Do you curse?
I do. I admit it.
My mom (hi, Mom! And sorry!) was firmly against that kind of language in the house or in her presence but it crept in anyway especially after I hit high school age. I clearly remember the first time I used "pissed" in her presence. Boy, was she pissed! Poor woman. It was all downhill from there.
But because most of my friends cursed and everyone in my band--filled with guy-guys and blue collar workers and carpenters and other professionals from all walks of life--cursed, it just became part of my lexicon. Until I became a teacher.
I've cursed exactly once in front of my kids in my teaching career (so far, anyway. I've come *really* close this year...). I had an undiagnosed ADHD kid named Da'Shon who couldn't/wouldn't sit down. Ever. So I was constantly saying, "Da'Shon, sit down!" Except once, I didn't. It slurred together to, "Da-SHIT!" I was horrified. The kids thought it was absolutely hilarious but didn't think much more about it...or tell their parents about it. (I told my administrator to CYA--cover my arse--and he burst out laughing. He knew me and Da'Shon well.)
So, here's my question for you, fellow writers and readers. Do you notice cursing in a book? Does it turn you off? What about if it's a young adult book?
To me, it can be warranted but I've been turned off by stories that are filled with too much cursing, even if it fits the characters or situation. In real life, people might curse a lot (holy cow, you'd think my students were sailors of old by the amount of cursing they do in the hallways, especially when they think there aren't teachers around) but, in a book, I think it needs to be used sparingly and appropriately, for emphasis, mostly. I don't mind it in YA, either, as long as it's used in the right place by the right person. Cursing in a book just to curse really turns me off.
It also depends on the genre. With my YA adventure, there are a few well-chosen and carefully placed curse words, mostly to emphasis the terrible situations the characters find themselves in. But I recently started a romance and my female main character is really mad at the beginning of the story (she found her fiancee banging another woman on their wedding day) and she's got a pretty dirty mouth right now. I'm not fussing with it too much right now, since I just started writing it and she might end up with a much cleaner vocabulary on the rewrite but, right now, it suits.
So. What do you think about foul language?