Friday, July 6, 2012

A few words on some words in The Missionary Position

TMP is a story set in the 1930s. Back then things were different. Language was different. Decorum was different. How one handled oneself in a social setting with others in the family home rarely entailed the use of four-lettered expletives. Sure, these might escape kids’ or parents’ mouths outside of the home amongst their friends, depending on the sort of group they hung out with, but contemporary decorum had it that they did not use such language in the home, nor in social gatherings among strangers or in other friends’ family homes.

So, why am I going here do you ask? It has to do with the text in TMP. There are some four-letter words in there. Is their use untruthful to the time period the story is set in? Absolutely not.

I’ve chatted with more than a few folks who lived during this time, and I’ve seen even more interviewed on television. My decision to implement those words generally comes from the fact that the further folks wandered from home, and especially if that wandering took them to far off places in the world, the more at ease they were at letting such language escape their lips. Not that they spoke freely as kids and adults do today with every fifth word being a four-letter devil, but when they encountered stressful situations or got particularly angry…well, the word existed at the time, they knew it existed, and it fit the situation so they used it. And why not?

So, if any of you might wonder why I chose to throw some of that language in the book, there you have it.