Most books I read have some cussing. Not pages and pages of it, but some. Well (if you don’t like characters cussing) you no longer have to read those words. You know the ones I’m talking about. There’s a new app called Clean Reader that essentially barricades you from cuss words in your books. And it’s easy to use. All you do is download the app and set your settings based on how much or how little you want the language to be changed. Oh, the app isn’t only for cussing. It covers A LOT of different words and phrases and is constantly adding more.
But you have to purchase the books through the app. So you can’t read on your Kindle, Nook, and I’m not sure what the app is like on iPhones and iPads.
I understand that some people don’t like “offensive language” in their reading, but I’m not a fan of this. How many rounds of edits and rewrites did it take for the book to reach its final state? Plenty. And all along the way the language could have been changed but wasn’t. I just don’t think an author’s work should be changed (drastically, in some cases) without his or her permission to cater to some reader. If you really don’t like the language THEN DON’T READ THE BOOK. How hard is that?
Anyway, what do you think of an app that essentially censors books? I hope it fails miserably.
You can read more about the app here. It is available in the App Store and Google Play. I won’t be linking to it.
On this day in 2014 I published What’s That one Series of Books you Won’t Forget?.
Photo Credit: SLU
This post is partly inspired by a comment I received yesterday on my post Stopping a Book Before you Finish. I’d go back and see who said it, but I’m writing this 15 minutes before I’m supposed to get ready for work, so if you read this you mystery person you, thanks for the comment.
Okay. Now I’m not talking about language here. I’m talking about cussing. Or vulgar language in your work. There are a number of genres in which any coarse language is unacceptable, but let’s not talk about those this time around. Let’s talk strictly books for adults. Say you’re reading along and then the protagonist has an angry episode and starts cussing all over the next few pages. Would that turn you off the rest of the book? Or say you’ve been reading along and the protagonist speaks casually with other characters using some of our favorite four-letter words. Would that turn you off the rest of the book?
I ask because I’ve come to realize that although I read mostly detective stories that deal with serial killers or rapists or so-called bad people, there is very little cussing going on. When I say very little, I mean almost none. The book I’m just about to finish in the next day or so, The Drop by Michael Connelly, has had none. Or if there has been any, it’s been such a small amount that I can’t even recall it.
The point I want to make is that sometimes we write scenes that we just know need a little cussing to make more genuine or realistic, but in reality that is rarely the case. It may sound okay to you as you write it, but it likely sounds a bit forced or excessive to the reader if there are any scenes that have a lot of cussing from one or more characters. There are a number of things that can potentially turn me off a book, but cussing isn’t really one of them.
To you, do you tend to have any amount of vulgar language in your writing? Maybe there’s some yelling or maybe it happens in casual conversation. Tell me.