Being Authentic

Good Morning,

Thank you for visiting my blog. As I often do, I’m turning to you, my readers, for advice today. I want to be authentic when I write for young adults. Dialogue can be an issue. 

As a former teacher of high school English, I know teens use language that some teachers, librarians, parents, and grandparents might find offensive. I also know these adults are the people who frequently purchase the books likely to appear in school libraries and classrooms (the gatekeepers). 

BUT I don’t want to turn off my teenage readers with a preachy or corny adult voice. I need your help. How can I use colorful, but clean, language to replace the words and phrases that would offend the gatekeepers who buy books without turning off my young adult readers? What words do you use when you want to swear, but you don’t want to offend your minister, grandmother, the principal, or your boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s parents?

Teens, how do you cuss without cussing? What words do you use? I’m sick of saying, “She swore.” Can you help me? If you are willing to give me some ideas, just click Contact Melody on my website at or invite me to be your Facebook friend and answer this question. Thank you.

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