My Musings

Foul Language In Reviews, Is It A Turn-Off??

fou llanguage

Today I wanted to discuss with you all foul language in book reviews.

Be advised, this post will contain the occasional vulgar word that for those with a delicate disposition may cause your eyes to bleed, sensitive flowers you have been warned.

explicit content

I swear in real-life, let’s be honest, most of us do, even those of us who paint ourselves as holier than thou, will have at some point said a swear word in our lives. Do you agree? We’re all friends here, gimme a hell yeah if you’ve said a swear word, better yet gimme a fuck yeah! Don’t worry, you won’t get stoned or blasphemed for admitting it, my blog is a safe haven of anything goes, and your dirty, vulgar, filth infested potty mouth will be safe here.

In today’s day and age swearing is one of the most miniscule offences about, yet people still take offence to it. Perhaps at times it’s a generational thing, what was taboo back then is simply common place now. However, there’s those of us from all age groups who don’t have an issue with swearing, and likewise, there’s those of us from all age groups, who do.

I started blogging on March 5th 2016, for that whole year I didn’t swear in my reviews, there’s probably a few poems that I wrote that include swear words, but that’s different, they deal with personal feelings and demons, if I want to write ‘fuck the world‘ in a poem that bleeds emotion, that’s my choice.

Anyhow, back on track, I swear in real-life, it’s the lesser of my two evils, sarcasm is by far the worst! I tried my best to keep it out of the blog and my reviews, it was something that I chose to do, same for the sarcasm, though that sure crept in quickly in various posts. Each time I wrote a swear word in a drafted review, I’d end up changing it, or cutting that part of the review out, I was never sure how it came across, and I didn’t want to intentionally offend anyone by using foul language, I guess, I was scared to swear, and I shouldn’t have felt that way, not when lots of the books I read contain language that would make a sailor blush! And really, who gives a shit if a book review contains some profanity?!

I started to feel jaded by blogging a while ago, just after celebrating my one year blogging anniversary. Don’t worry, the lack of swearing in reviews didn’t contribute to my feeling jaded, this post isn’t that convoluted, there was a myriad of factors that helped attribute to my blogging burnout, all of far more import and consequence.

I took a weekend away, got back into reading, and in recent reviews, The Mirror’s Truth and Skitter, I’ve found myself swearing in the review, not a long diatribe of various swears similar to: fucking shit, shit shit shit, shitting fuck, fuckity fucking fuck, shit balls! While I’m not the most eloquent, my vocabulary does contain more than just swearing, and I can even string sentences together. So, not like the previously mentioned example, but swearing to describe things, for the trio of main characters in The Mirror’s Truth I referred to them as ‘black-hearted bastards‘ and in Skitter I used ‘big ass hairy mother fuckers‘ to describe spiders. Just phrases, to add some vibrancy, some colour here and there, a bit of sauce and flavour to what would have been an otherwise vanilla review, the addition is simply me being true to me (sorry Mother, your son doth swear).

After all, we hear these types of phrases nearly every day, most of us will have heard of the saying ‘when the shit hits the fan‘, if we want, shouldn’t we be able to use a saying like that, instead of changing it to something far more PC like ‘something bad happened‘ in our reviews without feeling like we’ll be vilified by others just for the use of profanity.

Before I felt jaded, I wouldn’t have written the swear words, I’d have edited them out, so what changed?

Well……I did. Writing reviews isn’t the easiest thing, it’s not for me anyway, please tell me I’m not alone people?! I was stopping myself being me, I’d write something like ‘fucking awesome‘ and then change it to ‘really good‘, even though in real-life I’d have said the former, not the later. Then something clicked, I’d lost my enjoyment in blogging. I’m not saying that the occasional swear word in a review/post has rekindled that enjoyment, it’s got nothing to do with it, what it has done though is, now I’m not worrying about changing the words in drafts anymore, thinking to myself ‘I can’t write that‘. If I swear, I swear, it’s not a big deal, someone might take offence, but the world won’t end. Writing what flows when I’m drafting out the post, not stopping and questioning, can I say that? Should I use that word? It’s a breath of fresh air, it’s freeing to just feel like I can write what I want, writing what comes naturally, and if anyone takes offence, it’s their choice, I’ll respect that, and they can respect that my choice on occasion is to swear.

As individuals we should be able to write what we want, if the swearing is deemed unprofessional, then so be it, I’m not a professional anyway, just a book lover with a blog. We hear profanity and far worse things (all the various religious doctrine, phobias and isms) every day of our lives, be they from other people, TV and/or films, often for films regardless of their age rating a swear word or two will be included, hell, I bet even some cartoons use foul language.

And let’s not forget that most genre of books also include the occasional smattering of profanity, we read it, so, if we choose to, why shouldn’t we write it? We’re all adults, granted, some of us are more mature than others, I fall into the immature category myself!

Point is, we’re not the equivalent of a 5 year old child who has heard Mummy yelling at Daddy, calling him a ‘fucking jerk‘, then going of to school, repeating this cool new word we heard at home and getting in trouble. No, we are adults, and we are capable of making an informed decision ourselves on if we choose to swear on our own blog or not.

Obviously books catering to a younger audience won’t use profanity, you aren’t likely to see ‘shithead‘ written in a book aimed at children, what you’re more likely to see is it substituted for something child friendly, or PG (just like WWE, gotta keep it PG folks) and replaced with a name like ‘poopy doo doo head‘.

For adult orientated genres though, crime/thriller/mystery, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi and horror certainly all include swearing. The fantasy genre I frequent, particularly the grimdark sub-genre has plenty of swearing, be they made up swears, similar to the various ‘Hood‘ curses from Malazan Book of the Fallen, or ‘Corespawn it‘ from The Demon Cycle Saga, all the way back down to that old-fashioned favourite, the word ‘fuck‘ that is littered throughout the pages of various books, it’s certainly found its way onto lots of pages in my current book, that’s grimdark for you, blood, gore and profanity. 

PLEASE don’t get me wrong, my reviews and posts aren’t going to become profanity laden, or constantly littered with swearing, most won’t include any, there’s a lot of mitigating factors involved, how I feel when I’m writing, how I felt about the book, even what genre the book is could come into play, profanity in a review for a grimdark review would feel natural, as it’s grimdark, lots of swearing in that genre. If I feel a swear word or phrase describes what I’m trying to convey though, then from now on I’ll be using it.

I know a few other bloggers use profanity in their reviews, and also that lots don’t, it’s a personal choice, every blogger is different.

But for swearing in blog posts, is it, and should it be an issue?

My answer to both is simply NO, it isn’t, and it shouldn’t be an issue either. As readers we don’t take offence to authors including foul language in their books, or profanity in any other form of media, and as such we shouldn’t take offence to bloggers including foul language in their posts. It’s a personal choice by the blogger if they choose to use profanity or not when expressing themselves, who are we to say it’s wrong, or the profanity laden version, who gives a fuck!

I’m not saying that everyone should swear in their blog posts, all I’m saying is that if you want to then it’s OK, nothing bad will happen, just like if you’ve read Fifty Shades of Grey, or listen to Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber, we won’t judge you!…….well, for the swearing we won’t, the other things we might! πŸ™‚

So, my fellow bookish people, what do you say, is foul language a turn off? Do you use it? Do you have a problem with it? Will you stop following a blog with profanity in the posts? Or do you just not care?

wolf lets chat

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110 thoughts on “Foul Language In Reviews, Is It A Turn-Off??

  1. No, I don’t have a problem with it. It’s your expression. When you put ‘fucking awesomeβ€˜ and then change it to β€˜really goodβ€˜. It shows through that. ‘Really good’ doesn’t express ‘fucking awesome’, to me.

    It’s very rare that I swear in real life, but like when writing fiction some words work better, and sometimes that’s a swear word.

    I think, like with anything, it’s the way you’re using it. If you were putting f-this and f-that every other word, it’d probably turn me off. More because I’d be fed up of having to trawl through a load of fodder words to get to the true point of the review.

    Interesting discussion piece. I’m curious as to what others think. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Writing fiction is a step to far for me, I struggle with But I get your point, sometimes a swear word gets the point across better than a normal clean word.

      Yeah, I didn’t mean f this and f that in posts……I’m not that bad! But just generally to describe things, like with the examples I used, I’ve seen lots of bloggers swear, a few do it a lot, and there’s loads of Goodreads reviews with plenty of profanity in. Guess I was just interested what people thought on the subject and as you say, I’m curious to what people will think.πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If it’s not swearing for the sake of swearing? Then why not? I will try to not use foul language. Not even in the Monday part (my cat’s diary). He doesn’t swear. At least I’ve never heard him swear

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ll openly admit that I do swear, I tend to swear a whole lot more in real life than I do in my book reviews. I feel that if I censored my reviews of these swear words, then in some form I am censoring my own personality, and I don’t want to be something different or artificial with my followers. I do try to be respectful in that I don’t fill a review with fucks (unless something with the title just triggered a passionate element within me) from top to bottom, but I won’t stop being who I am either. It’s not fair to me as a person, or to the people who take their time to follow me and read my stuff. Thanks for this post! I found it very refreshing and interesting. It’s not a topic that a lot of people discuss at all. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh that’s true about being respectful, totally agree, I just meant the odd swear word like what I mentioned, won’t be cursing every sentence, etc, possibly not even at all in some reviews, or just once, and 1 word out of 1,000 being a swear isn’t, or shouldn’t be a big deal.

      Lol, I swear a lot in real-life too.πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I don’t really swear in real life (yeah i know I’m weird right :p )and don’t do it on my blog but I have no issues with people swearing. I think it’s so important to be yourself on your own blog, more so now I’ve restarted afresh as I’ve explained :). Some people find swearing offensive or just like to know it’s gonna be there and that’s why I tell people in reviews if there’s any swearing but if anyone’s ever second guessing their own blog posts/reviews because you’re worried about what others think then you’ve stopped being yourself. Everyone should blog and write how they want, people who want to follow you, bad language and all will, and those who take offense aren’t worth thinking about. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lol, true, I remember your reviews and how you’d mention the swear words as the ‘s’ word, As an adult fantasy fan, most books I read contain swearing, very colourful

      Definitely agree about being yourself though, that’s why I’m no longer going to cut the swearing out, I shouldn’t feel the need to, and I only mean the occasional usage like I mentioned, not swear after swear, etc. The review I’m posting on Thursday has 1 swear word in, 1 out of 1,300 which isn’t bad.πŸ˜‚

      True, if I lose followers, so be it, can’t please everyone.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Swearing is a part of life. If someone takes ‘offense’ to it then they can, well, I myself don’t swear, but you know what phrase I’d choose.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. What a great post, Drew! I especially agree with your point that if including the swears can often times enhance meaning while making a point. I’ve included a few swear words in my posts too, when I’ve felt like going for a more politically correct phrasing hurts the passion behind the point I’m trying to make. The way I figure it, a lot depends on the audience. I write the majority of my reviews primarily for an adult or older teen audience. They’ve all heard swears before, or use them in real life. If someone doesn’t appreciate my choice of phrasing they’re welcome to unfollow me. Obviously, I’m not going to use swear words in a review for a middle-grade book, but for the older stuff I’m not going to shy away to save a few people’s feelings.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you.πŸ˜€

      Definitely agree with you about the audience, I did try and mention that in the post, and if it’s a book aimed at a younger audience then there wouldn’t be swearing in the book, so I wouldn’t expect swearing in the review, it’d actually be weird to use profanity in a review aimed at youngsters.

      And, very true, they do sometimes enhance the meaning of a point.πŸ˜€

      Liked by 2 people

  7. It is all a personal preference, I think. I don’t swear as much in real life as I did when I was younger, because I had kids and changed my behavior to keep their first words from being “shit” or “hell” or “fuck” or whatever. Even though they are teenagers and preteens, I haven’t went back to the cussing. But others using curse words in stories/reviews doesn’t bother me as long as it compliments the writing. I mean, “fucking awesome” isn’t a replacement for you telling my why it is fucking awesome, but it definitely helps me to understand that you really, really liked the damn story. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Definitely true, it’s personal preference. As a fellow fantasy fan you know that the books in that genre often use lots of swearing!πŸ˜‚

      But yeah, I meant say ‘fucking awesome’ just instead of ‘really great’ I’d still want and hope for myself that I’d provide reasons why I felt that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You’ve kinda made me want to swear in my reviews now! πŸ˜€ I personally think it’s your blog/review so say what you want…. life is too fucking short and there are far more important things to worry about in life than whether some delicate flower will be offended by your language. And as you said, most books contain swearing anyway so why shouldn’t the review?? Once again a great discussion post πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  9. No problem with it. I do myself if it calls for it. Usually my profanity is used when my reaction is extreme. Honestly, my approach (reviews) included is conversational and it so happens that I occasionally swear in conversation lol.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Awesome post! In real life, I swear like a sailor (wow, that sounds really vulgar!) because I get overexcited and express myself a lot. When I blog, I do include some swears here and there, but I’ve found myself slowly stopping for reasons unknown. Maybe I’m trying to sound more professional? I don’t know. All I know is that sometimes I read over what I write and think “this is stupidly formal”, as it doesn’t sound like how I’d rave about a book in real life with a huge “this is fucking awesome!” rant. I agree with what you said; if it feels natural to swear in your blog posts go for it. I always try to keep my posts as close to my real-life personality and voice. At the end of the day, many bloggers aren’t trying to pass off as professionals, it’s just all hobby. Keeping it real is my motto. Loved reading your post! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think I can discuss a book WITHOUT swearing (either in extreme happiness or pure rage), but if I were to let loose in my blog posts…Not a great idea! πŸ˜€ I definitely don’t believe in absolute censorship though, I actually prefer posts that sound like a person is actually talking to me, swearing and all. It’s why I started blogging πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Very true, that’s how I try and come across in my blog posts and reviews, like I’m talking to the person, maybe if I was more eloquent and could write an essay style eloquent prose laden review, but nah, I like the informal approach.πŸ˜€

        Lol, hell no to absolute censorship but, not a great idea to let rip in your blog posts, that bad eh?πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

      1. What….I have no idea what’s happening but I’m finding it hilarious, lol πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ I’m not quite there yet with my swearing, I’m not that creative! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I prefer not to swear. I think it makes me sound crass and stupid when there are other words I could be using. However, that doesn’t apply to every situation. That’s more my real life situations where it’s brought on by annoyance.

    I don’t swear in my blog as far as I am aware. That isn’t through conscious choice, I’m just not a sweary person. If I was reading a review and a blogger used swear words to bad mouth a book, I would think them one of the lowest forms of reviewers out there and not worthy of the name reviewer. After all, someone has put their heart, soul and man hours into creating a book. There is no reason to slate something in such a way. In a way it’s a form of bullying. I don’t have a problem with it being used in a positive light, however (Drew’s blog is fucking amazing, that book was THE best shit I ever read etc …) just not to put a book down.

    But swearing in a blog doesn’t put me off reading a blog (to answer your question).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, you probably haven’t been blogging long enough to swear in a post yet, maybe one day a rogue swear will creep in somewhere.πŸ˜‚

      Well, I knew you’d prefer not to swear, a proper British gentleman like yourself wouldn’t lower one’s self to such common vulgarity, not to mention Mamma would be so upset!πŸ˜€

      Yeah, totally agree with you, swearing to bad mouth a book wouldn’t be right, to be honest I’m not a fan of bad mouthing books anyway, the three reviews for bad books I’ve written I’ve tried to offer positives and what I liked to go alongside the negatives. I think I failed with Under the Guns but that was because couldn’t really find any redeeming qualities in it, but just because I didn’t like a book it doesn’t mean that someone else won’t. Not a fan of reviews that simply say that the book was shit, or even that the book was fucking awesome, I like and want to know the reasons why the person felt the way they did about the book.

      Sincerely doubt you’ll ever see swearing in the vein of ‘Drew’s blog is fucking amazing’ and it’s far more likely you’ll see it eloquently described as ‘fucking shit’.😞

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I definitely struggle with writing reviews, so I am with you there! Overthinking, what is relevant and how to get your point across etc. The language you use to describe and explain is essential to your image/appeal as a blogger. Swearing for emphasis or enthusiasm (or lack of) I agree with, but swearing for the sake of it is too far. I personally don’t swear in my reviews for several reasons but I do love a great line in a review with some much needed profanity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad I’m not the only one who struggles with reviews!πŸ˜€

      Totally agree, all I meant was swearing when it came natural, not feeling like I needed to change the word just to be PC, to describe or emphasise, not swearing just for the sake of it, or even constant swearing, hell, the review I wrote earlier has 1 swear word out of 1,300.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really like this subject. Thanks for taking the time to discuss it. I have refrained from swearing so far due as it never arrived organically. I assume my perimetres will change as I grow as a blogger and soon I won’t be able to stop swearing in my reviews.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I need to start pulling my finger out and planning some original content. Inspiration is in short supply in my house at the moment. I look forward to more of your thought provoking blog posts!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Uh, I think you know my answer. 😁

    When I wrote a review without swearing, people noticed​! I swear a lot in real life. My husband and I are very sarcastic and crass with each other all the time, so that translates to social media and my blog, talking with friends, etc.

    I’m professional AF at work though! πŸ˜„ That, and I have an uncanny ability to unconsciously filter my language in front of kids. It just happens! πŸ˜ƒ

    I mean, other than that though, fuckity fuck!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Lol, yeah, I know, I was one of those who noticed the lack of swearing in your review!πŸ˜‚ It was strange!πŸ˜‚

      I swear a lot in real-life too, and I’m a sarcastic ass! I guess, if it feels natural when writing though, then do it, fuck it if someone takes offence, can’t please everyone.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. You are not alone, Marshie! Reviews don’t come easy!! As for the swearing, as long as it’s not just for the sake of it, why not? Sometimes, a colorful expression conveys your emotions better than any “conventional” or “appropriate” word.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reviews are a bane, not sure if it’s because I’m still not entirely feeling blogging but at the moment they seem to be a nightmare!😞

      Yeah, I don’t or didn’t mean swearing just for the sake of it, or even that it’d be constant, just the occasional swear word in the occasional review, not in everything though, and as you say a colourful expression can sometimes convey emotion better than a conventional one.πŸ˜€


  15. I’m a curser. Can’t help it. With that being said, I do filter on the site to an extent. I’ll still call characters asshats, but I won’t add the Fucking in front of it. Or I will change it to freaking or flipping.

    Sometimes not letting yourself use curse words can lead some inventive swearing. Believe I used the phrase “wear a freshly waxed ass for a hat” at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh Drew… I have so much ❀ for this post…
    You probably remember that I was once told off for using the word 'shit' in my review… and then, I was afraid to use any cursing in my reviews and I felt proper censored and antsy about it… lately however, I'm sneaking the 'bad boys' in again when they feel like they should be there…
    In real life- oh for the love of all holy, you probably haven't heard a more foul mouthed female… funny thing is, when I swear in English it sounds rather mellow?! When I swear in Estonian… now that's pretty crass… I mean, I love swearing (and I actually learned from my parents… pfft… don't ask, they're two harmless but very foulmouthed and hilarious loonies) but sometimes I have felt ashamed of myself for using some of the words…

    anyway, I don't mind people swearing… I don't mind people NOT swearing, either.. whatever works for someone, right? Life's motto is- everything within its limits… be it swearing, chocolate or junk food… the list goes on…

    and yes- yes, yes, yes- writing reviews is hard work! like, so hard!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ah, I do remember that, and let’s be fair ‘shit’ isn’t even a bad swear word, you see Lizzy the PC brigade got you before they found me!πŸ˜‚

      I had noticed swearing was reappearing back in your reviews, and why not, if it feels natural then so be it, if you’re writing the review and type ‘fucking awesome’ when you read it back, you shouldn’t think oh my, I’d better change it.

      Ya know what, we both read fantasy, I’d say we have been desensitised to swearing as it occurs so much in the books!……the books made me do it!πŸ˜‚

      Oh definitely, people can or can’t swear, it’s all good and it’s their own choice, just like it’s our choice if we choose to use some colourful profanity here and there.πŸ˜€

      I think ‘harmless but very foulmouthed and hilarious loonies’ has to be one of the best descriptions of parents I’ve ever read!πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah… like, OK, I could see their point about younger audience etc, but darn it- I doubt you or me are the worst case scenarios on the http://WWW... people have access to way worse than a couple of swear words on book reviews.
        Additionally, re the argument then about ‘shit’ being a trigger… I’m not a freaking vigilante, you know? If I started censoring every word that COULD potentially be a trigger to someone then I might as wlel just delete the freaking blog, you know?
        anyway.. there are arguments for both sides…

        Desensitised to swearing? I think that’s a good way of putting it… it’s really how someone thinks about profanity, isn’t it? If they’ve been belt-whipped every time they said fuck or shit when they were young, I could see how profanity could cause a mini breakdown… the other important thing is, I think someone mentioned it above, that you need to ‘read your setting’… aka, at home I’m a vulgar sailor, at work I’m professional and depending on who I speak to I know how to choose my words… but yes, desensitised is good… I like that… for us, profanity is just a bunch of words.. they’re not meant as insults, they’re not meant to be used to categorize people or situations but rather used as strong adjectives to describe.

        hehehe… yeah, my folks are an odd mix of everything and when they’re not fighting each other, they’re quite a lot of fun! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh definitely, we are no where near the worst bloggers for it, and let’s be fair, the comments are probably worse than the swearing, me and Anne used to completely filth the comments up with weird and wonderful

        I only have a crap job and swear at it, I can be polite, etc though and I get your meaning, for me, while I can and do swear like a sailor, I can also be polite and courteous when needed, it’s not just swearing each and every word.

        I don’t see the issue with it in life or on the blog though, the occasional swear word isn’t going to kill anyone, there’s far worse than swearing out there that people could take offence to, but saying it’s fucking awesome, it’s just your enthusiasm showing through, nothing wrong, no need to take offense, if you don’t like it, don’t read it, simple as.

        True, desensitised to swearing was rather good wasn’t it and true to, I watched 18 rated violent films when I was like 5,sort of got desensitised to swearing and violence in things at a young age and that’s why it doesn’t bother me, guess if I was a bible basher then I’d think differently but, especially for the books I read, they contain so much swearing, it just comes across as common. And yeah, profanity definitely isn’t insulting, trust me, I don’t need profanity to insult people! πŸ˜‚

        Obviously I wouldn’t swear in a book aimed at kids or from the Y-A genre, it’d be weird, but when the book you’re reading has swearing in it, there’s no harm in it being in blog posts.


  17. I don’t have a problem with it or take offense to it. If you want to use profanity in your posts, don’t let anyone stop you. It is your blog. I definitely agree that profanity can add color and personality to a post.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Great post! I do swear in my posts, though I try to keep it to a minimum. But if I think a character is a massive asshole, or something pissed me off, I will say so and I won’t use the nicest words. It does differ per book though, if I review middle-grade for example I don’t swear… Also, I found out a few weeks ago my parents read my posts too πŸ™ˆ Since then I have definitely made an effort in toning it all down. I never swear in front of them irl, I might say poop if I really have to.
    Its your blog, if you want to swear, go for it! Especially if that kind of language is used in the book, why should you be all politically correct?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s very true, and that type of language is most definitely used in the books I read, a side effect to reading adult fantasy, it’s often foul mouthed.πŸ˜‚

      Oh definitely, I don’t read middle grade, Y-A or anything like that, but if it’s a book aimed at a younger audience then yeah, swearing wouldn’t seem right at all.

      Lol, the parents already know you swear after reading posts, no need to tone it down now, the secrets out!πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I swear all the time in my reviews. Not in every review but I am not afraid to when needed. It shows extra emotion that written word at times has trouble conveying. And it never messed with popularity; one of my most popular reviews called the book ‘one glorious mindfuck.’

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I’m not really a swearer in general, but working with the public sure makes it hard to not curse! lol. I haven’t felt the need to put swear words in my blog posts, but if I felt I needed to I would. I can’t ever see myself using the f-word (lol- see what i mean not really a cusser!)

    If a book is YA and if there is any drug use, alcohol, cursing I will mention it for those that don’t want to read those type things.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I Keep it simple, as you probably know already.(a joke because of my short reviews) If I am reviewing a book that has cuss words I might use some in the review, if not then I don’t. I tried not to swear when I first started the blog until I was writing my review of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. I went a little “Fucking” wild with that one. I am listening to a great book right now by Yahtzee Croshaw that has made up swear words but it is a Sci-Fi book and had an explanation of how they came to be used. It is a plying great book πŸ˜‰ called Will Save the Galaxy For Food.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, your reviews aren’t that short, plenty of bloggers write far shorter ones, around 100 – 400 words for every book they review.

      I remember that book/review, yeah, you did go a bit fucking wild, all good fun though.πŸ˜‚

      Yeah, definitely a point about if the actual book has swearing in it, though as most fantasy does…..πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  22. It’s so strange that I saw your post when I did because I was only thinking about this the other day. I swear A LOT in my everyday life. One of my friends claimed that people only swear when they have nothing else to say, which is bullshit. I find profanities serve a number of purposes; they add emphasis for one thing (your example with “fucking awesome” proves that – it sounds way more meaningful than “really good” which sounds pretty bland in comparison), they can inject humour into writing and, not only that, they can change the tone of a piece – be it a review or a book – completely. Swearing can take something dry and boring and bring it to life.

    I have yet to swear in my reviews. I think, like you initially, I’m concerned about offending people…but I guess it is MY blog and if a bit of foul language is the most offensive thing someone is going to read, well, they’ve lead a pretty charmed life thus far haha

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh man, I swear a lot in real-life too, telling mean a lot!πŸ˜‚

      That’s complete bullshit what your friend said, sorry, no offence is meant but it is, I have plenty to say with or without swearing, just think the addition of swearing adds some colour to the words.πŸ˜‚

      Lol that’s true, if swearing is the most offensive thing they read, yeah, a charmed life, alas, there’s always someone who will take offence to something.

      Yep, my blog my rules, your blog your rules, and I don’t see the harm in swearing, the latest review I wrote has 1 swear word in it, out of 1,300 words and it’s ‘fucking awesome’ as it described what I wanted.

      Swearing doesn’t seem to bother most people, luckily!πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Excellent article, bro! Already responded to your Facebook page, but I have no problem with swearing in real life and very occasionally do in my reviews. I think once or twice I have actually stated the sort of swear words used in certain books, to let the audience know if it will be their cup of tea or not, possibly saving them money purchasing the book if it is language that they don’t like. Even though I may in real life – I wouldn’t really say something is “fucking awesome” or that characters was a “c*nting bastard” in a review because I think our language has better ways to describe those feelings and perhaps too much swearing could dumb down the post. Very interesting debate and enjoyed your take on it Drew. Peace x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, see, I use ‘fucking awesome’ it’s in a review I wrote the other day, but I’m not that eloquent in writing, so for me, I’m happy to use it, I’d definitely draw the line at c#nting bastard though, c#nting is going a bit far into vulgarity, bastard, yeah, I’d probably use that but it’s debatable over whether it’s actually a swear word or not.

      I only meant the occasional swear word anyway, I think some people thought I meant a constant barrage of them in posts, just one or two, and more for myself, if I write them when drafting, when I read it back I’d like to feel comfortable keeping them in, and not feel the need to change them but I won’t go out of my way to intentionally swear in posts.

      Seems to be so many reviews with swearing in and blog posts, was interested on people’s thoughts, and the post has been well received, surprisingly, now if only I could think of discussion posts more often than once every six months!πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I mentioned reviews by Glenn Hates Books yesterday. Since I doubt if anybody checked out his site, and since my post wasn’t descriptive, I decided to contribute some select phrases that he used in one review as an example. My son (41) loves this type of book review: “..full-on derpy derp, and gets stupid as fuck”.. “he just got high as balls and just started pulling shit out of his ass”..”He beats the ever-loving shit out of his wife”..”And she’s a fucking asshole.”..”He’s gonna hack their motherfucking brains”..”he’s sick and fucking tired of seeing”..”This book really was fucking crazy.”..”It was a total cluster-fuck from beginning to end. And I fucking loved it. Because the author’s writing style was absolutely brilliant. He weaved in first person and third person narratives like every other paragraph. And the imagination on this guy… Damn.
        GET WASTED! You may want to be high as balls before reading…”

        I doubt that this type of book review has a huge mainstream audience. Glenn posted an edited version on Amazon and Goodreads. For some readers, perhaps reminiscent of the ’70s when content and language in mainstream fiction was less censored by Editors than today, this type of review may be more meaningful that those that are considered stuffy by some folks.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Can’t say that I either agree or disagree with reviewing like that, each to their own, and each blogger reviews differently, definitely not how I’d review though, and it doesn’t appeal much to me, comes across as swearing for the sake of it and just trying to sensationalise the post by using that language.

        My post was more aimed at the occasional swear word like I and lots of other bloggers use, not a constant barrage of them like those phrases, just a word here or there to add some colour and not feeling the need to change it just because someone might take offence.


      3. Possibly, my excerpts gave an cumulatively misimpression. IMO, Glenn was a brilliant book reviewer who satirized most books, hence the title of his blog. I’m not recommending this style, only sharing it for context.


  24. I agree I swear in real life….quite a bit actually. I make sure not to swear every post or anything but sometimes my feeling require an f bomb. Also as someone who swears, sometimes I feel like I have something in common with a reviewer who swears from time to time, I’m like oh hey you swear to nice and relaxed I like that. Totally a person choice for you blog and I get both sides.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s always means I’m feeling passionate about it either good or bad, usually someone pissed me off but it can be positive too!! Great idea for a post by the way πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  25. This was definitely a fun discussion post. I strongly believe that people should write their minds out without any restraints. They should do whatever they want and say what they want however they want. However, if I see quite a lot of swearing throughout a review that doesn’t add anything (colour, as you say, for example) then I might start wondering why I’m even reading the review in the first place. I totally don’t care if there’s less than… I don’t know… 5 curse words for every 500 words. It probably adds more “you” in a review, which is always a great thing. In fact, I find that “fuck” is one of the most beautiful words out there. It can be used in sooooo many different ways. However, I try and stay away from curse words in my reviews just so it forces me to try harder in finding “prettier” words to use and improve my vocabulary. πŸ˜€ That’s just me though. In real life, I swear like it was nobody’s business. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Again, great post, Drew!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, ‘fuck’ definitely can be used in so many ways, a wonderful word, one of the best.πŸ˜€

      Yeah, swearing definitely adds more ‘you’ to the post, especially if you do swear, definitely get some people’s points about not swearing in reviews aimed at younger readers and books, being honest it’d be weird writing a review and cursing for a book aimed at kids, it’d just be swearing for the sake of swearing. But, for books I read, mainly adult fantasy and due to the fact I swear in real-life, I sometimes forget that it’s still frowned upon by some people, I said to Liz that we’re desensitised to swearing and I think that’s a perfect description, there’s so much swearing in books, hell the book I’m currently reading has loads in it, sometimes forget that people don’t like it.πŸ˜‚

      Lol at ‘prettier’ words, alas, I suffer from informality and a lack of eloquence so swearing fits nicely with that!πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  26. I don’t have a problem with swearing at all, I do it all the time πŸ˜€ I personally enjoy reading reviews hat show some emotion and are not too dry, if you know what I mean. I like it when people don’t hold back. If something’s fucking amazing, that’s cool! If someone’s a fucking idiot, that’s fine with me πŸ˜‰
    I don’t use swear words very often in my reviews, but that is not a conscious decision. If I feel like it, I throw in some f-words, if I don’t, I don’t πŸ˜€

    Lots of people keep it PG, but I like Attitude more πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, definitely know what you mean about emotion and not being to dry, it’s the same as adding some personality into the review, just makes it a bit more unique and personal than a bland vanilla snorefest.πŸ˜‚

      Attitude rules, I struggle with PG, hell I’m even worse with PC!πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  27. I don’t mind reading posts with swearing, but I don’t swear my posts. I do in real life too. My mother doesn’t like it even though she swears too. She once said she was trying to quit swearing so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Fuck Yeah! You’ve hit the nail on the head here! I don’t always swear in my reviews but sometimes it’s necessary so I do! I actually wrote one today which went in that direction!

    I used to write for an Aussie metal magazine and boy do the Aussies swear! The Aussie writers had about quadruple the profanity in their reviews than I did! It made me realise that swearing is something that as Brits, we are much more conscious about than maybe other nationalities who are much more relaxed with it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As I wrote a few minutes ago when replying to orangutan, gotta give respect to a comment that starts with a fuck yeah!πŸ˜€

      Cool, yeah, definitely necessary at times, or just to emphasise a point or emotion, not for every review though, but if the book contains swearing then, no harm in the review doing so to, not all reviews need it, or would have it, I’d just like to feel that I can keep it and not change it just because someone might deem it vulgar.

      Totally true, damn stuffy brits!πŸ˜‚ definitely conscious of swearing and make it out to be far worse than it is, nah, maybe back in the day of sepia photos and showing ankles being deemed as risquΓ©, but not in today’s day and age, far worse going on than the occasional swear word.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Fuck yeah!! (gosh I hope that doesn’t put me in spam jail :p ) I totally agree with you on this. I’ve also wondered if I should swear in my reviews because I’m worried about sensitivity of my readers- but, particularly when it’s humour, I have to put those fears of offending people aside, because really this isn’t the worst thing anyone’s going to hear in their day and it’s not going to actually hurt them. I mean, isn’t swearing cathartic anyway? (That’s the excuse I use) haha considering music comes into my head by association, I don’t know whether to listen to Metallica’s “so what?” or some T-Swift πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gotta respect a comment that starts with ‘fuck yeah’ ha, I’m sure you won’t end up in spam jail, hell most of the comments on this post have swearing in them anyway!πŸ˜‚

      Lol, cathartic, yeah, that sounds good, let’s go with that, you have a point, it is and it’s definitely not the worst thing people here nowadays.

      Eurgh, T-swift, barf!🀒 If I had to listen to that then it’d be swearing galore, definitely offend people but, I don’t see the issue with the odd word, not every sentence, I didn’t mean that though I think some people thought that I did, just a bit to add colour and to feel secure that you can say fucking awesome, or Joffrey was an annoying little shit, I’m glad the incestuous little bastard is fucking dead and not get pulled up by the PC brigade getting there panties bunched over it.πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hahaha yeah I saw after I wrote that and was like few πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‚
        heheh yes- it’s like a “stub your toe” kind of thing- not a big deal, but it’s good to get it out!
        hahaha I really don’t care- music taste is so personal that “amazing” to one person can be shit to another- it really doesn’t offend me if someone likes/dislikes something I like/dislike (delete where appropriate πŸ˜‰ :p ) hahaa so true- and yes Joffrey was an annoying little shit that deserved to die. hehe the PC brigade can get screwed (in case you haven’t noticed, now I realised I’m free to swear, I’m dancing outside the spam jail singing “lalalaa you can’t get me!”) πŸ˜‚ Also, off topic, but why the hell are the PC lot still watching GOT- every year some reviewer says “that’s it, I’m done, *that* episode was too much!” and I’m over here thinking “wait that one? What the incest, rape and murder of the last five seasons was a-okay, but that last one was too far? You’ve got to be kidding me”. I don’t understand why those people watched past episode one tbh cos in that episode a kid gets pushed out a window for watching incestuous sex (mini rant there- had to get it out πŸ˜‰ )

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s very true, I generally rag on anyone who doesn’t like what I like, books and music, but it’s just joking and fun, as I believe everyone should be free to read and listen to what they like and enjoy, bit of winding people up is always fun though, yeah, I’m evil! πŸ˜‚

        Lol, I didn’t actually just mean GoT and the PC brigade, I just used Joffrey as an example as you could describe him as a vile young monster, or the more eloquent and plenty more colourful way I did. The PC brigade are everywhere lurking and stalking, it’s what they do. But yeah, those people who whinge about GoT really baffle me to, as you say, in the very first episode there was incestuous shagging going on and a kid got pushed out a window, if they really had an issue with it they’d have stopped watching it then, not continued on for 6 whole series, but I guess they watch it simply so that they can moan about it, such is the life of the PC brigade, they moan about and try to take the fun out of everything.😞

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hahahaha does it make me evil to say i totally understand that? πŸ˜‚
        Hehehe i know- and i latched onto that example, because, well, got obsessed over here πŸ˜‚πŸ˜
        Yes they are!! Exactly!!! Hahaha yes that seems to be their purpose in life. I always wonder at what point in the series they’re going to come along and say “that’s it- i quit” like a child throwing a tantrum (someone really needs to tell them NO ONE CARES what they watch on TV πŸ˜‚)

        Liked by 1 person

  30. “…my blog is a safe haven of anything goes, and your dirty, vulgar, filth infested potty mouth will be safe here.”

    I have found my people and they welcome me with open arms! I have quite the potty mouth in real life…. “Mother Fucker!” is probably my most frequently used exclamation. I just love it πŸ™‚

    For me personally, it depends on the type of book I am reviewing. When I review children’s books, middle grade, and YA (when it is geared for the younger side of the age range), obviously I will not use swear words because it wouldn’t be appropriate…. With regards to YA (geared towards older age range) and Adult books, again it depends on the tone of the book. Is the book beautiful & eloquent? Then I’m probably not going to swear… However, if the book was a crazy post apocalyptical book, I’m more likely to use colorful language…

    Great discussion post idea Drew!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, and yeah, I totally agree, Y-A isn’t for me, hell I don’t even know if it includes swearing or not, I’d presume so as films for that age range do, but yeah, if it was a book for kids, aimed at younger readers then no, I wouldn’t swear and it’d be weird using swearing to describe a kids book.

      But for books that contain swearing in them, thriller, horror, post-apocalyptic, fantasy, then why not use swearing, adds some colour and emotion to the review, not for every other word but a few times throughout the review. Lol at ‘beautiful and eloquent’ don’t think I read books like that, the one I’m currently reading has swearing on each page!πŸ˜‚

      Mother fucker is a wonderful exclamation, so much meaning.πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Maybe I’m the only one but I would actually like to see someone use the term poopy doo doo head in a review because I would find that hilarious, it’s all about the tone after all πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Foul language in reviews doesn’t bother me in the least and sometimes I think I should let out my inner monologue (which is riddled with profanity). Why would people be offended by profanity in reviews when most books have at least SOME swearing?

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Profanity is okay as long as it’s not overdone. i see the use of profanity as an extreme way to express oneself. If it’s overused, then my eyes glaze because I feel as if there’s nothing more to be said at that point. Profanity has more of an impact when used strategically. I’ve read blogs with profanity and it’s amusing at first, but it does get old.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. I don’t mind foul language , many a times it makes something funny to read and sometimes views about a book come across better in a review .

    In fact I don’t even remember noticing any foul language in my blog posts Β―\_(ツ)_/Β―

    Liked by 1 person

  35. I personally don’t like to read profanity in published book reviews – it is not like chatting to someone in your own home or in a pub etc. where anything goes.
    That being said, I don’t think bloggers should refrain from using profanity. The blog reader always has the choice to stop following the blog if the words used offend their sensitivities.

    Liked by 1 person

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