Booking Through Thursday: Decorum

btt2.jpg The Booking Through Thursday question for this week is:

 Do you have “issues” with too much profanity or overly explicit (ahem) “romantic” scenes in books? Or do you take them in stride? Have issues like these ever caused you to close a book? Or do you go looking for more exactly like them?

Yes, I do have issues with them. Because I am a Christian, one of my principles is to be careful of what I put in my mind, based on Psalm 101:3 (“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes”) and Philippians 4:8 (“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”) I am responsible and accountable for my thoughts. I don’t want to trigger or feed the wrong kind of thinking by what I am reading.

I do come from a non-Christian home and I do know people “in real life” use profanity (and no, I don’t avoid them based on the above verses — I think those verses are referring to what we voluntarily feed our minds on). But I really encounter it very rarely in everyday life, so books that have a profusion of profanity are not only offensive to me but are unreal. Besides, there are so many descriptive and wonderful words, why resort to profanity? It seems lazy to me.

I do not object if a book contains a sexual encounter, even adultery — after all, even the Bible contains such scenes. But it is not explicit in its description except to some degree in the Song of Solomon. Even from a literary standpoint, it’s usually more effective to leave more to the imagination than to spell out every detail.

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4 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: Decorum

  1. Despite being an atheist, I agree with you to some extent. I grew up with that verse from the Bible and I know that it influences me: I too choose not to fill my mind with ugliness or unpleasantness, except on those occasions when I feel I have a moral obligation to face up to it, so that I might make my small contribution to changing it. I have less of a problem with profanity, not surprisingly, except when it is intended precisely to offend, as is often the case.

    In the literary case, I agree that it can be much more effective to be subtle.

  2. Pingback: Booking Through Thursday: Objectionable Elements | Stray Thoughts

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