Friday, July 23, 2010

how it gets said

True story.

So, yesterday, I had a surprise pop-in visit from three former students (all 18-year-old boys on their way off to college and stuff like that) who sat in my living room for a couple hours and talked about teenagers' use of the word fuck.


First of all, they did all agree that the word is relatively meaningless the way that boys commonly use it. As I said, it's not really a word at all. One of them said something that I found really interesting, though, and I will paraphrase it here.

He said that since teenage boys are really discouraged from showing emotions or talking about feelings, they homogenize everything into one universal word -- fuck -- because it can mean anything, it often means nothing, and it doesn't force boys to be specific about things like how they really feel.

Yeah. I know some pretty smart kids.

We also talked about other things that teenagers talk about quite a bit: drugs, sex, drinking, smoking, getting in trouble, going to college -- you know, normal stuff like that.

I'm always willing to listen to kids. I think if you're going to ever try to write books that connect with "Young Adult" (I hate that term) readers, you have to know what they talk about, and, more importantly HOW they talk about those things.

Thanks for the visit, guys.