Google+ YA Romantics: Freebie Friday 18: Watch Your Language!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Freebie Friday 18: Watch Your Language!


Happy Friday!

Today I thought we'd talk about swearing.

I review YA. Some YA books have a fair amount of cursing, while others don't.

Everyone has a different comfort level with profanity. A little swearing in a book aimed at teens or adults doesn't bother me. But I also think it's fine if a YA book decides not to include it. A "realistic" amount of cursing in YA would probably be too much for me.

This study claims that the average YA book contains 38 instances of cursing -- which seems high to me -- and found that characters who cursed were better looking and of higher social status.

Then there's the fake-swear. You know it from movies dubbed for TV or "clean" versions of songs on iTunes: the word that takes the place of the curse word.There are whole internet sites devoted to the best dubbing replacements. Here are some of my favorites:

"Give me the keys, you fairy godmother."  From the Usual Suspects

"Pardon my French, but you're an aardvark."  From Ferris Bueller's Day Off

I learned recently from this blog post that invented profanity is also common in sci-fi -- who knew? Have you heard these?

Frak -- Battlestar Galactica
Gorram -- Firefly
Kark -- Star Wars: Legacy
Frell --- Starscape  (Thanks to Suz for chiming in with this one!)

Below is my list of faux-profanity in YA.

I'll publish the answers to my curse quiz on Sunday in Extra! Extra! and give credit to anyone who gets them all right :)

1. Frex
2. Coit
3. Bleep
4. Fug
5. Shunting


This Freebie Friday is over, but check back next week for more fun discussion. The answers to the quiz are here -- in my Extra! Extra! post for Sunday, September 30.

185 comments:

  1. I think I only know two of those from the quiz. I am trying to remember the curse words in The Chaos Walking series. It's driving me nuts, but I don't have a book to look at b/c I got them from the library. LOL I will keep trying to remember!

    I don't mind swearing in YA. As long as it isn't every character in the entire book and so overly done. But I've never come across that.

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    1. I'm about to start that series -- so I'll keep an eye out for that!

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    2. Yay! I hope you love them as much as I did! They are a little weird, especially at first, but oh so good!

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  2. I'm okay with cursing in books, as long as the word actually fits the context. Many times, the character swears where there need not be a swear word. Other times, the word just flows. Idk. It's more about context with me than anything else.

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  3. I honestly think any swearing is unnecessary although it will make me laugh when timed just right. I prefer when the author creates their own ^.^ The Shadow Children Series by Margaret Peterson Haddix had fake swearing which was very amusing because I could use it and no one would know what I was talking about lol

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    1. I haven't read that series but given my new interest in fake curse words I better check it out!

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  4. Cursing doesn't bother me because as a teen (and an adult)...I kind of have a potty mouth. Sometimes the first I read in a book really surprises me - like, I usually tone down my cursing, especially in front of my kids, depending on the situation. I don't curse in front of other kids, or my doctor, or on my food blog - mainly in front of family and friends. There are some books where it is sooooooo unnatural for the characters to be cursing...it just doesn't seem right. Some authors just can't pull it off.

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    1. Completely agree! It's hard to describe, but when it's out of context, it just feels wrong. It has to fit the character and the situation.

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  5. Personally, I don't mind a very small amount of cursing if the context calls for it. It's like literary salt & pepper - a wee bit is fine, use too much and you ruin the entire dish (book) lol

    As for faux-cursing, again - a little goes a long way. Too much can be downright annoying ;P
    Mary DeBorde M.A.D.

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    1. Love the salt and pepper analogy!
      Some of the fake cursing I find amusing, others annoying and I have no explanation of why!

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  6. I definitely prefer YA books where there really isn't any swearing. I mean, most contemporaries have very little technology and the "um"s and "uh"s, etc. that fill people's speech aren't included so I don't see why swearing has to be for it to be "realistic." However I can deal with frugal uses of swearing; I hate when it's on every page though or practically every sentence out of a character's mouth.

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    1. Cursing can definitely be overdone in a book. Then to me it almost becomes trying too hard.

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  7. I did know about Frak from BSG.

    Another one that comes to mind i Kiersten White's Paranormalcy series where her main character says "bleep" instead of swearing. It works in that particular case but in general I would rather just have the real word.

    On the other hand I don't like YA that throws in swear words just because. Know what I mean? I know kids swear but sometimes it feels like the author is trying too hard to establish some sort of teen street cred lol

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    1. LOL -- just said that above! I did read one book a while back that had a young voice for YA -- it really read more like middle grade -- and then the author had thrown in a bunch of cursing to make the book read "older" and it just didn't work for me.

      The Kiersten White example did have an explanation in the story, so that one didn't bother me.

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  8. I have heard "frak" but didn't know it was from BSG ... interesting.

    As a rule, I tend to view cursing in books (esp YA) much the same way as I view sex scenes in books: if it actually has a purpose/legit role in the story/isn't forced or fake, I can handle it. If it's just thrown in there "because that's what sells" or "you're supposed to" - then it's just ridiculous and gets on my nerves.

    I work with college kids. Some of them cuss like sailors (or worse, ha). I get that cursing is a "natural part of life" -- and if the goal is realistic/relatable YA, then a little cursing can be helpful. But don't overuse it. Also - I'm far more "accepting" of words OTHER than the f-bomb. It tends to make me flinch when I hear it spoken in real life, and it tends to make me flinch when I read it ...

    I am a fan of the "made up" curses, haha ... They're fun. Because you KNOW they're supposed to be curse words, but sometimes you can make 'em as "good" or "bad" as you want - and they're often fun to say, hehe ...

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    1. BSG may not have invented it -- not sure!

      I completely agree -- cursing and love scenes both need to be true to the character and the story.

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  9. You are so creative with your post ideas. I am sometimes in awe. Cursing doesn't bother me as long as it feels authentic. I don't mind "he cursed" or "he said something that would make his mother blush" instead of the actual words. I think in Raven Boys Maggie wrote soemthing like "He said the rudest word he knew, which was... soemthing?" I don't know, but I liked that, because you can supply the rudest word YOU know so it's always going to kind of be on your level.

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    1. LOL -- my posts are like "strange stuff that floats around in Jen's head." I also like when the story just says the character curses adn you get to make up the own word in your head...

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  10. I read in every genre and I never have a problem with cursing as long as it fits the character and the situation. I don't see it in YA as much as I do in my other books, but when it comes up, I never mind. It's such a part of life and in that age group when you're trying to be adults and experimenting with words you have heard adults use. I always used swear words around my friends when I was a teenager and sometimes the situation required it :) I tend to be more open to hard language and sex scenes because of the rebellious teen I was. That was stuff I knew and related to.

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    1. I do think cursing a lot can be a phase. I didn't curse that much as a teen but I did in my 20s and then toned it down when I had kids.

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  11. I honestly don't mind the cursing. They're just words...WE give them the power that they have. I'm trying to curse less in my personal life, as I have a very impressionable 4yo daughter, but she's even smacking my hand these days for saying "idiot" or "butt". :) I don't even mind if the profanity is implied, but I hate when it's replaced with another cutesier word. I had to stop reading the Paranormalcy series because the bleeping bothered me so much. (Well, that, and the narrator on the audio was soooo annoying.) In The Maze Runner series, it wasn't so bad because those kids were lost to the world and made up things as they went. It actually made sense in that case. But I'd still prefer the actual words, if cursing must be used.

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    1. I bet Maze Runner has some great made-up curse words. Will have to check those out.

      And I love when little kids give you their idea of "bad" words like "stupid." So cute!

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    2. Just had to reply because this cracked me up. I barely rear-ended a car a few weeks back after a smooth record for over 10 years with all my kids in the car. It was completely stupid that it happened! I called myself stupid a couple of times and my oldest son called me on it. "Why are you using the s-word mom?" They're not allowed to use it because we don't call each other or ourselves names at our house and I totally broke the rule! LOL It's probably a little confusing to them knowing there are two s-words. :)

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    3. Well, I'm glad everyone is okay! Yes, kids love catching you doing things that you told them not to do! :)

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  12. Cursing doesn't bother me at all. I think if it didn't have any, it would be a little fake. Most teenagers do curse so I think it is expected. If doesn't have any I'm fine with that as well, not all teenager curse...me for example. :D and fake-swearing it can get annoying some times. It was really annoying in Glitch at first ans then I got use to it. I do laugh at a few of them. The ones that you listed I have no idea where they came from. LOL I probably do once you hive the answers but still. :D Thanks for another great freebie Friday!!!!!

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    1. If the fake-swearing is excesssive, it can start to bother me!

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  13. I don't mind the cursing as long as it makes sense or adds to the context and isn't pointless or just used to add space. I tend to only truly notice it if it's overdone. I find it's the stranger words that bother me, like The Fault in Our Stars and the word fugging/fug. I absolutely loved the book (gave it 5 out of 5 stars) but became increasingly annoyed at that word as the book went on. It wasn't a real word (despite being explained where it came from) and the amount of times it was used seemed to be over the top for me.

    I'm a fairly new follower of yours and am loving it! :)

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    1. I didn't even notice the word in FiOS but I have noticed it in his other books -- that's so weird! I'm going to go back and look.

      Welcome to the blog ;)

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  14. I don't mind cursing in books because obviously in real life people do curse. It just makes it sound more real. I'm okay with fake-swearing but sometimes it can be annoying. Thanks for the giveaway! =)

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    1. Most people seem to agree with you! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  15. I like it when characters that are tough do swear because it just shows that there real people, which are not perfect and do swear. I don't know how to feel on certain fake swear words. Some times it works other times it does get annoying. it depends on the book, the story & the characters.

    -Have an AWESOME weekend Jen! ^_^

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    1. I agree that the way characters talk can say a lot about them!
      Thanks -- I AM having a great weekend at this conference -- can't wait to tell you guys about it

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  16. Personally, I have nothing against cursing in YA. I curse myself and so I do find it slightly odd when characters are speaking almost too properly with no swearing, or even slang, at all. It just feels a bit unrealistic. Like how many young adults in real life actually speak like that? I find it amazing when authors have the talent to bring a professional writing style and realistic young adult speech together in a book.

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    1. I agree -- it can be really hard to get the voice of teen characters right -- but I think you can do that with or without cursing.

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  17. I don't have an issue with cussing, I joke that I work in construction so I barely even really notice it anymore. I don't know that it adds realism but I understand the arguement and it certainly doesn't phase me one way or another but I do know people that are highly offended by it. As for the fake words, I fall some where in the middle, some make me laugh and I actually find myself using them and others just strike me as dumb and annoying. LOL
    Have a good time at your conference.

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    1. Some of the fake words are pretty funny and creative!
      Thanks so much -- I am having fun :)

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  18. I'm OK with cursing in YA because well...teens curse. As long as it does not seem "out of place" or awkward, I'd much rather the author use real curse words than made-up, silly, ones which you KNOW no teen would ever actually say. That would do far more for me in terms of breaking continuity.

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    1. One of my blogging ideas is a teen panel that I could ask to weigh in on certain things. I'd love to hear what they think of the fake cursing :)

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  19. Personally I dont mind a bit of cursing in YA but not too much. Ive read books that are YA and the language is awful, it put me off reading it. I dont mind the made up words I think they can be fun.

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    1. I agree with you -- I don't think tons of profanity is necessary!

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  20. Cursing doesn't bother me one way or another. When I was a teenager I swore like you wouldn't believe so when it's in books I think it's realistic. I don't find it necessary, but it doesn't deter me either. I do like when there is substitutes for swears. I find it entertaining in some books.

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    1. Ha ha - I know you were a wild child, Amy! I wish we'd been friends. I was such a goody goody when I was a kid!

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  21. It really depends on the situation - I don't mind cursing in YA books if it fits the context. However, I don't like filthy pottymouths, so I prefer the cursing to be toned down a bit. I also don't mind fake swear words, as long as it's not overdone. My 18 year old son can curse like a champion when he gets mad. But my 15 year old daughter WON'T curse at all. Everyone has different ideas on what is acceptable nowdays. Thanks for the giveaway.

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    1. I do think -- no, I know -- that teen boys curse way more than girls.

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  22. I read mostly young adult books, and yes, I rarely read one without profanities. Sometimes it doesn't bother me, because in reality people do it. But sometimes, when there is too much.. that's bothers me. I don't even like when they're using a lot faux curse words in books, I find it really annoying!

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    1. I guess I don't notice it unless it is an excessive amount of cursing. When the study said the average was 38 words a book, I thought, wow, I never would have guessed that high!

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  23. I's stayng among boys mostd they swear a lot. I'm not cursing at all, but I'm used to hear it around me. So I really don't mind cursing in YA books at all. But I think that everything has a limit and it's better that a book contain swearing just were it fits.

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    1. Boys do swear a lot, especially when they're with their friends!

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  24. Swearing doesn't usually bother me if used every now and then. I don't want every other word to be profanity! One one I absolutely abhor is GD!

    I knew a few of those. I was really surprised at Glitch when I came across Godlam'd.

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    1. Glitch was one of the books that had a lot of fake -- or maybe in that book I'd call it futuristic -- cursing!

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  25. I understand why some authors choose not to include swearing in YA books, but I think it does add realism. Of course, there can be too much swearing sometimes. Substitutes can be very amusing. I actually notice them more than real swearing. Either way, it doesn't bother me.

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  26. Swearing is fine by me, as long as it is not frequent and I find fake swearing VERY amusing. I really like seeing all the different ways authors get around swearing.

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    1. The fake swearing can be very creative. As I was writing this, I was wondering if it is someone's job to think up the substitutes for movies and songs...

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  27. I don't mind swearing, if it isn't used in every other sentence at least. And I love fake swearing! I'm a mom, I have to say something other then the f'in-heimer...

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    1. Yep, when I had kids is when I had to work on my swearing :)

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  28. I guess it really depends on how the swearing is being used in a book. I don't mind it, I hear swearing on a daily basis only. (Mostly video games lol) If the author wants to use swearing or not in their book, then that's up to them. I don't think I've ever read a book that had too much swearing. As for fake swearing, I, myself, do it ALL the time! I have a 7 year old and a 1 year old. My oldest knows better then to use bad language, however my little one does not. She's already said her first swear word! Thankfully she doesn't say it any more. But I am constantly replacing bad language with fake swearing.
    Anyway, thank you for another awesome giveaway & good luck everyone!
    Also, have a great weekend!!! ^__^

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    1. Right -- it's the little kids that are dangerous, because they don't know any better!
      Have a great weekend -- hope you are doing something fun :)

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  29. I think swearing it's normal, liberating when you are angry, it's a way to express yourself. If the book it's YA and not for kids then it's ok.
    Fake swearing is amusing only if is a good fake swear-not stupid.

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    1. Sometimes it really does make you feel better! :)

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  30. I definitely think there should be a limit to swearing, especially in YA. I think the occasional 'oh fudgesicles, we're about to die!' is fine, but when every third word is a cus word I don't like it. I'm no angel, and I definitely swear, but too much is too much, even inadult books.

    I had noticed the 'frac' on battlestra galatica, the other half watches it and they say it quite a lot. I think another one was 'frick' which elliot used to say all the time on scrubs.
    It just makes me laugh when my mum shouts at us for using substitutes for swear words, but uses her own when shouting at us!
    Have a great weekend :)

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    1. Yeah, moms are great at telling you not to do things that they do. I'm guilty!

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  31. I don't mind cussing... am huge to use it myself emphasizing an emotion. As long as it doesn't become vulgar, it is cool.

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    1. Agree that you can definitely take it too far!

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  32. Cursing in YA books doesn't bother me because teens in real life curse. But if you're going to put it in, it needs to feel real. Only use it when it feels right for a character and NEVER use a fake curse word. That is my biggest pet peeve in writing. Don't do it. It doesn't sound natural and it breaks up the flow for me. The only people I know who make up fake curse words and actually use them are parents who are trying not to curse in front of their little kids.
    Thanks for the giveaway :-)

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    1. Yay -- someone who comes out firmly against the fake cursing! In some books it really bothers me, and in others not to much!

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  33. Cursing in YA is fine with me because it happens in real life, so why not in a book? I think fake swearing is funny and like to see the creative words authors use. Also to add to your list of SciFi words...Farscape used frell as their word. I like to borrow the fake-swear words and use them myself!

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    1. Thanks, Suz -- I'm going to add that to the list and give you credit!

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  34. I don't really care when there is profanity in a book as long as it is justified by the story and the personality of the character who swears. Fake-swearing is amusing when I can understand the meaning of it :D I think I saw a few good ones in the Lux series.

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    1. Ha ha -- clearly I am going to have to work more to get a more complete list!

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  35. I don't mind the cursing as long as it isn't excessive or out of context like said above. It should go with the character and the emotions he/she feels and shouldn't sound out of place or unnatural. I don't mind fake swearing as well. It sometimes amuses me.

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    1. I agree that the most important thing is that the dialogue has to seem natural to the character.

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  36. Cursing doesn't really bother me in most YA books. It bugs me a lot in MG and in some younger YA but as long as it isn't way over the top I am ok with it in YA because lets face it- most teens do curse.

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    1. Yes, in middle grade that would seem way over the top!

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  37. The series with fake cursing that stands out to me is The Maze Runner--it was really annoying at first because there was so fraking* much of it. Although once I did get used to it, it worked well with the series. Alas, I won't be using it in real life, not like other slang-swearing in fiction! Shiny*?

    *see what I did there? ;)

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    1. You're good! You should apply for a job as a movie dubber!
      I haven't read the Maze Runner series but I know that it has a lot of invented words. I'll have to check it out.

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  38. Real cursing doesn't bother me much as long as it seems to flow in the conversation, like it would have actually been said not some author trying to make a character seem like a badass by using bad words. The fake cursing kind kind of drive me up the wall. Case in point, Across the Universe, where the fake curse words are used every other word (at least that is what it felt like) and they used "frak" which ended all doubt in my mind that I was reading a book whose author had watched too much Battlestar Galactica.

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    1. Ha ha --now that I know it's common in sci-fi, it makes more sense to me that Across the Universe used fake-swearing so much.

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  39. Haha, I don't know any of those!!

    Also, I don't know who did that study but I rarely run into cursing in YA. When I do, I don't mind at all. Honestly, every other word that comes out of my husband is a curse word..lol

    I do know Frak from Battlestar Galactica though!

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    1. I'm like you -- maybe I just don't notice it? Unless it's the f-bomb, I'm wondering if I just skim over it or something.

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  40. Doesn't really bother me. I think in some way it makes the books more realistic. Thanks for the giveaway !

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    1. You're welcome -- thanks so much for stopping by!

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  41. I think its funny how in young adult books, they make up different names for curse words.. my favorite is deadly cool, when someone uses fluffin' for the f word... haha

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    1. I REALLY want to read those books. I have them on my pile!

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  42. Cursing doesn't really bother me, but it really should be used in a proper way. Not just 'fuck this and fuck that' every time just because they feel like :p

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  43. I don't curse at all but I don't mine them being in books. I think at times it's funny :)

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    1. I'm trying to be better. When I'm really old, I think I'll just go for it!

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  44. Personally a moderate amount of cursing doesn't bother me much. It just goes with the flow but some authors incorporate cursing just for the sake of it. That sure is annoying!

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    1. I agree -- when it seems unnecessary, it does bother me.

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  45. For me it's ok. I curse (a lot sometimes) so it's normal for me. But it has to be according to the situation, not just because. If it's not like it's pointless to use it.

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    1. Ha -- I need to call this "Cursing Confessions." It would be interesting to have some sort of app that told you how many times you cursed in a day.

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  46. I'm fine with any amount of cursing. I actually get annoyed when people use replacement words (Bullpoopy in the House of Night series for example)

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    1. Another new example! Haven't read that series. That one is a little strange.

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  47. I really don't mind swearing in YA. I hear people that age swear so much anyway that I've become so used it. And I swear myself sometimes (though in my head a lot more than out loud :P). I think YA books that aim for realism and believable teen characters, yet cut out swearing altogether, are just not realistic and that takes away from the book to me. It's fine in genres like fantasy and stuff, but a gritty contemp with no swearing? Doesn't seem that believable to me. Made up swear words are okay sometimes, or replacement words like "freaking" etc. are okay, but if the word is something obscure and unheard of, used to replace swearing, then I think it doesn't really fit.

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    1. Sometimes the weird words are the ones that get on my nerves!

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  48. I think that swearing does add a bit of reality to the books. I want my reading to always have a sense of realism, you know? While I would never swear to my parents or in school, I have a bit of a potty mouth when I'm over-emotional and I like it when the same goes for YA characters because it not only brings a sense of realism, but a sense of understanding. We're both frustrated and we don't know how to deal with it. Up there you used the example shuntin and I know exactly what book it's from. The same book used crackin' and gagnam. I struggled with the book. I wanted to hurl it at my wall every time one of those words came it. It ANNOYED me and made me want to scream. As horrid as cuss words are, they've integrated themselves into our every day language and have become part of the way to properly express ourselves. Either keep them out of the book without replacements for a young audience or throw them in there to keep that sense of reality and relatability, but don't make up your own words that just get on readers nerves and make them regret buying your book.

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    1. Some reviewers of that book absolutely hated those made-up curse words! I didn't count, but it did seem like they were used quite a bit!

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  49. I think it would depend on the cursing. I read a lof of YA and don't recall much cursing at all.

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    1. I don't either! I was surprised when the study said 38 words.

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  50. I don't really mind cussing as long as it's not too much, because it gets a bit annoying and, sometimes, it's unrealistic. Also, like the others have said, it shouldn't be forced and it should be for a reason.

    Fake ones, however, are usually annoying for me. If they were rarely used (like twice) then it's okay, but if they're said throughout the book, I would just try to ignore them or something.

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    1. I agree that when the fake ones are overused, and if there aren't other made-up words in the book, it can get irritating!

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  51. I personally don't mind cursing as long as it isn't overdone, I mean sometimes when your in some of the situations that book characters get into I know I might be cursing up a storm lol, but I don't think that it is necessary at all. I don't normally notice the cursing in a book as long as it's not overdone. The only time it seems like I notice it even more is when they use the made up words like Bleep, etc. then it stands out to me even more.

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    1. The made-up words often stand out more to me too!

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  52. If is justified doesn't bother me. and if they aren't to much

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  53. When it's not too much I find it very realistic. Actually, no swear words or invented words are way more annoying for me. But I like them in scifi, because as the world is totally invented, I have no problem with invented words

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    1. The made-up ones do seem to make more sense in sci-fi or dystopia!

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  54. I think it depends on the book but I'm almost always okay with swearing. As for the fake swearing? It depends. Sometimes I find it amusing but sometimes it just annoys the hell out of me lol.

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  55. I think it depends on the book. Sometimes there are characters where a total lack of swearing is completely out of character and it makes the book feel whitewashed and scrubbed and it takes you out of the story. Then there are authors who throw in swearing "because that is what teens do" and it feels unnatural and it throws off the rhythm of those characters. I think just like anything else it has to be realistic- you don't want slang or dated language missing or added where they shouldn't be. I don't think swearing should be a "thing." I hate that good books get avoided because of it sometimes but I think that is a problem with the reader, not with the book.
    As far as fake swearing, I think that depends as well. In the example of Firefly it is part of the world building, yes it is fake swearing, but really in the world it is how swearing has evolved. That is believable. Now a fairly modern tough guy character using fake swearing is way too obviously fake swearing. Like above it shouldn't be about the swearing, but rather about the world and the characters.

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    1. Exactly!
      Slang in books is a whole other issue and I have a lot of opinions about that. Maybe we'll do that topic another week :)

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  56. I don't mind cursing in YA or adult books if it has a purpose. I mean, if there is a major event in the book that might realistically evoke a little swearing in real life, it doesn't bother me. If it is used in the right way, I often don't even notice the presence of a curse word here or there (I noticed this about myself as an English lit major in college-- I would often not notice the swearing until we would analyze the characters' dialogue in class). However, if it seems just "thrown in" to the story without a good reason or purpose, then it seems to detract from the quality of the book. But most of the time, authors seem to use good judgment when using it.

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    1. It's also interesting to me how sometimes the words blend in and other times they stick out. Like you say, it probably has to do with how natural they seem to the story.

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  57. While I am not a prude by any means and have said my share of the unedited versions of just about every curse word at one time or another, I am also a mom. Something happened when I had a child and started raising him. It became a household rule not to curse in front of him and is now a habit overall. I now find that there are times when a good swear word or off color joke is called for and I am able to see it all in good fun, although I find myself uncomfortable when it goes overboard (who knew LOL) I feel the same about my YA reading. There are occasions where this is almost necessary for the story line to be believable and I love it when the made up words are used, they are amusing without sounding trashy, as well as very believable. When there is too much swearing in a YA or adult novel for that matter, I find it distracting and it takes me out of the story mindset - so perhaps the answer is as in all things moderation LOL

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    1. I'm the same - I tried very hard not to swear in front of my kids. It is a habit, I think! It's also one of those things that can be contagious. If you are around people who swear a lot, it begins to seem more normal.

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  58. 38 does seem really high to me, but there have been books I haven't read of finished because of the level of swearing, so maybe I'm not reading the books they sampled. :)

    I'm sure Jen knows that I don't really like swearing. However, it doesn't always bother me in books when it is warranted and I feel like the realistic character would use it even if that isn't me. What bothers me is when it is on every page or sentence all the time (I have seen this quite often) and it seems like such a waste of an author's time and talent (if they have it). Seriously, shouldn't a writer be able to use better words to describe and explain things? That's just me. I also think it's stupid when teens use a lot of language, especially when they make absolutely no sense, so this carries on to reading for me. As I said, it should make sense and be warranted.

    I know two of the books you have the faux-swear words for. I think those almost play the same role for me. They don't bother me as much and I don't think of them as bad as regular swear words, but they can also be overused.

    Some of the best books I have read have no or very few swear words. These include some very recent and popular books, such as the Divergent series (some faux-swearing, but few and warranted and realistic to the characters), For Darkness Shows the Stars, Partials, Edenbrooke, plus many others. Obviously, I don't think swearing, especially a lot, is necessary in a book.

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    1. I agree that it takes more talent and creativity to show a character's emotions without the swearing! I also am happy when books show kids that not everyone swears or drinks or whatever. I like seeing characters who go against what others are doing!

      I don't remember the fake swearing in Divergent -- I'm going to have to go check that out. My list is incomplete!

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  59. I don't mind swearing in YA books, but sometimes it just seems so unrealistic. AND it can be overdone. I think if an author uses good judgment when writing, it can be done quite well.

    There are some novels that have "fake" swearing and it drives me NUTS! Like in the House of Night series, how Zoey always says 'bullpoopie" -- I think that's a main reason why I stopped reading that series.

    Great discussion!

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    1. I haven't read that series, but honestly, I'd probably rather have the real word!

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  60. 38 times seems too much for cursing in a YA book. I think 10-15 times maximum is more appropriate and should be used when the character is actually in an agitated or emotional state or if the setting calls for it.

    Thanks for the giveaway - would love to win A Midsummer's Nightmare!
    Leanne

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    1. I was really surprised too -- 38 does seem like a lot. I haven't read the whole study to see how they selected the books.

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  61. I don't mind some swearing in YA or any other books. I think it's realistic since young people tend to swear more than more mature people. Fake swearing in books or movies is annoying, it's only amusing when people do it in real life.

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    1. I agree with you that swearing is often just a phase for teenagers!

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  62. I don't mind cursing, as long as its not too much, because it makes the book more realistic. Teens today curse. As long as it's not too overbearing, I dont mind. And faux swearing is amusing most of the time!

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  63. I'm perfectly ok with cussing in books. I think if done right, it can really have a powerful impact. Faux swearing is alright, but can be overdone.

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  64. I don't mind cursing in YA books as long as it fits the book/character. I don't want it thrown in just for the sake of doing so. Most teenagers do curse these days, they just try to hide it from their parents so it only seems right that there will be some in YA books.

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    1. Yes, they probably do try to hide it from their parents!

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  65. I don't mind cursing for my personal reading of YA...however, I'm a preservice language arts/English teacher, so I *do* notice excessive swearing and it does make me consider whether or not I might teach a book in my future classroom since I wouldn't blame parents for not wanting their children reading books with heavy swearing. For me, I also find specific words used bother me much more - I can't stand the use of derogatory words, especially referring to race, sexual orientation, and disabilities. I do like faux swearing though! :) Though I would find it annoying if done constantly.

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    1. I agree about the derogatory words. And I'd love to hear more about how you choose books. It's really hard to find books that appeal to a wide variety of kids.

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  66. I don't mind cursing in YA reads as long as it is used like at the right time. Like if the characters are under stress or even in a fight. I don't like it when its just thrown throughout the whole story because its honestly a little unnecessary. And although the addition of cursing does add realism I tend to want to get away from realism when I'm reading YA. Not completely but still wanna be able to go off into another world that won't have me reeling back into the real world and comparing it to the real world.

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    1. I agree -- when something distracting pulls me out of the book world, I don't like it. Everything should flow smoothly!

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  67. I don't mind cursing, as long as there isn't a lot. I agree with others that it does add a bit of realism to the story. Faux swearing is okay, but can be overdone sometimes. Some are amusing though.

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  68. I don't mind it. I think it DOES add realism! I mean, I'm not even 16 and er...let's just say, I should probably wash my mouth with soap. And I'm definitely not the only one! But unecassary cursing? ANNOYING!

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    1. Ha ha --how does your mom feel about that?? I'm asking you to be on my slang panel!

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  69. I don't swear myself, so it seems out of place in most books. It's like they are trying TOO hard to make the situation/person 'tougher'.

    Fake-swearing can be very funny & clever.

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    1. Sometimes it definitely does come off like that, and I'd rather that the author was more creative!

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  70. The first book I read with fake-swearing was Across The Universe, and it was driving me crazy!! Every time I read THAT word, I felt like someone pinched me. I think that is one of the reasons I didn't like that book.

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    1. It wasn't my favorite part of the book, but I got used to it. Now that I know it's common in sci-fi it makes more sense to me.

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  71. I think at times it's okay, because kids theses days know everything in the book. But at some points, it gets annoying. Like that one character and all he does is curse. It's okay.

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    1. If there's a ton of cursing, it does put me off...

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  72. I don't mind swearing in books. Often I think it can help a character develop and become more realistic to me. Swearing happens in real life, why should we explicitly avoid it in our books? I think purposefully avoiding swearing can be off-putting to me because it's not allowing the character to express his/herself the way they are. Swearing just for the sake of swearing though can negatively affect a novel for me. Fake swearing, again shows who a character is by the fact that they won't swear. Great topic today!

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    1. Language choice and vocabulary can show a lot about a character!
      Glad you like the topic :)

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  73. I'm all good with cussing. I'm very liberal so honestly I'm all good with just about anything in a book. To be honest we all know teens cuss. I sure did! Probably more in my teens than now. I think it is part of the rebellion and angry at the world thing. Plus I find it realistic in most instances. If you are in a life or death situation you are going to be throwing f bombs. I have personal data to back this up. When I was rafting and near death me and my raft mate were cursing up a storm lol Every time we came to a rapid we were like sh*t!!!

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  74. I don't mind some cursing. The only book where it bothered me was Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist because the first half of the book the F-bomb was on every page at least once (or it seemed like it was). Fake swearing like 'flipping' or nonsense words bothers me more than real cursing.

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    1. I love that book and I didn't notice the cursing. Uh oh!

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  75. I'm perfectly fine with swearing, unless it feels as if there's no need for it. I don't usually curse myself, but I know that a lot of people do, so books that do have swearing are sometimes more realistic. Although, if a book has a swear on literally every page (I think Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella had this) then it really gets on my nerves. It seems totally unnecessary to curse in pretty much every sentence you say. Fake swearing is okay, but I don't come across it a lot in the books I read.

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    1. I definitely think it can be overdone. If it were every sentence or two, I'd stop reading the book!

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  76. Okay let me say first how much I look forward to these little discussions/giveaways on Fridays!

    Now for the cursing take. I don't mind cursing but in a YA novel I do think it should be limited. But in reality, there is probably a lot of teens out there that do curse (or cuss I am from the south lol) but I just feel like too much cursing in a YA novel tends to make it a more new adult novel. Or something to that extent.
    Also for the made up curse words I totally remember when I first heard the word frak in Battlestar Galatica because I couldn't believe that they said that on ScFi and then realized it wasn't technically what I thought it was. Sorry I rambled.
    Thanks again for such great questions!

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    1. Aw, thanks!

      No, you didn't ramble. I hadn't really thought that much about the made-up words until I was reading YA sci-fi and dytopian.


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  77. I don't mind swearing in my books. I swore like crazy when I was a teen, all of my friends did as well. I don't mind books that don't include swearing, but they don't necessarily feel authentic.
    Great question!

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    1. I grew up in a very conservative community so none of my friends swore and I didn't either. Then in my early 20s I did go through a swearing phase. Now I've found a middle ground!

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  78. Profanities... Well, i don't look forward to these things. They really depict strong characters. I mostly avoid books with unnecessary cursing because i feel really awkward reading them. There's this ebook called Dead(ish) i read. Tge first part was filled with swear words. In times, they may look funny but not that necessary.

    I'm fine with books who have curses. Necessary ones. It does add intensity to a book. But let's keep it to the minimum. I'm not a fan of the substitutes bec i sometimes get confused of what the character is saying. For the made up swear words, fine as long as they are explained as curses or you could really see it as a cursing word.

    Thank you for these nice questions and ofcourse the prizes! :)

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    1. Yes, sometimes with the substitutes I'm not sure what word they actually mean, It can get distracting!

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  79. I don't like cursing in YA books. However, I don't mind "fake" cursing. For example, I loved "frex" from Beth Revis' Across the Universe series. I found it really amusing!!

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

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  80. Well, just a little cursing is needed I guess. Teens swear all the time- I even find myself swearing from time to time, but I'm trying to change that habit. :) And the fake swearing might be annoying if not done properly- the only fake swearing I actually liked is the "oh bleep!" of Evie! :) But if the characters swear unnecessarily in each dialog, then I'm gonna get annoyed.

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    1. I didn't mind the "bleep" because there was an explanation behind it!

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  81. I dont mind cursing...as long as it doesn't feel forced or unnecessary.

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  82. I'm ok with cursing so long as it's not cursing just for cursing's sake:)

    The fake curses can be kinda funny sometimes. I particularly like "What the fug" (J. Green, right?)and "Mothersucker!" (Cohn and Levithan) :)

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    1. I didn't remember the second one! I need to re-read that book.

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  83. I don't object to some as long as it doesn't go overboard - Thanks!

    kimberlybreid at hotmail dot com

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  84. I don't mind cursing in books and I'm not even sure what is a realistic amount of curses, it depends on the situation. I remember swearing a lot when I was younger but as I got older my cursing became a lot less. I could understand why people would get annoyed if it seems out of context or over the top but I don't really care. I have more of a problem with authors using over using slang. I think fake-swearing adds more to the world building and I really enjoy them.

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    1. Yep, I would love to talk about slang another week.

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  85. I don't...really like it. It's okay in some things, you know. But other times I think, is that really nessisary? Is that word just put in there cuz it can be? I don't like those kind of swear words and honestly if a book is like that then it needs to be darn good for me to continue.

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    1. I agree -- if it feels unnatural and unnecessary, it bothers me!

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  86. I know teens swear a lot. Well, some do. I think in books, you can tell when an author is forcing the swear though. If you get that? I don't mind the occaisional expletive though. But really, it can't just be for the sake of swearing and adding to an image (even though teens do that). sometimes I do feel like swearing detracts from the story though. Personally, I don't swear much. Hardly ever, and I do, it isn't in english... Not that that makes it better, but it doesn't draw as much attention.

    If I'm reading a book and (a) character/s swear excessively, it makes me uncomfortable. The same can be said for in normal day activites as well.

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    1. Ha -- I wish I could swear in another language!

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  87. I think it is fine, as long as it's not gratuitous. Nowadays, the majority of teens swear, so I think a book that has absolutely no swear words (especially if a character is furious) is a little unrealistic and can negatively impact the book. Fake swearing? I don't mind it, as long as it's not overly done. Ruby Oliver in E. Lockhart's series used fake swearing and it just added to the hilarity of the character and situation.

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    1. I love E. Lockhart, though I think I've only read the first Ruby book. I'll have to go back and take a look!

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  88. i think it's fine to have cursing in YA, it is realistic because teenager do swear- a lot , i would know i'm a teenager but some book i've read do this thing were they swear unnecessary or is add to make a character seem cool which is annoying because although us teens swear like crazy we do know the correct times to do so and secondly cuss words aren't used in ever sentence we speak.
    fake-swearing: annoying or amusing. that's a difficult one it depends on the words used. it works in some case when the author uses it in a witty manner but often it just irritates me because some authors do it to dumb down a story.
    so cursing or fake curing in YA is find to me aslong as it is done realistically and tastefully.

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    1. I think when an adult tries too hard to make the characters cool, it can often come off as trying too hard!

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  89. I like it if it's written in not too much, but semi-realistically, then it's good. Sometimes, you just need to swear.

    And I love sci-fi made up swear words, and use them often instead of real ones. :D

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  90. i don't mind a bit of cursing when it's perfectly in personnality of the character but i don('t like when a book is just about that or nearly ( it needs to have a reason)

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  91. It really doesn't bother me when I'm reading in English but when I'm reading books in my own language (Portuguese) it makes me uncomfortable. I don't know why though :)

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    1. That's so interesting! I wonder why that is.....

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