Swearing in YA Novels – Yay or Nay?
A large number of YA novels these days will feature swearing of some kind; some manage to tell the tale without any swearing. We got to wondering what people thought about swearing in YA novels and asked Twitter this question: “Swearing in YA Novels – Yay or Nay?” Here are the replies:
– “Within reason and in moderation, it’s probably acceptable in context.” – @pyroriffic
– “Hells yeah.” – @cat_clarke
– “As long as it’s narratively justified, I don’t have an issue with it. Also depends on the ages of the target audience of course.” – @voxael
– “Fine with an ass or a bastard. Maybe a shit. *Maybe* a fuck (but only if used really sparingly, for serious anger etc.) No C word.” – @jpsmythe
– “Depends on the character. Like it or not, a lot of kids swear. Swearing in books is realistic, and not especially offensive.” – @MrSamStrong
– “Yay. But only where (a) in character and (b) warranted by the gravity of events. Every five minutes? Nay.” – @thefuturefire
– “Find me a 14 – 17 year old who doesn’t swear when they think their parents aren’t listening & then I’ll say it’s unacceptable…” – @LouMorgan
– “Have to reply to this. I have teens, their friends are always here & cuss words DO happen. I think a little swearing is okay in YA” – @AERought
– “Yes, as long as it’s not gratuitous. There’s a line between sweary verisimilitude (“oh, but kids swear!”) and literary merit. While I’m quite fond of swearing in and of itself, I like to think it has to have purpose in order to be effective.” – @mygoditsraining
– “Same w/adult novels. If it fits the story, yay. Tons of teenagers swear. Ridiculous to think they need to be protected from that.” – @corinneduyvis
We would be really interested in hearing your perspective! Drop us a comment with your reply.