WARNING: Content may be explicit, sexual or offensive. Read the below at your own risk, and only if you are over 18.

For my final blog entry for vocabulary month, I’m going to discuss one of my favourite topics – expletives. Swear words, curse words – I love them. They’re littered in my writing and when I’m driving, I’m either singing or swearing.

Most expletives are often terms related to anatomy, bodily functions or religion.  Despite that, or maybe because of it, I do like them. And I KNOW I’m not the only one. They’re gritty and emphatic. They can provide shock value.  They can say a lot with very few letters.

Let’s take one of the best known expletives: fuck. For example, Sean Michael is trying for the most number of f-bombs on a single page. I’ve read a number of Sean’s books, and can’t believe this goal hasn’t been reached 😉 But I’ve never found it excessive, because fuck is such a useful, versatile word and Sean wields it like a master. The Onion, as they are wont to do, has taken it to an amusing extreme, and manages to deaden the impact of the word.

Which is definitely not the goal when using expletives in writing. Often the use of expletives, as well as the choice of a particular swear word, can provide insight into personality, emotion, circumstance and thought process. Expletives in writing should be used with purpose, and not as filler.  There’s a big difference between a character who habitually thinks of women as bitches, one who calls a woman a bitch while under the influence of a specific situation or emotion and one who calls a man a bitch. There’s a difference between characters who don’t swear at all, who swear only rarely, and those who swear all the time.

Anyway, back to fuck. It’s an especially flexible word. It can and has been used as a noun, verb, adjective and possibly adverb, although I can’t think of any specific examples offhand. One of the things I find quite amusing is that, despite its colloquial adaptations, Word does not recognize the many and varied ways I insert the word into my writing. For instance, for the phrase “can’t fucking wait”, Word is pretty sure I meant to say “can’t fuck wait”. Uh. No.

Or there’s the “passive voice” label on the phrase “getting fucked”. Okay, I suppose it’s possible that the person on the receiving end is passive, but that’s not how Word means it. “Getting fucked” is sometimes the right expression, no matter what issues Word has with it.

One time I complained to a friend about my need for creative expletives. She primly (which is highly uncharacteristic) replied that good writing shouldn’t need swear words. Then I made her read the manuscript. Her first response – “Oh, I get it.” Swearing was an integral part of one of the characters, and taking it away would have fundamentally changed who he was.

Some of my friends are completely awesome at developing an expletive lexicon. Maybe you’ve heard of some of these before (I hadn’t, before some very interesting emails), but I assure you, they’ll weave their way into my writing at some point.

Crotchfruit – in case it’s not obvious, this means children
ultrafuckwastedly hammerfied – that would be drunk
asswookieeness – this refers to being an asshole
asshat – asshole. Okay, I’ve seen this one several places, but it’s such a fun word!
Fuckputz – asshole, again.
Turdburgler – uh, ditto.
Twatwaffle – idiot (I got tired of typing asshole. But this word makes me giggle!)
Douchenozzle – also idiot/asshole, although I have to say, not sure how this particular configuration (or its brethren, douchebag) came to have this meaning.

So, I’m not exactly asking for a litany of swear words, but if you’ve got some extra good ones, feel free to comment. I’ll probably have to approve them – my spam filter for comments is quite rabid.