Thursday, 5 April 2012

rude words



There are some rude words in my historical novel. Always an issue. Bound to have bungled something. My book is set in the 1930s, and the people who swear are a very particular set, and I drew on various reading, and, well, whatever, this is not exactly the time and place, but my mind was definitely eased by this letter.

It's from a baseball team owner in 1898 who wanted to eradicate foul language from the game. It details various on-field profanities, including 'A dog must have f****d your mother when she made you' and 'You c**t-lapping dog'. The whole thing is well worth reading.

It's generally acknowledged as being from that date, by the way, but there is some doubt as to whether or not it was written by the owner or by someone writing a satire based on how foul-mouthed baseballers were. Interestingly, though it is not part of my book, one of my characters played very minor professional baseball in 1897-8.

Note 1: I know some people don't approve of bowdlerisation, but I also know that my blog is read behind a couple of firewalls that might label me an undesirable, which could hardly be further from what I am.


Note 2: I heard this letter on Hang Up and Listen, and I was going to send it to Letters of Note, but that's where they found it. Letters of Note don't miss much.

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