Did you say F$%! when you were 13?

Of course not. You said fuck like all your mates.

Just like I did.

Just like all the kids at school do now.

So why would it be a problem in a YA (remember, that’s Young Adult – kids learning what the world’s like as you become an adult) novel?

You’ve heard of Tourette’s Syndrome. Of course you have and no doubt have equated it with the random swearing which is only experienced by 10-15% of sufferers with the condition corprolalia (a word, by the way, that almost literally derives from 19th Greek as potty-mouth [lit. dung-speech]).

Why would it be a problem to present this well known condition in an accurate manner in a YA novel?

Personally, I don’t see the problem. Kids swear, and they’re going to run into someone with corprolalia at some point in their lives, so a fictional introduction to it will help them maintain an appropriately compassionate response. To my mind, at least.

Why am I talking about this, you ask? Just read this article, where the author has a book which covers this very thing. Somehow it’s sparked a huge row over how kids should be linguistically represented in YA books. I laugh, but it’s just pitiful that the answer isn’t automatically “accurately”.
Anyway. Give it a read and see what you think.

My position is pretty clear, but YMMV.



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