So what did I do? I shouted out swear words--but only in my head.
Side note: Did you know it's National Grammar Day, and in L.A. it's been declared No-Cuss Week?
As I stood there, swearing to myself in the bathroom, I couldn't help thinking about these two events.
I don't know about you all, but I'm terrible at swearing. My filter is MEGA strength. It's the elementary school teacher and mother in me. Cuss words rarely pass BY my lips because the filter is so strong. It doesn't even feel right. Not that I don't have friends who swear like truck drivers. I so do! (You know who you are.)
I thought it best to go the Grammar Diva herself, Martha Brockenbrough, to ask about how grammar and swearing intermingle. Now, Ms. Brockenbrough is the creator of this fantastic National Grammar Day and The Society for Promotion of Good Grammar, and she wrote THIS awesome book. So, of course, she is in high demand at the moment. Hollah! I mean, really! She's, like, fresh off the jet with the Jo Bros and today her column "Celebrity Grammar Rehab" is front and center on the MSN page. She's a freakin' rock star.
So, how special do I feel to have received a reply from her on this very day? Pretty flippin' special. That's how much. (Thanks, Martha!)
I asked, on this National Grammar Day, during No-Cuss Week: Can a potty-mouth have good grammar?
Her reply: "You can be a potty-mouth and be grammatical. Hell yes!"
She also sent me the following links:
Something she wrote for Encarta about swearing...HERE
And a really interesting Defense of the F-Word by a really smart brain science/language guy...HERE
And now after reading those, I'm realizing I might need to reconsider my MEGA filter. What? Swearing can be good for my brain. And I can still be grammatical (well, that remains to be seen in the first place).
But, I've often thought about this as it relates to writing. Does the amount you swear in your own life equate, at all, to how much you do in your novel writing?
Tell me. I'm curious.
For me, although I seldom use swear words in my work, they do flow off the fingertips (as they relate to my characters) much easier than I can speak them out loud.