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Bloody Bookaholic's Commandment:

Thou Shall Read Till Thy Eyes Bleed

Monday, 13 August 2012

Weekly Rant, YA and "Bad" Words

Black City (Black City, #1)
So I'm reading this book, Black City by Elizabeth Richards, and it's going great. But there is something that is bothering me, that happens every other page, and it's something that snaps me off the story every single time. I guess you can call it a pet peeve. Here is a couple of examples:
"He has a point. I've been up all night expecting the Sentry guards to bang down my door and arrest me, but they never showed. It could only mean one thing: that Sentry brat Natalie didn't tell anyone about me. Good. My threat must've gotten through her stupid blond head. I light up a cigarette and take a long drag. Fragging Sentry. The world would be a better place without them in it,but I can't see that happening any day soon."
Here's the second one...
"My fingers grasp the edge of her satchel, but she twists out of my reach and climbs onto the stage.
Fragging? What the fuck is fragging? Oh right, Fragg= Fuck.

In case you missed it.

It maybe something mild, something some would consider unsignificant. But it bothers me. It completely snaps me off the flow of the story. What is wrong with a few 'fucks' along the way? Its realistic. It sometimes even makes the dialogue a bit better. I mean, there is a difference between a few curse words and when characters curse constantly and without any real motive, sometimes, but most of the time I am fine with a few bad words that aren't alowed on TV or radio.

Another story that bothers me when it does this is House of Night series. But don't even get me started on that one because if not I will go on a massive rant.

There is no such thing as bad words, there are only socially unacceptable words. That is the truth. Curse words don't corrupt the youth, they are a part of our every day lives so I don't see the point in avoiding them.

Unless this is a "new style" of curse words, instead of censoring, in that case the word Fragg still bothers me because it's stupid.

Oh but other than that I am really liking the book. Woohoo.


  1. I hate this. USE THE RIGHT FUCKING WORD. It's ridiculous. One- you're not fooling anyone. We know you mean FUCK. Two- Just as you said, every time you read that word you have to stop and dwell on the ridiculousness of the situation. Does the author say "Fragg" in real life? Yes, yes, in THAT world that may be the curse equivalent of FUCK but readers in this world like to keep it real.

    You are lovely as ever. This post rocks :)

  2. If you're going to curse, just curse. Teenagers curse. It's not going to insult our virgin ears/eyes to see a curse, especially when that curse is already implied. Oy vey.

  3. That kind of reminds me of Battlestar Gallatica with the "Frak" and "frakking" words tossed around.

    Or Paranormalcy with the "bleep"s. :)

  4. I definitely agree with you about there being no such thing as "bad" words but rather socially unacceptable ones.

    However, I don't love a book filled to the brim with curse words either. If they fit the story and feel natural then I'm cool with them but I hate when they are just for shock value.

    Also, I like when the author makes up a new curse word for their character to use as long as it fix the context of the book. By that I mean, a different society who has their own set of slang. A good example of this for me was Across the Universe by Beth Revis.

    Awesome post!

  5. It really bugs me when this happens to...if it's out of character. There are some characters who are super goody-good, so it's okay when they use other words. Or if they are really hilarious made up swear words like in Paranormalcy. Other than that though it really bugs me when they can't use the word they mean. I think substitutes for swear words are just as bad as the actual swear. If they hold the same meaning, what's the difference?

  6. I really don't mind, much, when an author makes up a new 'curse' word.

    Also, I think you're right, even if I don't like cursing EVERYONE curse nowadays... So it's hard to get away from it.
    But I don't like when a book is filled with curse words, when a character just can't stop it... I really don't even feel comfortable at all :/
    That's where the imagination and creativity of the author comes in.

    I think it might throw me off the story just a bit but won't bother me hehehe like you I believe hahaha

    Have you read Glitch?
    There is another word or wordS invented there as well :D


  7. BLACK CITY is futuristic, right? If that's the case then it may be a bid to "update" the language. The reality is language evolves and while 'fuck' is a no-no word now it wasn't always the case. So it could be a means to help "build" the world.

    With that being said it usually fails simply because it looks like they're trying to swear without really swearing. If they're going to "update" the language you might as well do the ENTIRE language. Except that would require far too much research for most so they just pick and choose which words to change and it usually ends up being the sear words to get it by the gatekeeper censors and make it more appealing for the more "sensitive" crowd.

  8. Is this book set in the future? Then Frag or fragging could just be part of a new futuristic lingo, if it's the only new/made up word you have come across in this book though then it's not all that realistic to have this one word replace another because then it really does come across as censoring. Made up lingo introduced in books is always going to be tough because it takes time getting used to it and learning the meanings and use of each word. With Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series, his books had more than just new curse words he also had new slang terms and they took some getting used to but his language fit into the world of the book and didn't feel like censoring as opposed to what you have mentioned is happening in Black City.


  9. I'm reading this right now too and while the first time I saw frag it did trip me up and immediately made me think of Battlestar Gallatica. I HATED hearing frak on that show but it doesn't bother me in books. I actually like invented words.

    Feed by MT Anderson is a great example. However, he changed the entire language with tons of new slang words to understand.

    I think fuck is the exception to curse words that bother me. That and cunt, though pussy isn't much better, when referencing the actually body part, not as a description of a boy (or girl) w/ no balls. So I'd rather see another, less vulger version, whether real or made up it doesn't matter.

    Great topic for sure.

  10. I have to second the possibility Donna raises- if other familiar words get recognizable updates. I mean, language evolves. But to just switch out fuck for fragg? Weak.

  11. UGH! I also hate this!! My theory is that if you are saying 'frigg' instead of 'fuck' then technically frigg becomes just as bad as fuck because that is what you mean anyway. A word is a word, who even said these 'curse' words were bad in first place?

    BTW, I found your site from a fellow follower and I happily followed you and will enjoy reading your updates. You can find me over at Rainy Day Reads, www.rainydayreads.com It would be great if you could stop by and I would love to have a fellow book lover as a new follower. Christine x

  12. I think it depends on the book. In HON it did bug me, because they are supposed to be in "today's" world. (or near future? Something like that..I can't remember. ;) I stopped reading the books a long time ago)

    But it's ok if it fits the book. If it's futuristic or if it's set in a different time. It has to feel natural! Otherwise it feels like censorship.

  13. I have this complaint for quite a few books I have read recently. Even if it is part of a futuristic slang, it brings me out of the novel and sounds ridiculous. Use the real words or don't use them at all!


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