General Question

eponymoushipster's avatar

Is there a website that identifies use of vulgarities or language in a book?

Asked by eponymoushipster (20272points) January 17th, 2009

I work at a Public Library, and we need to determine the “content” of books that might be added to our Teen and Young Adult reading lists. Rather than read through all the possible titles and count “by hand”, is there a website that lists or identifies this sort of thing?

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8 Answers

nebule's avatar

oooh…that sounds interesting…but i have no idea, i wouldn’t imagine so… perhaps a gap int eh market there eh!...

just thought i’d add your avatar is rather disturbing… what is it? and ..welcome to Fluther!

asmonet's avatar

You might try looking at the shelves of specialty book stores, chances are if something has objectionable content a more religious or ‘family friendly’ bookstore won’t have it. Maybe you could check with the publisher as well?

mrjadkins's avatar

What about UrbanDictionary.com? You can search by certain words to see if they have particular meaning. I would think the ALA website may have some information for you on censorship resources. I am actually interested in other responses. This is a great question!

eponymoushipster's avatar

@mrjadkins i’m familiar with UrbanDictionary. What we need is to know how many times an “offensive” word is used in a given publication. Apparently, if we choose a book that has excessive language, parents will complain, the universe will collapse in on itself blah blah.

Thanks for the heads-up on ALA though! :)

nebule's avatar

@eponymoushipster I thought that’s what you meant but was keeping quiet because i didn’t have the answer anyway….

eponymoushipster's avatar

@lynneblundell It’s all good. I’m thinking now that maybe we could just contact the publisher. I’m guessing they keep tabs on such things.

nebule's avatar

oh what a good idea!!! I do think though that there is a serious gap in the market here though… and perhaps its worth considering as a publisher i imagine – getting your proof readers to store such information in the process… and other info i guess too would be useful, i.e. sex scenes etc?

eponymoushipster's avatar

yeah, it has applications besides libraries. The library system in which I work is moving to an open-source catalog database – the software even has “tag cloud” features, so people can tag a book with what THEY think. it’d be cool if we could provide a link to “content advisories” as well. I think IMDB does something similar, linking to the MPAA.

to me, though, the funny thing is that they’re worried about book content, yet DVDs (which, btw, are the fastest growing sector of our system), no matter what the rating, are open to borrowing by ANY age. a bit of a disconnect, methinks.

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