Using Slang and Curse words – How Much is Okay?

Battlestar Galactica’s frak is the one to focus on, in the 1970s series it was used as a mild swear on the level of damn, hell or shit. In the reboot, it was The F Bomb, the basic word you can’t say on television unless you’re impersonating George Carlin.

It;;s not a “real” word so it can’t be censored, but the way it’s said (Anglo Saxon), so the reboot series used it as often as needed to make the characters credible in their contextualized environment.

that this is how words and phrases and idioms develop, it’s jumped into other shows and into everyday reference, Frak is a new swear word. but, someone needs to think of the children

and when I read comics as a kid #*@&#$(@^#$%$ was permission for all the words I wasn’t supposed to say, eh?


I’ve seen this topic circulating around the writing community a lot lately: when is it okay to use curse words in your story? And on a related topic: how much current slang is okay?

I believe the short answer is: “it depends.”

By way of a long answer, these are some factors that I think every writer should consider when using slang and/or curse words in their stories:

Intended audience

This is the most important factor, I think. Obviously you wouldn’t put a lot of four-letter words in a children’s book or middle grade chapter book, but intended audience covers more than just children versus adults. Is your intended audience, overall, likely to expect and enjoy curse words in a story, or be put off by them? If you write cozy mysteries and you know that your largest readership is women over the age of 50, then keeping the cuss…

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1 Response to Using Slang and Curse words – How Much is Okay?

  1. Pingback: When a Girl Buys TechnoGadgets | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

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