Offending words

Posted by Chantal | 11:13 p.m. | | 12 comments »

Last night I started a new book. A contemporary from a new to me author that I thought was going to be a nice light read.

It became a DNF on page 4 because of one word.

There are only three words in the english language that I don't think should ever be used. One is a racist word to describe a black person. The second is a racist word to describe an Asian person. The third is a derogatory word that I wont even type out. I'm sure you can figure out what the word is by looking at the image I have posted with this post.

I saw the N word in a Kathleen E Woodiwiss novel. I didn't stop reading because of when the book was written. For what it's worth, I hated the book. (The Flame and the Flower.) There are many things about TFATF that I did not like, and the use of the N word was one of them. I get that the way the author used it was historically accurate. Knowing that didn't make it nicer to read though.

Anyway, the book that I started reading last night used the R word. The book was published only last year. I was hugely offended and felt sick to my stomach that anyone would still be using that word.

Would I still have been offended if the book was published 20-30 years ago, or if it was a historical? The answer is yes.
Would I have stopped reading? I don't know.

This time, however, I did stop reading. It was used in a derogatory manner, and it upset me. A lot.

There is no way I can finish the book. I did try. After I stopped and took a few deep breaths, I tried to read on, but my eyes kept jumping back to that word. It made me angrier by the second.

I'm a little bit upset with myself, because I could possibly be missing out on a really great book. At the same time, some things mean more to me than a good read.
This is one of those things.

I understand that there is another word that bothers a lot of women. That would would be c*nt. It doesn't bother me at all, but I did cover it a little because I know many women hate it with a passion.

My question is this. Are there any words that offend you so much, that you would not be able to finish a book because of it?


  1. Marg // 5:09 a.m.  

    The c word that you mentioned is one that I can't stand to hear used.

  2. Jill D. // 7:52 p.m.  

    I have been thinking about this, and it seems that there is very little that I take offense too. There are things that hit my hot buttons, but I don't know if I wouldn't ever finish a book because of it. If anything, I wouldn't finish a book if it got to preachy.

    Usually, I find the P word jarring, but I like Shannon McKenna, and she uses it a lot. I think the N word is offensive, but I don't think I have come across it in a book yet.

    I don't blame you though. Life is too short to read books that you have to work at to read them.

  3. jennybrat // 3:20 a.m.  

    Hi thanks for dropping by my blog. The Eve Dallas is really addictive! There are some crude words I don't particularly like but not to the extent of stopping me from finishing a book. It's usually a combination of factors like bad writing, poor character development, slow pacing etc that would do that.

  4. nath // 5:56 p.m.  

    Hmmm, I don't pay that much attention to that... I had a habit of skimming... so i that's what I do... but I don't think I have any words that I find that offending. Perhaps it's because I don't know the history of some :(

    ps - what was the book?

  5. Seneca // 11:38 p.m.  

    K, I've had like, 3 people email me asking what the book was. (Sheesh, wish ya'll would reply here. Comments are gooooood :-P)

    It's called The SEcret Lives of Married Women by Carol Mason.

    Marg, is there any reason you don't like it? It is the way it sounds?

    Jill, Whats the P word? And I love your last line in that comment. Very true!

    Jenny, Yep. All that stuff makes a DNF for sure.

    Nath, I think it's good to not come across those types of words. Even better to never hear them.

  6. Marg // 11:51 p.m.  

    I think it is to do with being called it. I remember a kid who lived near us would call of us that name, until someone challenged him to ask him did he know what it meant...and he didn't!

  7. Jill D. // 9:08 a.m.  

    Oh Jeeze, your going to make me spell it out! It's p*u*s*s*y! I just cringe everytime I hear it or read it. I think I don't like it because whenever it is used it's usually in deragatory way.

  8. Seneca // 9:09 a.m.  

    Oops, my correction.
    It's the secrets of married women.
    I should learn not to post after 11pm.

  9. Seneca // 9:14 a.m.  

    Hi Jill, we cross posted :)

    I didn't even think of that word. It's interesting to know all the different triggers we all have.

    People get all up in arms over swearing, but it seems that the worst words are not even swears at all.

  10. Rowena // 12:15 a.m.  

    Like Jill D. there isn't much that I'd take offense too, there are words that will piss me off when I read them in books but mostly, I'll be pissed off at the characters who say these words or do those things that piss me off. I won't stop reading a book because of it.

    And JILL!!! I HATE THAT WORD TOO, that and the C word, hate it, hate it, hate it!

  11. Anonymous // 6:27 p.m.  

    As the author of The Secrets of Married Women, I am sorry you took such extreme offense to the use of the word "retarded" in my novel. It was used as a verb in a colloquial sense, in a situation where a wife was complaining to her friend about her husband's domestic shortcomings.

  12. Anonymous // 11:50 p.m.  

    Oops! I think I'm tired - slip of the tongue! I meant an adjective not a verb.
    Carol Mason, author of The Secrets of Married Women