This post is inspired from some books, which I’ve read or dropped half-way recently.
I’ve been wondering when did this happen: A marked erosion of language in modern fiction and deteriorating standards of vocabulary.
When I was a youngster, there was a striking difference between good literature and cheap novels and the students of literature were advised to avoid the latter kind of books. Though D.H. Lawrence was a prescribed author, but his ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ was not available in the libraries. When I could lay my hands on this novel, I didn’t find anything offensive in the language. Probably it is the theme of his novel that raised eye-brows.
Nobody seems to care about any such aspect of books now. Profane language and curse words are acceptable. Themes can be as obscene as never read. Many modern authors consider it the normal vocabulary of people and want to connect with them. Probably their brains are wired differently, they have been hearing such words at home, which may sound rational to them.
If a character is disgusted, they use a “F” word. If he is frustrated, same word, if he is angry, upset or stressed, their word doesn’t change!
Is it realism, as those authors claim?
Is it the rat race to immediate success?
Showing or telling the story in a conversational manner doesn’t give a permit to use profane language!
If teenagers are using such words, they are hearing them from their parents, friends, cousins or uncles. When they read them in the books, they get the message that such language is appropriate. They grow up with the use of indecent phrases and expressions, which become their second nature.
Do you think some authors who use “F” and “S” words to convey anger and frustration in each dialogue are doing their real job, which is to describe the emotions and psychological demeanor of their characters?
Don’t you think they need to develop their vocabulary to explain the reactions of their characters?
To my mind, such books, with vulgar thoughts and language are no less than a storm in the tea cup, their value diminishes within days, they would be forgotten and buried in the rubbish of unwanted literature. Most of the times, I drop such a book.
A good writer doesn’t need to introduce himself. His language conveys his stature. He/she doesn’t stoop to the level of cheap tricks to make his books popular. Even erotic scenes are written in a creative manner by mindful writers. I’ve read some fabulous books without a single curse word.
Do you think readers are becoming immune to curse words? Please share your views.
– Balroop Singh.