WriPaMemNo Day 25: To Curse or Not to Curse?

Write Part of My Memoir

Welcome to the home stretch of my memoir challenge, wherein I discuss some key word choice decisions.

Cursing is Good for the Soul

I am a fan of a strong Anglo-Saxon language. I especially get a kick out of hearing women curse, breaking down good girl stereotypes. As the saying goes, well behaved women seldom make history.

Me, I throw the “f” word around with abandon if I’m in the company of other cursers — or if I’m by myself. I’m lucky I don’t have a mynah bird or a parrot to rat me out. My dog probably thinks my computer is a kind of disobedient pet, refusing to follow commands like f**k and sh*t, no matter how often I repeat them.

But while I curse like a sailor in real life, I generally avoid going blue on social media, on my blog, and in my memoir.

Why I Give No F**ks

The persona I’ve created for myself in Getting Naked for Money is hardly prudish, as the book’s title makes clear. I got divorced long before the events of the story occur, so sex out of wedlock is the only kind I describe. My character — a.k.a., me — has one-night stands and afternoon quickies with men she barely knows. When the book is finished, there will be not a single word of regret for behavior that some would call slutty.

But while my memoir traces my adventures of all varieties as a travel writer, my story is as much about my quest to become a published author as it is about travel.

This means:

  • I have to write well. Curse words, however colorful, tend to be a lazy way to express ideas and emotions.
  •  I want to capture the essence of my writing career. None of the articles or books I’ve published contains swear words.
  •  I’m afraid if I start cursing, I won’t be able to stop.

So if you see me and ask me how the f**k I am, I won’t be offended. I’ll probably answer in kind. But please don’t quote me on that.

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About the Author

Edie Jarolim is a writer and editor living in Tucson, Arizona. Sign up on this blog to get updates about her humorous tell-all/memoir, GETTING NAKED FOR MONEY: An Accidental Travel Writer Reveals All.

4 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Pamela says:

    Bwa ha ha!

    All interesting thoughts. Besides, cursing works best when it’s a surprise. Perhaps you’ll slip a little f-bomb into the acknowledgements. 🙂

  2. Mike Webster says:

    I’m conflicted about cursing. Neither the moralist nor the idealist in me endorses the practice; but in spite of them both, I do in fact drop f-bombs at the slightest provocation. (Usually from misbehaving inanimate objects, I hope.)

    I will judge no one else on his or her choices regarding naughty words; but in me, their issuance indicates moments of emotional weakness and brittleness. Whenever I’ve cursed, I’ve realized sometime thereafter that I took an easy way out, abrogating my responsibility to get to the root of what’s bugging me and to find a more creative and helpful way to deal with it. And the more I curse, the more impotent I feel.

    So while I will allude in my writing to my cursing as I’ve done above, I’ve decided never to use actual cursing unless I’ve found a very deliberate, specific and compelling reason to consider that choice necessary and superior to all other possible choices. I don’t think I’ve found one yet.

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