Friday, June 19, 2015

The Two S's - Swearing And Sex

What are your feelings when it comes to books that contain swearing and sex?

I know that I will come off as a prude for saying this, but I don't care for those two things to be in the books that I read. I try to avoid it, but sometimes it is not obvious until you are actually reading the book. Sometimes I find that the two don't bother me as much, and other times I can't even finish the book just because of it. I thought about why this might be, why I sometimes barely notice it and why other times it jumps off of the page at you in 3-D. After considering it I have come to the conclusion that it depends entirely on the author and how that author incorporates one, or both, into the book and the story in general. Some authors make it work, and other authors come off as children who have just discovered swear words, desperately throwing at least one or two of them into their book just so that they can feel like they are a part of the cool crowd. Or worse yet, over kill on the swearing. Hey man, everyone is doing it. The sex scenes ... is it just me or has anyone else noticed that since the ghastly Fifty Shades of Grey made a appearance on earth that a lot of books are beginning to have more *cough* graphic and descriptive sex scenes? I'm not reading romance novels either, these are cropping up in almost all genres now. Even the young adult genre can be a little ... raunchy at times.

For the most part you don't come across the two s's in the classics. One reason is obvious, you just didn't speak of such things. Another reason, and this is my honest opinion, is that those authors were just more talented (Some of our modern authors are talented as well!). They didn't have to resort to sex and swearing to create a vivid scene.

Sometimes the author flawlessly incorporates it, and sometimes it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.


  1. I wondered how you handled this, since you read so much. Thank you for addressing the issue head on! I read your blog to find out about books my 14 year old daughter might like. Keep up the great work, I look forward to your posts!

  2. Thank you for your response, Jessica. I am always happy to meet a reader of my blog and talk books. :)

  3. I agree with you. I have never forgotten the UNI college professor who informed us that excessive foul language is a sign of ignorance. Like you, I can read a book and barely notice the language. Other times, it feels like the author is using it simply to be using it.

  4. Agreed. It not only comes off as ignorance on the authors part, but it also comes off as a lack of talent as a writer. A writer can create a far more vivid scene through beautifully crafted words rather then the one utterance swear. It takes talent. Swear words are, essentially, the poorest form of our English language. I am not going to be prejudice against a author for the use of swear words as long as it flows with the book and doesn't stick out like a swore thumb. I would prefer it without, but as long as the author is talented enough to pull it off I won't huff and puff about it. I will never forget "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger. The word 'Goddamn' was used exactly 245 times. I hated that book, and I thought that J.D. Salinger was talent-less as a writer. My full book review can be viewed here on my blog.