Help needed for work: could anyone please tell me how to swear, not too obscenely, in English-South African and Afrikaans?

    As lots of you know my work is editing books and, coincidentally, I have two on the go at present that feature a South African white male. One writer's character uses no bad language at all under stress, which is unrealistic and I need to suggest words he could include. The other writer uses a lot and I don't know how strong they would be considered, and it does matter since that book is aimed at a publisher who never accepts VERY strong language but will allow for national variations.

    +1  Views: 325 Answers: 2 Posted: 10 years ago

    2 Answers

    Are special characters al!*?ed
    I confess I don't understand Ninnet's answer. All characters are important in a book, though some are more important than others.

    If Ninnet means Afrikaan words use special characters, like dots over the e, I would need to know, yes.

    The best way I can explain more clearly is that in the UK "bloody" is used, and wouldn't be considered OTT by a publisher. A writer who included an American character saying "bloody" just wouldn't ring true... it isn't a word they use... or so I've been told, and I haven't seen it in American fiction, whereas I have seen "goddam", which I've never heard an English person use.

    The question isn't as petty as it may sound. Getting a book even read by somebody like me, acting for an agent, never mind published, is tough, and something like this could mean the difference between being published or a year or more's work being rejected.

    If you can help, with American swear words... MILD... in common use, but right now, especially South African, I would be very grateful.

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