Honest and Dishonest Swearing

In 1969, Joanna Russ spoke to the Philadelphia Science Fiction Convention  about taboo words, their honest and dishonest uses and the unearned thrill:  “I want to be able to use dirty wordies without shocking anybody. I want to write about the subjects they refer to without shocking anybody. And if there’s nothing else, losing the taboo completely would have one great advantage: I would no longer have to listen to student poetry that begins — well, you know how it begins.”

1 reply »

  1. As an author, I have to walk a balance between using too many cuss words and too few. Too many and the impact they might have had is gone. Too few and my characters don’t sound like real people.


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