F**k your writing. Or…(an essay regarding the use of expletives and profane language in fictional writings)

A comprehensive and entertaining primer on words vulgar, profane and beyond.

Ramblings from a Writer's Mind

In polite, or politically correct circles one may refer to it as the ‘F word’.

This word first became a public literary issue after it was use in a major novel, Norma Mailer’s ‘The Naked and the Dead’, published in 1948.

Only, it was NOT.

Mailer’s publisher prevailed upon him to change this expletive; this four-lettered, description of sex, to ‘Fug’, so that it did not offend readers.

Given the fact that the book is about men during a war, ‘Fug’ occurred an awful lot of times!

The result was a backlash, a cluster of criticism and discussion in literary circles. This gave rise to the anecdote about Tallulah Bancroft saying to Mailer, “Oh, you’re the man who can’t spell that word”.

However, times change.

Nowadays the F-word has lost much of its ability to shock. Far fewer people are now offended by its inclusion in…

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