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I've been looking for books to review for my newspaper column in The Examiner.  I downloaded two books from ereadernews, but after the first chapter, decided to put them down.  It wasn't the writing; that was good.  It wasn't the genre; that was something I liked.  It was the language.

I worked in after school care for four years, and then became a teacher.  Now that I'm "retired" (no longer seeking employment) I work at my church's gift shop.  All three of those professions prevent me from reading books with foul language.

If I read the words, they'll be tucked away in the back of my mind.  Then, on the worst possible day, when I'm exhausted, hassled, and overworked, those words will pop out of my mouth when my guard is down.  And, it will always happen at the worst possible moment, in front of the worst possible person.  And then, I've got trouble.

So, the easiest solution is to just avoid reading or hearing the language to begin with.

Anyone who works with children or who provides a service to the public is in the same shoes.  Foul language is offensive, and it just isn't permissible in a lot of situations.  The easiest solution is to avoid hearing it, reading it or being exposed to it.

So, if you want to sell more books, choose your words carefully.  If you don't absolutely have to use that word, then use a better one.

2/12/2014 01:15:57 pm

That "foul" language cuts your book market is a rather sweeping generalization. In fact, were I to read a war story where the soldiers said darn or shucks, I would question the authenticity of that book and likely not read it.

Paula Hrbacek
2/18/2014 10:37:53 pm

I read the first chapter of these books. In one, the character was on her way to work and got stuck in traffic. She used the sh word six times. If that's how she deals with traffic, then what is she going to say when she has a real problem?
I'm not against a well-chosen word at the appropriate time, such as you mention, but having a potty mouth will turn off readers like myself that don't want to be exposed to casual swearing.
In today's job market, there are lots of people looking for work. This means that if you have a job, you have to protect yourself. If you deal with the public, then having a potty mouth will cost you respect, and maybe your job. The easiest solution is to avoid hearing and reading those words.


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