Screenwriting : To swear or not to swear... in a screenplay by Dorian Cole

Dorian Cole

To swear or not to swear... in a screenplay

In the recent movie, The Family, the main character uses the F word in a million ways to express everything. So do his early teen children. Many screenwriters say it is essential for characters to express themselves like reality. Yet when you watch the same movie on broadcast TV, with those not so nice words silenced out or reframed in other language, the movie is just as good, and I actually liked Total Recall better without the language. Yeah, I occasionally cut loose with a nasty word in anger. I just witnessed a group of 20 people, from all walks of life, discuss various topics for two hours. Not one found it necessary to swear to express their opinion. And their meaning was clear. Over the last 10 years, I have never heard anyone in any of these groups use language that was in bad taste. And yet they express themselves very well. Are movies about reality? I have never seen a movie that is about reality. The situations are fictitious, the dialogue is focused on conveying messages, the costumes, settings, and makeup are used to create an environment and mask reality, time is humongously compressed to enhance drama and leave out all of the rest of life. This is true even in gritty dramas. But language? "Reality" is used to justify turning a PG movie into an R movie, thus throwing away a large part of the potential audience. A recent post prominently displayed on Facebook and other places, purported that science has proven that "People who use a lot of swear words are more honest and trust worthy." It was junk science if it was science at all. http://badpsychologyblog.org/post/55885010495/are-people-who-use-a-lot-o...

Cherie Grant

people who don't swear are so judgemental. I can't say I've ever liked the personality of someone who doesn't swear for this reason. i put a lot of swearing in my writing. i have no issues with it all. but i have written scripts without any swearing. it's not a conscious move. it either suits the story or it doesn't. some books/films/tv shows are better off for having swearing and there are some that don't that could do with some. i'll bet if the study stated that people who don 't swear are more honest you wouldn't be holding the same stance. you'd be using it to bash over people's heads reasons they shouldn't swear.

D Marcus

For me how a character speaks isn't about what I would do - it's what the character would do. How a character speaks isn't about "reality" - it's about the character I create. It's not about science (junk or not) - it's all about the character I create.

Dorian Cole

Just to clarify - and I realize this can be a sensitive topic - while some may read my post as judgmental, it doesn't say that writers should or should not use expletives in dialogue. It does pose a question that asks, "Do I have to fill it with expletives to keep it real, or is there an alternative to consider?" It can change the rating, which is a financial consideration that can determine whether it makes money or not. My post deals more with audience preferences, what is "real?" and financial realities.

Dorian Cole

Alle, I like your idea of selectivity. Where is an expletive really required? Nothing against the other posters, but a steady flow of expletives is kind of like all of the bullets flying in an action movie and the good guys never get hit. Shooting has no impact. In studies of communication going back many decades... almost a century, the "effectiveness" of communication always comes down to non-verbal cues. It isn't the language that's effective, it's the way it's delivered.

Joan Ottulich

Watching classics and, in particular noirs, people such as Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney showed their incredible and believable toughness by their magnificent acting. Sometimes there can be a lot of action, vulgarity, wordiness and you have nothing; it can all be in a stance, boldness, a look and you know everything about the character.

D Marcus

I think your question, "Do I have to fill it with expletives to keep it real, or is there an alternative to consider?" is much more interesting than each writers personal opinion on whether or not they watch movies with profanity or when and how they, personally, swear. A character who is an English elite-class barrister might swear less in public than a working-class bar tender. It may be unrealistic for a Liverpool bartender to speak without colorful (colourful?) language. Same with a character who is a black rapper in St. Louis. Or a NYC construction worker from Jersey. So yes, a writer should use expletives depending on the character they are creating. And, yes, there are alternatives to consider.

Dorian Cole

The question I would ask now is, "Is swearing a stereotype that is a quick method of colorful characterization, or is it truly representative?" In the groups I mentioned, there are people from all walks of life, facing all of the illness, tragedies, problems, and challenges that others face. Many are suffering and in pain. They often express their feelings and frustrations. They may curse like a sailor in some settings, but in that setting among other people, they express themselves extremely well to state exactly what they feel, and they don't swear. I have a lot of friends from different walks of life. Some swear every other word, and some don't swear when they are among others. I'm not offended one way or the other. Many people seem to be very selective about when they swear. So is swearing a stereotype and quick characterization, is it truly representative, or is it just the writer's preference? I think it is something to ask when creating characters and dialogue.

D Marcus

Sure, a character who swears can be a stereotype. Often stereotypes are important in a character. And a character who swears can be truly representative of the person a writer wants to portray. How a character speaks is indicative of who they are. I believe who a character is and how they behave is always the writer's preference.

Phillip "The Genuine Article" Hardy

First, let me start off by saying this is a great topic. I have written screenplays with no profanity and with lots of it. I had to sanitize a script for a literary agent last week who is shopping it as a Lifetime Channel type television movie. I accidentally left an F-word and a son of a B in the script. It when out to a producer who read the script and went ballistic. So some folks have delicate sensibilities. In world where films like “Wolf of Wall Street” are laced with so much profanity, it becomes a challenge for some to write realistic dialogue without some strategic use. However, the argument about old school films having no profanity certainly supports an argument that language is art and it’s more challenging to use minimal profanity or none at all. Thank god we live in a country where a writer has the freedom to choose what they write. For me I say do whatever makes the material ring true.

Chris Patrick

Hey this is a great question! I think that usage of profane words depends on several factors. The first thing I think of is the genre of the screenplay. You can curse in a funny way, a totally pissed off way or whatever. Manipulate the use of those colorful words to suit your script. Also, knowing your characters well will dictate when to use them. Do you have characters that have a short temper? Maybe they're cool and collected but if you say something about their mother or their narrow urethra (KOTH reference lol), they'll curse you out because it's a sensitive topic for them. Maybe they only curse when they're drunk. Why do they drink? I've taken out some f bombs because it just didn't sound right in the speech and I've added some to really bring out the emotion my character is feeling when they say their line. It's all at your discretion, buddy.

D Marcus

Phillip, are you sure the producer has "delicate sensibilities"? Perhaps the producer was looking for something specific. You were asked to "sanitize" your script for that producer and you accidentally did not. I'm not picking on you, just suggesting that the producer who "went ballistic" did so because you didn't send the version he was expecting. Producers know their audience. They know what they are looking for. If a producer is looking for a script with no profanity then the reaction may not have beed due to some people having delicate sensibilities. Chris, I have not found genre to be the issue when it comes to how the characters speak. To me it is only about the character and what is right for that person.

Chris Patrick

Would you want Jules Winnfield type speeches in a G rated film about a little league baseball team? I think not.

Phillip "The Genuine Article" Hardy

D Marcus: I actually apologized to the producer for missing two spots in the script. However, we're talking something that can be fixed in thirty seconds in Final Draft. So sorry, I thought the guy overreacted and we could've have bypassed a lot of drama if we had done it that way. We're all adults that have heard these words spoken many times. So on that point, I'll have do disagree with you.

Cherie Grant

'Old school' films had stringent censoring and DID NOT always reflect the film-makes desires. I feel quite confident that many 'old school' films would have had profanity and would have been better films in some cases for it.

Phillip "The Genuine Article" Hardy

Cherie: So that means Bogie could say something like "Here's looking at you a-hole" or how about Gable saying "Frankly my dear I don't give a F*%k!". Alright, I'll concede to you on that point.

D Marcus

Cherie, some "old school" films did have profanity. The producer felt Rhett Butler needed to say "damn" - considered profane in 1939 - so he and the studio took the hit. Selznick knew swearing was important to the character and the scene. I think you're right; more pictures made under the Breen Code would have had profanity if writers were allowed to write what they felt was best for the character. Not because swearing is a stereotype and quick characterization, but because it is truly representative of the way people speak.

Joan Ottulich

"She tried sitting on my lap while I was still standing" nothing beats smart dialogue that stimulates the imagination.

Joe Trlica

Dorian, You made your points well in your discussion of "swear or not swear". Thank you. I think that sometimes swear words are used as filler to give more time to the speaker for him/her to decide what they really want to say next.

D Marcus

Excellent point, Joe. And if the character you are writing is someone who uses swear words as filler to give more time for him/her to decide what they really want to say next then using swear words would be realistic. It's all about what is right for the characters we are writing.

Beth Fox Heisinger

People swear. Everyone swears. Swearing is part of our culture and deeply imbedded in language. Using it strategically in your writing can add great authenticity. It's all about creating great characters. Sometimes one has to suppress personal preferences and be completely objective in writing. You are not your characters. However, with that said, too much profanity can be rather boring and distracting. Again, it's about using various elements thoughtfully and strategically. And, yes, of course one has to curb colorful metaphors when writing for a G, PG and even a PG-13 rated film -- that's a given! Also, another mute point is to compare today's language use in film with that of films made in the 1930s. Different culture. Different times. Different rating system. Different censorship rules.

Michael Hager

I think it's more impactful for characters to curse in meaningful moments, or else the effect becomes worn, IMO.

James Durward

Minimize swearing. Only use where absolutely necessary. Swearing is too often used to try to cover up lazy writing.

Joanne McCue

In life now, we swear as if it is second nature to everyone - it's not. I have a mouth like a sailor at times but I know many people who either don't swear at all or it's a very rare occurrence. In screenplays, I always want to feel that it's appropriate for my character to swear. Swearing - in real life, screenplays or theatre - can be very effective if used correctly and in moderation. I have nothing against swearing but if I feel it's done in an attempt to make things "gritty" it doesn't work for me. That is always so obvious when you watch something. Your words should stand on their own without swearing - it should be a seasoning. Well that's just my thoughts but I don't think it's unfair to say any of that.

James Durward

Very good concept - use swearing as a "seasoning"

JC Young

Comedian Billy Connelly used to say he used the F word like punctuation. And some people do. I think there are writers often feel they need to add them to be 'edgy'. I'm sure I've added a bit of the salt as well. You can say things that shock though without resorting to those 7 deadly words. Another interesting point, getting back to this idea of causing a ratings change simply due to dialog. Think of the movies that are grossly effected because broadcast TV and basic cable have to show edited versions of films. Sometimes I'm not sure why they bothered. But, as writer you know your words will be changed for such things. Might be good to think about before your gritty mobster ends telling a guy to go 'fruit himself' because he's a 'cock-a-doodle' on FX. Few of the most memorable movie lines have obscenities. Rather, they make an impact in other fashions. "I'm gonna' make him an f'ing offer he can't refuse." "You can't handle the f'ing truth!" "I'm the g-damn Batman!" "Show me the motherf'ing money!" Doesn't really change their impact does it? It might even take some away.

Lisa Clemens

Case #13 was originally going to be rated R, so I had the guys (young adults) speak as most 17-20 year old kids do..F-bombs were dropped, especially anytime something bad happened. Then it was decided we were going to go PG-13. So they were changed.

Shane M Wheeler

I think it's easy to over use them, but it's just one of many tools in the writer's tool box to convey meaning. Not every story needs it, and some that may initially seem like they do can have them toned down or cut out. However, it depends on what you're writing, who you're writing, the genre, etc. I have a horror script with very low levels of violence, that I could scrub every swear word out of if I wanted to. But the subject matter is so extreme in nature, PG-13 is simply not possible. Under distress, people often swear, and when writing horror, I put the characters in a lot of distress. Certainly I can sanitize things, but when the guy next to them was ripped in half by a forklift, I don't think some gentler language will really impact things in a positive way for the story. If I already accept the R rating, there is no reason to show restraint if swearing gives a more believable (not realistic, btw) reaction.

D Marcus

I am fascinated by how many of you feel swearing has to do with story or genre or even what rating the finished move may get. I've never thought how a character speaks has anything at all to do the the genre of the movie or the story. To me how a character speaks is entirely dependent on the character I'm creating.

Richard "RB" Botto

To write is to find honesty in every character. If that honesty includes swearing, swear away.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Couldn't agree with you more RB. :)

Beth Fox Heisinger

If you are writing a family film you will have to tone it down. With that said, some of my favorite uses of "profanity" came from DreamWorks animation; "Shiitake mushroom!" and "Hoover Dam!"

Lisa Clemens

Well as I said, I wrote my characters honestly, but I had to tone down the swearing because I was hired to write it for someone else. The production team decided it would be PG-13 and so, to make it a film for a wider audience, I was told to tone it down. My characters didn't suffer at all from the censoring. In fact, during a set visit I was repeatedly told how the characters were so well written and that the personalities came right through, (often unusual in a horror!) A few select words don't make the characters, their actions and interactions are key :)

Chris Patrick

Lisa, I really like that last sentence of your comment!

Dorian Cole

Richard, I'm a big proponent of honesty in characterization.

Richard "RB" Botto

Only way it will read "true".

James Durward

Not all characters are intelligent as Becca might suggest. If the character represents a person that would swear, then swearing is appropriate - that doesn't mean that every second word is a swear word - use judiciously.

Beth Fox Heisinger

The use of foul language does not measure one's intelligence. Does swearing show one's vulgarity? Sure. Their attitude? Yeah, okay. Personal character? Yes. Truth be told, highly intelligent people know how to throw down bad and colorful metaphors better than anyone else. And, most have better timing. :D

James Durward

I agree but apparently one of the other posters does not

Deneta Davis

I have no problem using swear words when writing if I feel like that's how that character would naturally speak. You can't write a prisoner character or a mobster and never have them swear. It's not authentic. And when I see movies that work around cursing when it's needed, in my opinion, it makes the movie feel off and the writer look inexperienced.

Cherie Grant

Don't forget people, good, decent, highly intelligent and moral people swear profusely too. You can have an IQ of 160 and be the biggest cusser on earth. You can be a prisoner and never utter on swear. Don't pigeon hole who swears. I'm a decent person and I swear everyday quite happily thank you.

Gordon Olivea

A character arc can be shown by cursing. They straighten up and by the end on the story they don't really curse anymore, or they fall apart and start to curse. A sweetheart can curse for a big effect, for an act break perhaps (what if Aunt May cursed at Peter Parker to wake him up?)

Chris Patrick

Great thread we've got going here!!!

Frances Macaulay Forde

For (my favorite) example: In the movie :"4 Weddings and a Funeral' the first 5 words of dialogue come from Hugh Grant's character. Each is the dreaded 'F-word' and the usage and repetition is (IMHO) completely indicative of character - and totally apt. No other word would do!

Ricki Holmes

James Cagney played a bad guy - Bogart dialogue was edgy - neither of them used anything like a swear word. It seemed to me, their characters were not to be messed with. Can anyone explain why they didn't swear and also point out as to how swearing would have made those characters more compelling?

JC Young

Rikki in those days films had to be approved by a church run ratings board

Beth Fox Heisinger

Wasn't Cagney's and Bogart's first film "The Roaring Twenties" from 1939? ... Different times, different social sensibilities, different censorship restrictions. Had they had the more open expression of today who knows what language they may have used?

Frances Macaulay Forde

...must admit, even though I thought Hugh's dialogue was appropriate to his character and the opening scene, I'm not a fan of swearing in scripts I write. I know the script will probably change once it leaves my hands, but while I have hold, I prefer not to swear but find other ways to express my characters.

Ricki Holmes

seems to me its a lot easier to come up with any number of swear words than to actually have to think? Maybe I need to go back to church so I can write better dialogue? Language aside, anyone going to suggest that Bogarts characters weren't compelling, regardless of social sensibilities. Perhaps Casablanca was actually a load of crap then?

Dillon Mcpheresome

this last weekend I watched Blazing Saddles... again. I loved the scene where they introduced the black sheriff and the mayor of the town said he's a ni.... Then a noise covered it up. then the rest of the movie cut out the whole word. I guess we don't need that word. But then I'm not sure if it was the same movie someone tried to say God and they blocked that. And in the script I'm writing now I'm afraid to use the word shit when a character was trying to express herself after being robbed of everything she owned. Of course I don't like people to talk like proverbial truck drivers but people do swear. Hit your finger with a hammer to test theory. People swear in reality. I wrote a book a long time ago and I tried to write words the way people really talked around me. The Black People I knew at the time use the phrase motherfucker and the word nigger all the time. I learned people don't like to read those words because they attribute racism and vulgarity to me. But I use those words to make people wake up if they are not paying attention, or want to emphasize a point. Or if I hit my finger with a hammer I say, "Shit!" People hearing those words on tv don't want to expose their kids to that kind of language. But do real people talk like that yes. I think using that kind of talk needs to be used sparingly.

JC Young

Blazing Saddles edited for television ruins most of the jokes and sours Mel Brooks genius and original intention.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Ricki -- We are not suggesting that classic films are not great, compelling movies -- they are!!!!!! They are the basis of film today and are highly regarded. However, basing an argument about the use of swearing in film seems rather mute when using classic films as a comparison because at the time they were made, film makers were not allowed to use foul language. Period. They did not have that creative choice. Today we do. Perhaps a better argument about the use of swearing in film is to compare more current films.

Beth Fox Heisinger

JC -- Totally agree. Censoring or editing Mel Brooks should never be done. EVER. :)

Ricki Holmes

I ll drink to that - but - I still feel most strongly that swearing does not maketh a "tough" character.

Deneta Davis

It doesn't and shouldn't make the character at all. But if cursing feels authentic for that character, I have no problem using harsh language.

D Marcus

Ada, what if the writer is writing a character who is lazy and boring and is using harsh language as a way to show that? Is that a lazy, boring, way to write such a character?

Georgia Hilton

hell, we drop the F bomb so many time in our new film that it's becoming a drinking game....

Lisa Clemens

It can be used to great effect to show a character's mind set. I have a character who is mild mannered for most of the script to the point of almost being like "Mr. Rogers". - But more events start unfolding and soon he is under more pressure and hardship. Tragic and horrifying events follow him relentlessly and he becomes paranoid and frightened. When things can't get much worse for him, and he just can't take anymore, he lets out a truly vulgar curse word when he finally strikes back in anger. I think it's a perfect way of showing where his head is.

Dillon Mcpheresome

good use of vulgarity Lisa.

Pj McIlvaine

Fuck yes!

Dillon Mcpheresome

oh wait I think PJ has something to say.

D Marcus

Ada, I respect that you, personally, would not buy a ticket to hear rotten language. I respect that you, personally, would stop watching when you see a film that has expletives every other word or so. I would never argue your personal choices. I am asking about your comment that writers who write a character who uses swear words is lazy. If I were writing a character who is grew up in a lower class, hard working, coal mining family and has heard all the people around him using swear words his entire life, would you think I was lazy and/or boring if I had that character use filthy language? I agree with you that very often swearing is a lazy, boring way to speak. I agree that colorful can be entertaining and that many people are turned off by filthy language. What I asked was; if a writer is writing a character who speaks in a lazy, boring way, (even filthy or "rotten") does that mean, to you, the writer is even more lazy and boring?

Chris Patrick

Ada, I agree with your point on the use of "uh" and other words like it. If a writer put those things in a script, repeatedly, I believe it would deter most actors. On the flip side, I think that if you sprinkle your use of those kinds of words, you can allow the actor to get the general idea of the character. Then they can, to the best of their abilities, bring out the depth in the character they're playing. Also, you may find that as you're editing & making your speeches as concise as possible (while still retaining meaning) that you can cut a colorful word out every now and then, and feel just as good about the speech.

D Marcus

In my opinion this is more about character than mere words. I'm in the minority, I see. Using Ada's example of a character who stammers; in some cases it might be necessary to the character for the writer to write in the pauses and hesitations. I agree it could be very annoying to the reader and the actor, however, it is essential to the character and actually affects the story at some point a writer should use that tool.

Phillip "The Genuine Article" Hardy

Ada: I agree with you 100%. Let the actor put in the pause words if he/she wants. I say write economic conversational dialogue. And f#%k it, if that necessitates some profanity peppered in, I say let it rip. Great topic that continues to stimulate further discussion.

Lisa Clemens

I just watched "Angriest Man in Brooklyn"...BEST use of profanity in a film. It would no be the same without it!

D Marcus

Ada, I'm really curious about your answer to my question. I would love to know your thoughts.

Dorian Cole

Thanks, Ada. That's kind of what I'm getting at in another discussion I started. http://www.stage32.com/lounge/screenwriting/Dilemma-Words-or-non-verbal-...

D Marcus

Okay, Ada, I get it. You don't want to answer my questions. I'm sorry you won't but I must respect your decision.

Cherie Grant

Argh, just because someone swears does not mean they are stupid or poor or blue collar. You can have a foul mouthed barrister with an IQ of 180. Infact that's a character that would be immensely interesting. You guys are being really limited in your views of human beings. Get out and meet more people guys.

Cherie Grant

Swearing is NOT the easy way out. It just is what it is. it's part of any language whether you like it or not.

D Marcus

Ada has a very narrow view of creating a character. Calling writers lazy or suggesting it is not creative to create a character who uses specific words is, in my opinion, narrow minded. We writers create the character that is best for our story. If that character is someone who uses harsh language that is not a lazy, uncreative, easy way out of something. It is a well thought out choice. I listen to how people speak. I love eavesdropping on conversations to get a feel of the way people actually talk to each other. It is not an easy way out of anything to try to capture they way people actually speak when creating a character and writing dialogue.

Lisa Clemens

In Angriest Man in Brooklyn, Robin Williams' character was a foul mouthed person. It was part of his personality (for a reason) and in the end of the film (which I will not spoil) his cursing habit made for a touching and funny last scene. Yes it can be used to great effect in this way and in the way I have mentioned in my earlier post for the latest film I'm working on.

Raymond Arthur O'Connor

I largely agree that swearing too much (or indeed at all) is rather unreal. Certain types of work places has swearing constantly in real time and often port-raid rightly so. I must add that the MOST annoying aspect of screenplay narrative, is when husband and wife banter includes their first names after every damn sentence - i.e. Will you be home early John - Probably be held up Jane - See you when you get home John...... That is truly fucked up!!

Lesa Babb

I'm writing a sci fi thriller. Because a few main characters are wo/men of substance- politicians, soldiers and a sprinkling of college coeds, I had thrown in the towel on avoiding swear words, even the ubiquitous F-bomb. (The latter I avoid like the plague, mindful of MPAA. And my Southern grandmother, God rest her.) Then during my morning run, I caught the tail end of an interview with an actress I admire... who stated her disdain for modern movies, because they aren't "smart" enough. Pressed to elaborate, she pointed to a clue that, to her, was obvious: Modern films "resort to swear words... when they could just as easily have used other words." Her words hit home like silt in a bayou, causing my grandmother's voice to bubble up from within. A lady of fiery intelligence and sunny wit, Gram perennially chastised us girls, that is, my sisters and me... reminding us that to swear was "a sure a sign of a limited vocabulary." One shower and two cups of coffee later, I was back at my desk, ready to make another pass. To this day, I continue to seek out material and writers smarter than I - high caliber movies and TV shows whose writing I admire. When I'm struggling, I look for films with casts of characters set in worlds similar to one I'm creating/inhabiting. It's a bit of a grind, but I do believe my work is the better for it.

Cherie Grant

after reading so much judgement from people on here I've realised I need to write a character that hates swearing and thinks people who do have a limited vocabulary and then challenge her every notion of the human race and in it's variety.

D Marcus

Cherie, is what you are reading from people on here judgment or opinion? I see most of this discussion as the opinion of my fellow writers. I'm enjoying the discussion and learning how other writers think.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Award winning films such as "Good Will Hunting" utilized profanity to great effect in its dialog and created an authentic, visceral story experience. Can you even imagine a group of young, blue-collar, Boston guys NOT swearing?!! NO!!! To have curtailed the swearing in that film would have made it disingenuous. Write the hard truths of a character, a world. Why stifle yourself? Utilize every expression available to you as a writer. Create a rich, authentic, truthful experience not a censored, safe, superficial report. Scripts should be less Wikipedia and more like love letters. Emotional. Truthful. Pithy.

Cherie Grant

In other words BE A BRAVE WRITER. I can't stand cowardly writing.

Cherie Grant

I wil be defensive. You've done nothing, but denigrate people for swearing and typing in swear words in their writing. You've put those people down as stupid, common and with limited vocabulary. Your words. If it was just about taste then there'd be no need to be insulting.

Phillip "The Genuine Article" Hardy

You go girl! What were we talking about again? F#*k it, I can't remember.

Brian Wareham

Great question. Script language, in my opinion, is script and tone defined. Cursing should flow from the character and not be jammed in for shock value. In my opinion, foul language should be used if it fits the scene and character, and makes sense in the world the characters live in.

Cherie Grant

Tell that to Tarantino and all those highly successful Horror movie makers. What a weak argument.

Maria Blanco H.

The characters swear depending on the situation and on who they are. You can´t censor your script thinking on Network TV. I was asking myself if my script was going to be rated R for the swearing but now I think that it will be rated R for all the lesbian sex, so never mind. Let´s not be hypocrites.

Maria Blanco H.

Not at all, I´m stating my point of view and this is a very interesting topic. I´m so glad someone brought it out. No argument, dialog.

Dillon Mcpheresome

This thread is makingth me want to swear. It started off with good intentions but I think it is done. Bye

D Marcus

I find it interesting that a conversation filled with passion makes some people proclaim they are done with it. Joseph Joubert said, "The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress." Can it be that if one feels they are "losing" they just can't take it?

Dillon Mcpheresome

Tell me my friend or should say, motherfucker. We made progress. The only thing I feel I'm losing with this thread is patience. I get it already. It was good and interesting but where can we go that would make swearing any more beneficial?

Phillip "The Genuine Article" Hardy

D. Marcus: You are absolutely correct. Often when discussions become more passionate with disagreement, some participants run for cover. I had a heated discussion last week at linkedin that had the same effect on some of the posters. As someone posted earlier, when it comes to choice of language, there isn’t necessarily a right way. Yet, I find many writers are extremely didactic and rigid about what they believe is the correct methodology for writing scripts. I say do whatever floats your boat creatively; and secondarily, whatever you can to get your work in front of people interested in making films.

Andrea Balaz

movies are not about reality, and movie characters are not real people, but devices to get the authors intent across. I'd rather tell a good, strong story to keep the audiences attention (, and I like to use humour too), or at least I try! But you can also use arousal or anger instead, and violating social conventions, or showing plain sex works too. I guess it's what you as the author want to say with the character and his/her development that is important. In how you say it you show yourself. A character does not have to use strong language to be strong.

Lesa Babb

I love swearing. So much I can swear in multiple languages. I just can't do it without hearing Gram's voice in my head. LOL And yes, it's because I miss her bloody dearly. Apologies to anyone took my comment as a personal affront. Any offense was unintended.

Chris Patrick

As I'm watching Wolf of Wall Street right now I can't help but say that this movie is filled with colorful language but I didn't realize it half of the time because most of it seems so natural and free flowing. Maybe it's just a case of different strokes for different folks. Some will hate a lot of profanity, some can tolerate it, some won't mind it at all.

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