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the everyman memoirs

The official blog of author Tali Nay.

Potty Mouth

It's a little entertaining to me that the topic that has many of my early readers all abuzz is the swearing contained in the book. In truth, I don't really swear much (read: at all) in real life. But as a writer I find some sentences just beg for those words. Inserting them effectively into pivotal moments then is either a gift, or it's simply justification at its finest.

My favorite college English professor is reading the book this week, and he sent me a note saying that he--get this--admires the way I use swear words in my writing. "How did you learn to swear so well?" he asked. Since I grew up never actually using these words, I guess you could say it came to me naturally. Like chess to Josh Waitzkin. He further told me that I have great comic timing, use [swear words] intelligently, and that they don't seem gratuitous. Let's just say that compliments on my ability to swear are not among those I ever thought I would be getting.

Another amusing story came from a girl who grew up with me in a neighboring Oregon town. She loved the book, even read bits of the b-school chapters to her husband as he was packing for--get this--the final trip of his MBA degree. She told me she recommended the book to her siblings, but did warn them about the swearing in case that swayed them one way or the other. Not to be deterred, one of her sisters responded, "I want to read Tali Nay's swearing book!" Which is about the most hilarious thing I've ever heard.

True that the book does contain some adult-ish content, so just be prepared. Or maybe read it first if you're the parent of teenagers who want to read it. But I can promise you this: they hear a lot worse in the halls at school. See what I mean? Justification at its finest.


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