What’s in a word?


There is a very interesting discussion happening on a Ravelry forum that I frequent with regards to using swear words on a personal/knitting blog. I wanted to see if the readers of this here blog had any opinion on the subject?

I don’t think I have used many, if any, swear words here – but it really hasn’t been a deliberate choice. My written voice is pretty much the same as my in person dialogue, except for in this particular area. Not that I am saying I curse like a sailor, but I have been known to express my opinion in less than exemplary vocabulary.

So, would a designer swearing on their blog make you less likely to purchase one of their designs? Would you even notice?

I know that this can be both a generational and an “upbringing” kind of thing, so I am curious to know what the mix of opinions might be.

5 thoughts on “What’s in a word?

  1. Swearing in general doesn’t put me off, but anyone – designer or whatever – will put me off if it feels like the person is doing it for effect rather than because it’s their natural speech pattern. That goes for other types of language too, like, say, the sort of phrases often used in Evangelical Christian circles. It doesn’t bother me if it feels authentic, but quickly gets on my nerves if it feels like it’s being put on.

    People read blogs because they generate a sense of intimacy, a sense of a relationship with a real person. Those can be real two-way relationships, of course, but in a blog audience, they are one-sided more often than not. I do see where swearing might bother someone who had a particular image of a blogger in their mind and something like that forces them to question those assumptions.

  2. I definitely would notice! Personally, I would not ever use “one of those words” on my blogs. It’s just so unnecessary, and , in my opinion somewhat uncouth. I am no saint , and I do cuss now and then in my home environment, but never on my blog(s), and not generally in my life.

    As far as whether it would affect a purchase? Well, it is unlikely that I would be following someone who uses those sorts of words with regularity on their blog(s), and so it is unlikely that I would be aware that they sell patterns! I don’t think that it would deter me from buying a pattern that I really loved however. There are so many variables in this equation that it’s hard to answer definitively.

    I just don’t find swearing public attractive in either women or men. I have a friend who is a great person in general, but they swear a lot, and I find that it affects how much time I want to be in their company.

  3. For me, it depends on the context of the swearing. That goes for blogs and in real life. If you use a swear word because you just broke your toe, or your new shawl just completely felted or something, that makes sense. People who use swear words ALL.THE.TIME. bother me, because they no longer convey any meaning whatsoever. They are intended to be an easy way to say, “something crazy just happened and I am really annoyed/hurt/upset”. If you use one in every sentence it becomes less meaningful. =)

  4. Swearing at your knitting, at the pattern that’s missing important details, at the yarn that snags and knots in the ball, at deceptive gauge swatches, at your inability to count the stitches in a cast-on, or at your own bone-headed decision to ignore an impending disaster in the hope that it will un-disaster itself–none of that stuff bothers me at all. Some of that happens in my living room, and it might occasionally show up on my blog. (But I’m not a designer selling patterns through my blog, so it’s not as if I’m going to take a financial hit if I drop the f-bomb.)

    But swearing at people, belittling people who aren’t as clever as you or who don’t believe what you believe, bigotry, intolerance, narrow-mindedness–show me any of that stuff, no matter how elegantly worded, and I’m gone. I’m a fairly tolerant old lady–except that I don’t tolerate intolerance.

    So I think my tolerance regarding what’s said in a blog post hinges on who’s going to be hurt by what’s said. My knitting won’t suffer a blow to its esteem the way a person might. I don’t actually care which words someone uses to express a thought, but I care a lot about how that thought might harm someone else.

  5. Thank you all for taking the time to respond so thoughtfully. I don’t see my blog becoming a swear fest any time soon and I cannot even conceive of a situation where I would actually swear *at* someone in writing, I have a hard enough time envisioning a context where I would do that in person.

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