Swearing? In YA?!?

      Tiny warning before we start; this is a blog meant primarily for teens and up (not saying you have to be a teen to read this, all ages are most certainly welcome, but sometimes I will address more PG13 issues). This post is addressing a more teenage issue, and although I tried to keep it perfectly clean, I would not recommend reading it if you are younger than twelve without first checking with a parent, since I don't want anyone mad at me and I don't want to put any of y'all sweet people at risk. Thank you!

      I had already written today's post, but I changed my mind. I was going to write about how swearing was bad, and that it can be avoided completely, when I realized something, not everyone is like me, and I'm not like everyone. I mean, I knew that, but today I was just re-reminded, call it a God thing if you wish.
        What made me realize this was something one of my good friends said today. You see, she said the word “crap”, and then she said, “oops, I just said a bad word.” and looked rather embarrassed.
And to me that was funny. Crap? A bad word? Most people I know use that word all the time, I had and still have a few Sunday school, Awana, and Youth leaders say it. But then I realized a number of things; one, my friend isn't like me.

       She doesn't go to my church.
       She doesn't know all of my friends.
       She doesn't live in my home.
       She hasn't experienced some of the things I have.
        In other words, she doesn't walk in my shoes and I don't walk in hers.
       So it very well could be a bad word for her. I mean, I know people who think “stupid” and “hate” are bad words, and growing up, my siblings and I were told that they were bad words in order to keep us from calling people stupid or telling people that we hated them. Which makes a lot of sense, and I'm glad my parents taught me that, and showed me that we should always endeavor to watch what we call people and what we say, because once words are out we can't take them back.
     That being said I know people my age who consider stupid the equivalent to dropping the f-bomb.
      In truth, everyone is different in ways they are convicted. I'm sure actually I'm more than sure that I have been talking to people and accidentally said a word they consider bad. Like maybe one time I was talking to someone about something and I said something along the lines of, “Man, I really hate when that happens!” or, “I was being stupid.” or “I feel crud.” And that person I was talking to inwardly gasped.

         And is that my fault? No.
       And is that their fault? No.

        It's not anyone's fault, it's simple because we are two different people living two different lives with two different convictions.

     I don't use the word “suck” or “sucked” all that much. Actually, I really try not to, even though it's hard because everyone else says it all the time. Why do I try not to? Well, because when I was growing up it was bad, and considered vulgar, and when you look at the phrase that word came from, it is rather vulgar. But then suddenly everyone and their grandma is saying it like it's a normal word, inculding a bunch of Christian people I really look up too, and I'm just here like, “Wait...what? Since when was this word no longer offensive or gross?!?!” Honestly, I still don't get why people say it, I mean, it doesn't offend me or anything, but y'all do know that “suck” or “sucked” came from the phrase (I'm making this more PG, just so y'all know, it's actually more vulgar than this): “Suck me” or “Suck my penis”, right? Okay, good. Just checking.
      I don't know, I can't really say it without cringing…maybe I'm just more sheltered than those people…

         Anyways, what I am saying is that I don't think I'm in any position to tell what words are okay to use and what words are too far. After all, we all have different views on that, as some of you have discussed with me. And I am so glad you do tell me what you think, because I think what you believe matters, and it's really interesting and enlightening to read what some of y'all think, so don't ever be hesitant to disagree with me or ask me questions about what I believe! 

     I do want clean books. I do think it would be really nice to not worry about recommending a book to a family member, a friend, or even one of my siblings without worrying about bad words. And yes, I do want that.
        As a Christian writer, I feel called to write clean books, with clean words, and clean scenes. But my books and stories do have the words “stupid” and “hate” in them, and I know tons of people who probably wouldn't read them if I told them that, and that's okay. We are all different. And it's a good thing.
      But one thing I do, and I would advise you to do when you're writing a book, think of a little kid you know. Maybe one of your siblings, a child who looks up to you, a cousin, anyone little who you care about. Now think of them your age, picking up your book, would you be ashamed if they read it? If so, maybe you should re-consider.
        Please understand that I am not, in anyway saying I'm better than you or that I know more, most likely I don't. You are probably smarter and more wise than me (it's not that hard to be smarter or wiser than me though, lol), but that's just my personal view. It's just some food for the thought.

         My next post shall be either about drugs in books or sex in books, so please use the poll over to the right to vote on that!

 The Rebellion has Started

Here are my previous posts if you haven't read them yet, they'll explain what's going on:

And this continued it: #RebelliousWriting

And here is my last Rebellion: Good Books: A Win-Win

The amazing, super awesome, and bravely rebellious Rebel Army is still on the move, I'm sorry if you did a post and I forgot to link it, if so contact me or comment down below and I will fix that!

Other news:

    Guys, Anna has recently contacted me about Rebellious Writing, and she has a brilliant idea. I can't tell you much because we don't want you to be disappointed if it doesn't work, but I can tell you that it will be big. So do keep your eyes pealed, because I will keep y'all updated on this surprise!!!

What do you think about swearing in YA?
Isn't this rebellion exciting?!
And isn't it nice to have the "let's talk!" again?!?! I think so anyway.... :)

Happy Writing,
Don't forget to vote on my next post on Thursday (Poll located on the top right, over the subscribe gadget). >>>


  1. So, I put words in my book, that aren't cuss words. One person who reads my writing can say "wow, this book is totally clean", or a person could say, "this book is full of swear words". Different people have different opinions. Now, if I say *PLEASE, PEOPLE WHO ARE READING THIS, YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO READ ON IF YOU ARE VERY FRAGILE WITH WORDS* So, if I say "heck" in my writing, to me, it's totally not swearing, but to another person, they would see me as a dirty writer. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I will have clean writing, but if you read and see words that you don't quite agree with or you think is a swear word, then don't label me as a dirty writer.
    Now, if I said things like the f-bomb or the s-word, then yes that is what I am going against. I do not write in those lines.
    I think you should do the next post about drugs in YA. I may....mention pills in my WIP, but I do not glorify it. In fact, it's the opposite.

    1. Exactly my point. :)

      Drugs is an issue I do plan on addressing on here, so thank you for your vote!

    2. That's cool that you started this rebellion. Lol
      Hopefully this moves people.....I hope.
      You are most welcome. Lol

  2. Thanks! It was actually Elena at ahomeschoolnerdstale.blogspot.com, who came up with the whole "rebellion" idea, I just wrote a ranty post! :P

    And I hope so too, we need good books!!

    1. You're welcome. Well, your ranty post has really got people goin'. Good for you!
      We need clean books. *sigh*

  3. Every word needs to be purposeful. I've only included curses in stories a few times (as well as in one poem), and I only use them when they're essential for the character and the moment. It's also generally clear that the character who uses a curse, at least in that moment, is being at morally gray or worse. For YA in general, I wouldn't draw much distinction from adult, besides the f-word and the c-word (which I won't use in anything and prefer not to read in any book). I'm fine with making a character a little unrealistic by having them mince their oaths, but there have been some situations where a minced oath just wouldn't work. That being said, I write very little YA, and I haven't used curses in anything I would consider to be YA.

    1. That is very wise. And I do agree that sometimes a scene in a book calls for slightly stronger language, but I personally don't think I'll be writing anything with swearing in it anytime soon.

    2. I may have done it once before my 19th birthday, haha.

    3. Patrick Stahl, you are very smart.
      I think that diff people think diff words are swear words, but I don't swear or write with swearing.
      I mean, I think it would feel more real with at least a teensy word...but I don't do that. I won't write dirty to please any reader. They will have to deal with it. xD

    4. I meant to say you were a very smart person. Lol
      My brain works faster than my hands.

    5. I caught your meaning. Haha, thanks.

    6. Lol, you're welcome. Oh, wait, I just re-read what I wrote, and I wasn't meaning that you write dirty or anything. I was just saying I don't write dirty as in the deep stuff. Though, what we (personally) think is swearing or not swearing, others might believe totally diff. So, you might be being totally clean or what you believe is clean writing, but others might diff because of their believes.
      Forgive em if I'm repeating myself all over again, but I just don't want to offend anyone here. :)

  4. I had a similar reaction to someone using the word "suck" that you had with "crap". Once I thought about that word in that context, it sure made me think twice.

    A lot of these words "heck", "crap" or "crud", "frick" are simply milder versions of swear words. It gets the point across without seeming uncouth, but ideally, we should probably make a habit of finding better expressions (though I admit that is way easier than it sounds)

    I'm PRAYING that this "surprise" actually works!!!


    1. That is very true! And I have also been trying to make sure I don't fall into that habit. It also annoys me when people use abbreviations (It always annoys me, but especially with swear words), such as AF, and FFing, like either swear or don't, there's really not an in between.

      I'm praying, too!!!

  5. All these topics are so important and I'm so proud that you're addressing them. *applauds*
    Can't wait to see what this surprise is.

  6. Another excellent post! :) Attending an international school really opened my eyes up to the variety of words that can be considered swear words (for example, "crap" is traditionally swearing in England, and "damn" in America). Both of those words are fine to say in my household in Australia, so I think writing a book that is necessarily clean to every single person on the planet could be very difficult! XD You make some great points!

    I'm thinking about joining the Rebellion; I might have a post up this week if I can get my thoughts together in time! :D I'm looking forward to seeing what this surprise is! <3

  7. It's awesome that you're dressing these topics! I love how you approached this one!
    I'm excited to see the surprise!

  8. Awesome job. The worst my characters will ever say is crap, but I don't personally say crap. I grew up told not to say it, though I will admit it might slip from time to time. Also, we were told not to say stupid and hate as well. So awesome to find someone else who was told that. I was made fun of for that.

    I personally don't use the word idiot for anything because I felt convicted that God doesn't like when we use that word. However, if a person's actions are stupid, I will say it is the actions and not the person that is stupid.

    You made many great points. I will go up to the poll right now. I'm trying to decide as both topics are important.
    God bless you, Gray!
    (Also, not trying to sound needy or anything, but can you link my post? If you can't, it isn't a problem. :) )

    1. I linked your post in my last post Good Books: A Win-Win, I linked the newer in this one. :)
      God bless you, too!

  9. I do not use cussing in my books. Like, at all. I read the Hunger Games and that somehow succeeded in being a great story without invoking any cussing at all (except for Johanna but we won't go there XD) in a situation where it could easily be pardoned. That's my goal :P

    Do drugs next. I'm very anti-substance use, at all, so... it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on that.

    1. I respected Katniss a lot because she never swore, because she went through all that madness and never said anything foul, I don't even think I could do it!

  10. Can you text me and tell me what Anna came up with? I'm your amigo! Please?

  11. Hehe, I'm really excited for the surprise! I heard from an insider *cough cough I wonder who it is* that someone is doing something, but they're kind of busy away at a coding camp at the moment along with doing an online class and haven't been able to get to it except something about typewriters. xD I also have been forwarded to let you know that she (because it is a she) is still working on it, but she needs two more days to catch up with online work and then she'll work on things much quicker.

    xoxo Abigail Lennah | ups & downs

  12. Gray, this post has such insight, you definitely are wiser than me!
    I never thought about that, but that is so true. I know that is some religions if you say "Holy cow!" then they are offended by that, but I guess I am only thinking of myself when I say think about swear words that I don't like or use.

    Thank you so much for another awesome post!!!!!!

    1. Thank you so much for that, it means a lot to know that people liked this post. Sometimes I get scared that I was too straightforward or blunt, so it really helps to know people think it's good or helpful!

  13. Great post, Gray-girl! I so totally agree. I say OMG all the time, but to some I know that might be an offense. I understand completely what you are saying. And you mad me smile... once again.
    Thanks so much.

    1. You're so welcome! I'm glad you liked this.
      I personally don't say "OMG" because I grew up in a southern Baptist church, so I have a lot of "strict" views according to some people, but I don't mind when people say it, I just choose not too.

  14. Wow, I had no idea that the origin of the word "sucks/sucked" was so dirty!! I have a feeling I'm going to be avoiding that word a little more in the future.

    1. Ugh, I know. It's so sad that words have to come from such dirty phrases!


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