Implied Vulgarity–A Little Humorous and Rare Snark


Does anyone else get tired of all the letters to the editor in a “certain romance publication” about how offensive today’s books are becoming?  Too graphic, too mouthy… and oh man, the complaints about the use of the F- word.  (And that’s exactly how it’s referenced, so we’ll carry it on here for giggles.)

A few of the letters didn’t bother me, but it seems to be a continuing subject now.  Yes, they have a right to their opinions (you guys know how STRONGLY I feel about that subject) but let’s hear from the other side. 


Sometimes, I love the F- word. 

It’s such a diverse and wonderfully descriptive word.  It’s a verb, adjective, noun…  and more!  It says so much in one short, hard-edged syllable. Or two. 

Say you have a wickedly strong heroine fighting a stinky demon and its blood just happens to burn human skin?  That stuff splats on her arm or worse yet, face… is she going to jump back and say, “Poopy”?

Eh, no.  (Okay, okay–I confess!  One of my secondary characters would. 😉   )

So yes, the “F” word is in my manuscript.  Guess I should warn all the sensitive readers ahead of time.   I use it when another word just doesn’t fit the situation.  But I use it sparingly so it doesn’t lose its magic.   

Oh come on people, there’s not really any magic–it is just a word. 

Four letters (or six, or seven or uh, five, if you’re my husband) strung together to form a sound and give meaning.   There are worse things than having your peepers fall on a WORD.  Way worse. 

I had a fun convo with Sarah and Candy of the Smart Bitches while in Dallas at the RWA conference last year.  A convo about… can you guess?

Yes, we were discussing the many uses of the word and I told them that my mother used to get all tight-lipped when I used the F-word.  (Now she could make Dane Cook squirm…)  But she used to say, “Don’t take something beautiful and make it ugly.”

This from a woman who actually considered naming me Winter Chalet Hinkle.   :O

My poor mother just hadn’t quite grasped the meaning.  I told her she’d obviously never had a good…  uh, that convo should probably not be shared.  LOL. (This was all in fun, btw.  We have a great relationship.)

No, it’s not a word I use aloud often myself.  I do have children and well, I take my life into my hands every single time I wear this shirt out into Oklahoma public. Yet… I do.


But in fiction, it can JUST FIT.

The romance novel world is a changing, folks.  We no longer have quite so many er, forced seductions and virgin heroines.  Spunky can mean more than she ran away from daddy to avoid an arranged marriage.   And yes, some of our heroines, especially in the more forgiving-and-no-not-totally-a-romance Urban Fantasy genre, say exactly how they’re feeling.

And sometimes, they feel like using the F-Word. 


And for your music pleasure, a singer-songwriter who will remind you a little of Sarah McLachlin and who is not afraid of today’s special word. 

Sarah Fimm.  Click on the music tab, scroll down to the CD A Perfect Dream and click on the uncensored version of Be Like Water. 

And since I wouldn’t want to offend more than I probably already have…Do you need the warning? 😉


About Rinda Elliott

Writer.I love unusual stories and credit growing up in a family of curious life-lovers who moved all over the country. Books and movies full of fantasy, science fiction and romance kept us amused, especially in some of the stranger places. For years, I tried to separate my darker side with my humorous and romantic one. I published short fiction, but things really started happening when I gave in and mixed it up. When not lost in fiction, I love making wine, collecting music, gaming and spending time with my husband and two children. I’m represented by Miriam Kriss of the Irene Goodman Agency.
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9 Responses to Implied Vulgarity–A Little Humorous and Rare Snark

  1. Carol says:

    Some of the F-word objections are generational I bet. I would guess the loudest voices in RWA regarding language and degrees of sexuality, are the older writers and readers, yes, I mean 50 and older, but especially the ones my age and older. Just how some of us were raised. Both virgins and no four letter curse words. Fuck does not fall out of my mouth accidently. Since I never say it, I have to do it consciously and it has an effect because it is not strung together, every other word. Those who know me pay attention if I use it. My kids have a stroke if I use it. Tali may not use it much since she has kids and lives in a small town where everyone would pay attention and talk. Ande fights demons etc. and probably will, rarely, but will.

  2. Sheila says:

    I personally love to read/use the word, “fuck”. Used sparingly, it packs quite a punch. : ) Used a lot and it loses impact. Sparingly for me is a few times a chapter. I probably like it more than the average bear. (In more ways than one)
    We aren’t writing the same books my ma-ma used to read. ha-ha!

  3. Anne Frasier wrote a blog post awhile back where she discussed “trying to unfuck her life.”

    If she had chosen any other word, it would not have been as effective. (And I have a sailor’s mouth, so I should know. lol.)

  4. Rinda says:

    Oh, I need to read that Frasier blog. And you so do not have a sailor’s mouth. I spent days with you in Dallas and you were so polite and quiet next to my amazonian motormouth. 😉

    Shelia, I read a little of your work before. It’s so dark and so, so wonderful–yes, you’d have to use the word occasionally.

    Heh heh Carol, I’ve heard you say it. But a lot less than me–that’s for sure. See you this Saturday!

  5. Missy says:

    Rinda, this is a subject that pisses me off to the extreme. I understand that some people find words offensive, but I don’t understand why. Words were created by people and as such it is people that have attached meanings and stigmas to those words. Personally, I don’t see the difference between saying shit and poop. Basically, they both refer to the same substance. As for Fuck… Fornication Under Consent of King is offense, but how many people know the origination. Can you imagine folks going around yelling, Hey Fornication Under Consent of King you!! Hee hee. When one of my nephews told me they thought it was a sin to use bad words I nearly fell over. I explained to him shit and fuck weren’t sinful words, he said, “really” and I said, if you can find those two words in the Bible and it says they are sinful then point it out to me. Holy Shit! I could go on and on. Sorry for staying on my soapbox so long. 🙂

  6. Anne isn’t posting any longer, but she might return at a later date.

    And I do have a potty mouth, and I’ll even blog about it to prove it! 😉

  7. Oh Rinda, you are so dark side corrupted. How could you ever ever EVER consider THINKING let alone speaking and writing fuck? Tisk, tisk, tisk.

    It’s like that everywhere. I don’t know what’s the problem with fuck, shit, god damn it, reality is a bitch and so on. I mean the book is meant for adults and point me one adult, who has heard it never. I mean except for Amish people.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yes, they are all just words.

    Thing is, staying true to a character is important. I have a secondary character in DOTT that will sleep with anyone who gives her a sob story–yet she doesn’t curse. Not purposely, she just has her own way of cursing.

    My main character sometimes has a potty mouth. Every single time I tried to smooth it out, she got worse–so I just let her go.

    Things can be overdone. For instance, I love Boondock Saints. It’s one of my all time favorite movies. Yet their colorful use of the word fuck goes overboard. Actually starts getting funny.

  9. RElliott4 says:

    That was me–thought I had signed in.

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