Some say that swearing is for lazy writers. That is wrong. Many great novels, screenplays, stage plays and other works of fiction and nonfiction contain plenty of cussing. Real people swear to convey anger, pain, sadness and joy, to blow off steam, make people laugh or show respect or disrespect for other people, so using certain words can help make characters seem more real. The absence of swearing might be conspicuous in some genres. Criminals, cops, mobsters, soldiers on the battlefield and female vice presidents on HBO all swear.