This next blog is going to sound like I am really getting old>>> BUT, here goes anyway!
Why do authors feel the need to inject profanity into their novels?
I am going through a lot of Ellis Peters, Agatha Christie, and Ngaio Marsh audio books (and enjoying all of them immensely!) right now, and I am struck by their lack of profanity. Years ago, I wouldn’t have even noticed the lack of these “choice words” as that seemed to be the common practice.
So why is it that it seems like authors truly feel like they have to include “harsh words” into their novels to make the dialogue seem realistic? >>> Words that years ago would have prompted your mother/father to wash your mouth out with soap.
Do you think that it’s because we, as a society, have become relaxed? OR Do you think that it’s because it seems like it is now acceptable for major network television channels to feature child actors who say things like “Up Yours!” to their on-air parents (to which the laugh-track man/woman inserts huge peals of laughter)? OR Could it be that people really do talk like this? OR Is it that our vocabularies have gotten so poor that we now feel like we have to add these verbs, nouns, adjectives (etc.) to get our points across to our listeners? (Or in this case, the readers?)
I have been out of the work force for many years, so I have to rely on other people to tell me if their offices are inundated with people who … let’s just call it what it is… swear. And, of all the people I have asked, not a one has responded that it’s common-place to hear obscene language at his/her office. So I wonder why it is so common for authors to have their characters swearing.
What I’d like to know is this: How would you feel if Miss Marple’s response to the Inspector’s clumsy line of questioning went something like this:
“Get off your *##&^#* *%##@* and get to the *^#@&* point, you *^$@&^** !!! ”
Do you think that Agatha Christie would still have become the grande dame of mysteries?!?