Writers Overuse Expletives

Use Fleshy Words Instead

By Annette Rey

There was a time when using an expletive lent drama and shock to a piece of writing. The script for the movie Gone With the Wind shocked the audience when Rhett Butler said to Scarlett O’Hara, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Inclusion of the word damn was much debated, but the filmmakers decided to let it remain in the dialogue. In that era (1939), this word was explosive on film and powerful in the context of the scene. Since words such as those were rarely heard in broadcasting, the use of it had large impact on the listening viewers.

How writing has changed!

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