Bad Taste in Words
I've read a lot of books with colourful language. I've read my fair share of books that have had a few bad taste in words, but none that have bothered me that much. You cringe. You move on. None have really bothered me that much. And I'm not saying that it should be censored in any way, but (you knew that was coming) I came across this book, a book that inspired this post, because it affected my reading experience. And once it does affect my reading experience that's when I'm done. The book? I'm not going to name it, because I'm not mean but just a few pages in I knew I wouldn't like it because of the way it's written, the words that are used. I'm not squeaky clean with language, okay? I swear, a lot. It's a problem, and I like swearing in books, especially in YA because what teen doesn't swear in high school?
I draw the line at the C word that I find vulgar, and it's used. Within the first 5%, but that's not all! I'm going to say this word once, and once only. Retarded is also used, and I hate that word, it's degrading and disgusting. You might find it funny in context, but whatever way it's used, the word isn't funny, especially when it's used light-heartedly like it means nothing. It shouldn't be used as a joke, an insult, it just shouldn't be used. And you may be thinking chill, it's just a word. Yeah, it's just a word, but it's the meaning behind that word. Have you seen someone being bullied and laughed at over something that's not in their control, whether they have a physical handicap, or mental handicap? It's not nice. We don't tolerate bullying, we don't tolerate abuse of any kind, or racism, sexism, homophobia, or at least, most of us don't. Whether religious beliefs or ignorance or whatever, you're inclined to that, you have your own opinion on that, but so do I, and I'm saying it. So why should it be acceptable in books? The one I'm talking about it a contemporary, and I think contemporary in YA, more than other genres, have a responsibility and opportunity to teach us things, and a lot succeed in just doing that.
Now, if it was highlighting bullying and trying to make the readers understand something important, and while I still hate the word, at least that way it's being used for something, and not there as something to shock you or being used freely as if it's just an ordinary word. I honestly get what this book was trying to do, but what I'm saying is it had nothing to do with those words and you could replace those words and it would be the same book.
Now, what do you about swearing in YA, like or not? Any words you find extremely offensive?