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Advice needed about swearing in e-books

(6 Posts)
MirandaGoshawk Fri 12-Apr-13 12:56:02

I'm editing a book which will be published as an e-book. This e-book lark is new territory for me.

The book is non-fiction and includes soldiers' recollections about their experiences in battle. They use words such as [pls look away now if of a nervous disposition!] fucking, wanker, bastard and cunt.

Now I have seen all of these apart from the last one in print, and have no problem with including them. But what about 'cunt'? Is it acceptable to have it in a book that might be read by under-18s? What is the convention, do you think?

I could either accept it, change it to c--t, or substitute a word like 'prick'. (Interesting that the female version should be taboo but the male... hmm) But substituting would mean changing actual reported speech.

Anyway, what do you reckon?

DorisShutt Sat 13-Apr-13 07:21:40

I'd leave it in. Horrors of war and all that.

I don't think it would be the same if the soldier was (as an example) describing the enemy as a "terribly nasty chap".

In my (admittedly uninformed) opinion, if children are old enough to be interested in, and read about this subject, then they are old enough to deal with the reality.

tribpot Sat 13-Apr-13 07:26:06

I don't think you can change quotes. That way lies Boris Johnson and getting a dressing down on the Andrew Marr show wink

You could change it so it doesn't give anyone the vapours, i.e. c--t.

I take it books don't come with any kind of health warning (other than 'explicit'?) to help people know if the material is suitable for young people?

MirandaGoshawk Sat 13-Apr-13 13:29:28

Thanks for your advice. Doris, you're right - there is a great deal more to be concerned about in the book than a couple of 'unacceptable' words.

trib - I don't know about warnings. But it's a good idea - I'll ask him. My speciality is proofreading & I don't know much about actual book publishing. So I'm hoping someone on MN will!

WMittens Sat 13-Apr-13 17:36:27

Just include a warning that they "swear like troopers" in the interviews.

Oh, I just got that reference!

MirandaGoshawk Sun 14-Apr-13 18:07:11


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