1. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    Curse Words

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by ToeKneeBlack, Jul 3, 2014.

    I'm writing a book aimed at 12+ year-olds, and I'm left wondering which swear / curse words are acceptable. I don't want this topic to dissolve into a list of words people approve or disapprove of, I just want to explain before I post something which may offend.

    So if you are easily offended, please do not read the following paragraph:

    Is the word "git" too offensive for a book aimed at 12 year-olds? It's set in the UK, so there are some people around who might say it in real life. To put it into context, one of my protagonists uses the word to describe an associate of his who betrayed him, as in, "That git ran off and hasn't contacted me since."
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Read some books aimed at your target audience and see what kind of language the authors used. That's really the best way for finding out this sort of thing.
     
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  3. Annalise_Azevedo
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    Annalise_Azevedo Member

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    Since I'm from Australia, I always heard swearing ever since I could understand. Then it was worse when I was the youngest of my siblings, so they would start swearing when they were arguing with my mum's former partner. When I was twelve I was cursing off my little head but after I left that school I pretty much chilled down on the swearing which didn't come back until I was at least fourteen.

    But getting to the point, I think 'git' should be fine. But there's always one person that gets offended over something - even it's completely ridiculous. I've read stories set for preteens that say 'damn' or 'piss off'. Then again, I don't get so offended over swear words except for the constant use of the c-word.
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    This link might be of some help in the US, not sure about the relevance in other countries:

    Banned Books Week: A Book List
    It includes lists of books that were banned by public schools. Fascinating stuff.
     
  5. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    The word 'git' is used in Harry Potter, if that answers your question at all.
     
  6. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    I had no idea that git is a curse word or even a real word.
     
  7. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks, this should be a good indicator of what to avoid, though somebody somewhere will be offended no matter what I write. Can't please everyone. :)

    It's more of an insult. I guess I got this a bit wrong last night, as you don't, for example, stub your toe and shout "Git!", so it's not a curse word in that sense.
     
  8. Veo
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    Veo Member

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    E.g. in Half Bad, the author Sally Green does not use swear words, but instead says (for example) 'I shouted in anger and dropped some swear words in it'. In that book you can easily encounter the word 'shit' almost everywhere. And, for sure, in the last part, there's the F***! expression.
     
  9. Veo
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    Veo Member

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    And I wouldn't think that git is offensive--esp. for 12+ y.o.s
     
  10. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's a line of dialogue ending with "oh sh-", before their radio signal cuts to static. That's about as rude as it gets.
     
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