Today on the Open Book Blog Hop we’re talking about swearing. There is more and more swearing on TV, and in movies, books and the like. What are your thoughts on this topic?
When I look at old films made before the early 1970’s, it’s wonderful to hear the dialogue, as there doesn’t seem to be any swearing in them at all. In fact I was watching ‘Cool Hand Luke’ last night which was made in 1967, and although the film depicts members of a chain gang working on the roads, not one swear word assailed my ears. When George Kennedy can be seen saying something unpleasant to Paul Newman, other sounds block it out. There is meaningful dialogue which Donn Pearce took time and trouble to write.
It would be interesting to see a modern-day remake of this film (actually no, perhaps not). I expect every other word from the prisoners would be the ‘F’ word, violent fights amongst the prisoners would probably take up half of the film, and of course don’t forget the whooshing sounds. No film today is complete without stereophonic whooshing every few minutes if there’s no swearing, sex or violence to whet the appetite.
Do you remember The Godfather part 1, made in 1972? It’s one of the all-time greats, yet there is no swearing, very little sex, and not even one tiny whoosh. Marlon Brando mumbles a bit because of all that orange peel, but he’s not f..ing and blinding away moronically all the time.
Unfortunately many films made recently have caused me to switch off within the first half an hour, as there doesn’t seem to be much dialogue apart from swearing. Sometimes of course the plot calls for the odd F word, and sometimes, as in Four Weddings and a Funeral, the swearing at the beginning is actually funny. As I say I’m not against mild cursing if it’s part of the story, but swearing for the sake of it is all too frequent these days on TV and films, and it’s a big turn-off for me. I prefer some witty banter or dialogue and a film that leaves you feeling happy at the end of it. Too much swearing or violence etc. leaves me cold and reaching for the off switch.
As for books, I’m an author myself and add the odd swear word to a story if it’s called for, but the books I choose to read and write, just like the films I watch, are not overly littered with swearing. I was brought up to mind my language. My parents hardly ever swore around me, and I was soon put right if I innocently picked up a swear word at school and brought it home.
What does P.J MacLayne think about swearing? A computer geek by day and a writer by night, P.J. MacLayne grew up in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania and sets much of her writing in that landscape. She currently lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. You can check out her Amazon author page here http://www.amazon.com/P.J.-MacLayne/e/B00HVE8WZI/ and her blogs here http://pjmaclayne.blogspot.co.uk/
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