Saturday, June 29, 2013

Language: diluting your message?

If you're like me, it's entirely possible you've had this experience over and over again: you read a blog post, or perhaps and graphic, and you nod along, thinking "I agree with everything this says!".
But you don't share it, because for one reason or another, you don't feel you can share such a profanity laden  piece of writing.
Your reasons for not sharing may vary. It may be your personal sensibilities. It may be because family members, whether your grandmother or your child, would read it. It may be, (and this is where I fall), that due to your employment you have to take more care with your online image.

To be clear, I am not 100% opposed to swearing, even the occasional F-bomb. Rather than raising my kids to never swear, ever, I have taught them to never swear AT or ABOUT a person, or in front of the wrong audience, or unless they really mean it. Calling someone a profane name? Not cool. Swearing because you just dropped your very favourite, limited edition mug and it broke? Totally legit. Just not in front of Grandma.

That said.... dear bloggers, please know that your posts full of one F-bomb after another may make your message LESS heard, rather than MORE heard, and in two ways. First, there are people, and I am not the only one, who are not sharing your very passionate message because many of our friends and family will not be impressed with how you express it. Secondly, some people out there are overusing it.
Yes, there are times when strong language is called for. IMO, the severity of the situation would determine the level of profanity that's appropriate. But when EVERYTHING one says or writes is littered with the strongest of language, how am I supposed to know what you're most passionate about? Does a change in the Starbucks menu really anger you as much as rape culture? Can the way the season of "Walking Dead" ended really anger you as much as drone strikes on civilians?
Anyone remember the movie "Say Anything"? Remember the scene where John Cusak's character s in the phone booth, talking to his sister, his heart broken?

He's upset, and he uses strong language. Now, unless I missed it (and I dd watch the movie in the past year) that was the only use of the F-word in the movie. It was quite effective at expressing the character's emotional state. Why? Because it stood out. The whole movie was not littered with that language, which sent the message to viewers that This Is Important.

I'm not trying to tell people how to write. People can write however they want. The question is,who are they trying to reach? Is using profanity over creativity more important than getting their message out?


At 9:03 AM, Blogger Friendly Neighborhood Librarian said...

Jenna, You have such a great way with words! Thanks!

At 4:39 PM, Blogger Jenna Carodiskey-Wiebe said...

Thank YOU!


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