Lindsey Elizabeth

My "minor" journey thru Public Relations..

TOW #2: Grammar Girl August 30, 2010

Filed under: PRCA 3330,Topic of the Week — Lindsey Bowers @ 9:34 pm

When visiting Mignon Forgarty’s Grammar Girl’s website, the first post I saw was about Swearing. With all of the hype surrounding Mel Gibson in the media, I thought swearing would be an interested topic to be educated on.

According to the post, swearing is a taboo and not every culture considers the same words offensive. I was shocked to learn that “hell” and “damn” have lost their offensiveness in America in the past generation. The most powerful swear words in America are based on prejudice and discrimination, which wasn’t a surprise. When those in the spotlight use swear words, it gives a negative vibe to their audience. So if you’re considering swearing in your writing, Grammar Girl provided three questions to follow in your decision making process:

  1. “Will my audience appreciate this kind of language?”
  2. “Is swearing a part of your voice, or your character’s voice if you’re writing fiction?”
  3. “Are you writing fiction or nonfiction?”

Don’t forget.. “Swearing gets its power from society’s taboos.”

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2 Responses to “TOW #2: Grammar Girl”

  1. aliciamd Says:

    I first would like to say that I love your theme (mine is the same ;))! Second, the topic that you chose from Grammar Girl’s site was a great pick. Until I came across your blog, it had never occurred to me that swear words can be an issue in professional writing. I wouldn’t even consider using potentially offensive words in my work unless I was quoting someone like Mel. I have to remember, though, that everyone is not like me and each person has a different view. Mignon Fogarty’s three questions are spot-on in regards to choosing whether or not to swear. Perhaps that’s why she has her own website.


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