Thursday, 26 March 2015

There is something called "Clean Reader"

now apparently available for those delicate souls who find the use of Anglo-Saxon sexual terms and other profanities unacceptably appearing on their e-reader screens. My understanding is that you can plug your current book into the application and it will remove all the offensive words and replace them with something else. You can then go ahead and read the book without having to face these offensive words.
Let it be said here that I do not swear. I have never felt the need to swear. My vocabulary is extensive enough (I hope) not to feel the need to use the sort of language which is often considered offensive. 
But I know other people use that language and that writers will use it too. I don't have to read it. It is as simple as that.  
Recently I picked up a book in the library but I didn't borrow it. There was what I felt was an excessive use of offensive language. I felt it served no purpose. It had just been put there - perhaps to shock. It didn't add anything to the story. The subject matter (which appeared to be quite different from the blurb on the cover) did not appeal to me either.
There is the occasional swear word in the light crime novel I am currently reading as my "book at bedtime". It doesn't bother me in the least. The main character is the sort of person who would use that type of language and so are some of the people he is dealing with.
Removing that sort of language would change the book into something entirely different. It would no longer be the book the author wrote. The characters would become flat and colourless. The writing would sound stilted and dull. It would cease to flow. 
"Clean Reader" is not doing anyone any favours. It may even be illegal - depending on the view that would be taken by the court about "publication". Whatever that decision may be though the idea is wrong. The author is entitled to object and object strongly. It is not what they wrote. It is not what they published. 
Would you paint in blue instead of pink in a Renoir simply because you find pink offensive?

2 comments:

Judy Edmonds said...

Bowdlerisation by another name. If people are offended, they should read something else. Having said that, swearing should only be used if it's appropriate to the characters/plot/setting otherwise it just become offensive.

catdownunder said...

I agree Judy - there are plenty of other things to read!