Rosalie: Living in Georgia now so I’m the southern daughter of a southern Mother and a very southern Grandmother from Mississippi and “ladies don’t use coarse language, ladies always use hankies, and ladies always cross their ankles and ladies dress modestly! Strict, yes, but we all lived through it and bless them for precious memories!
You guys have to be kidding me ?? Did I just hear you say
No coarse language?
ALWAYS use hankies?
Cross ankles and dress modestly? OMFUCKKNGOD!!!!
Then Diane added her 2cents in.
Diane: I’m all for freedom of speech, but not for freedom to ATTACK!!
Who’s attacking anyone? The F-Word used in a proper sentence is attacking?
Then another member jumped in with the effing and blinding thing again.
Jacky : No effing and blinding in here. I like to think we’re all adult enough to express ourselves without needing to RESORT to bad language. Plenty of other words in the dictionary.
RESORT? No one said anything about resorting. Yes. I’m aware there are plenty of other words in the dictionary. I just published three poetry books and I might’ve used the F-word a total of ONCE — in three books.
Victoria: Michelle, we are a group who love and respect the spoken and written word — there is little respect for fellow members of a group who may find those unnecessary words inappropriate.
I totally love and respect the spoken and written word Victoria.
Then finally I had enough after the token male in the group chimed in:
Gill: You’re not here as a stand up comedian are you ? There are plenty of words in the English language you can you instead without OFFENDING people !
…but the F- word sometimes IS THE appropriate word.
‘Ok. IM OUTTA HERE! Ok ok! You guys win!! I will leave your group but I will definitely still use the F word if I feel it.