On Cussing: Bad Words and Creative Cursing

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Swearing is awesome. It’s immensely satisfying, it draws attention, it adds emphasis, and it helps you handle pain. But that doesn’t mean you can scatter expletives willy-nilly throughout your writing and expect it to be effective each and every time. There’s an art to using profanity to maximize its impact in your writing, and Katherine Dunn knows more than most when it comes to curse words and the written word.

On Cussing examines not only a quick history of swearing — both word origins and the ebbs and flows of swearing in literature — but how best to employ it to build characters and establish their voices. Citing film and literary quotes, historical texts, and her own expansive experience with swearing in a colorful and thoroughly entertaining fashion, this brief treatise is both informative and an enjoyable read in its own right.

Loaded with advice and examples of new directions in which to take your own swearing endeavors, On Cussing is the perfect hit-and-run look at a complex and valuable topic, giving you what you need to get started and a launchpad from which to do further homework.

Go far beyond the usual four-letter words with On Cussing. By the unblinking red eye of Ra, you’re sure to learn something.


Reviewed By:

Author Katherine Dunn
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 64 pages
Publisher Tin House Books
Publish Date 2019-03-26
ISBN 9781947793262
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue January 2020
Category Pop Culture
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