Interesting Ruling, Trust Us

March 1st, 2005 · No Comments
by Booksquare

Private Ryan is not indecent. You’re, like, all, why do I care?

You write. You’re trying to capture a character. Sure, that character says and acts in ways that some don’t like. You could change things, sure, but is that true to the character? We were in an airport recently, and a woman, barely, sitting next to us was on the phone. She made about fifteen phone calls. It was like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle, but we got the gist: she as going home to study, but forgot her books at school. Yeah, well, we’ll leave our assessment of relative intelligence for another post.

Every other word, literally, was a profanity. If we were to write this character, this person, we’d have to capture this. We would use commas like we had a salt shaker. Sure, we’d fight it, because there are a zillion other words, and, frankly, better way to punctuate a sentence.

A lot of things offend us. Violence, particularly. Belittling women (a sitcom and commercial favorite). Belittling men (see previous). But we create characters that don’t reflect our personal belief system, and, sure, we can mold them to our (perfect) image, but that’s not true to the character. Soldiers in battle aren’t careful with language, and language, even obscene language, sends a message. It may seem gratuitous, but sometimes it’s true to the character. And if a movie can be considered indecent, so can a book.

But, yeah, reality and fiction are different things. Every other word is too much.

File Under: Square Pegs