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Author Topic: Language in Ender's Game?
lyndsayb
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My son recently started reading Ender's Game (received the quartet for Christmas). However, he has come across some language in the book and he's not sure he wants to finish it if there will be many more "bad words". I thought getting a book by OSC would be pretty safe as far as language goes. So, can anyone who has read the books let me know, does the language continue throughout the series?

Thanks!!

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BlackBlade
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The boys in the book do use somewhat adult language throughout the book IIRC. I wouldn't say they hit the limits of English swears in terms of severity, but they certainly don't shy away from using words like sh** and b**** or d***. It's not a constant or near constant stream, but it's not very uncommon either. I can remember using words like that at that age because it made me sound like an adult, that's what many boys at that age do.

Hope that helps you make a decision with your son.

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Raymond Arnold
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How old is your son? Because it's worth noting that these ARE pretty dark books in general. I think approximately 13+ is a good guideline.
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Orincoro
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(Post removed by Janitor Blade, see my post below Orincoro)

[ February 20, 2011, 11:40 AM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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AchillesHeel
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I read it when I was eleven and didnt really notice the language, but I had the vocabulary of a sailor by four anyway. I found the characters obsession with farts a little odd though.
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jebus202
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quote:
(Post Removed By Janitor Blade)
Well there you go lyndsay, you've certainly been put in your place. I hope you'll know not to come onto an author's fan forum and ask innocent questions about a book ever again.

[ February 20, 2011, 11:40 AM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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airmanfour
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Hey lyndsayb! I'm with Ray, 13+ makes sense.

Orincoro, wow. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Also, it would be great if you could expand that into not saying anything, ever.

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Week-Dead Possum
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(Post Removed by Janitor Blade)

[ February 20, 2011, 11:41 AM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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theamazeeaz
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Here's an interesting take by the author on how parts of the book were changed in subsequent additions.

http://www.hatrack.com/research/questions/q0071.shtml

He's also written an essay trashing a playwright for choosing to ask people not to perform his plays than allow certain words to be removed:

http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2003-08-10-1.html

I'm not sure how old your son is, but I'm surprised that he "snitched" on the book in a way. Honestly, if you are worried about what you kid is reading, read the book yourself.

If you have read a lot of OSC's reviews, you would know that he hates foul language and gratuitous sex scenes. While the stuff from his younger days is much less family-friendly than the new stuff in certain ways, there's a difference between showing how people realistically behave and talk versus being so disgusting that you cross a line and disgust your audience.

Honestly, the events in Ender's Game are far far worse than any single word any one says out loud. It's not a happy book, but it also has a profound impact on the reader because of what happens in it, and brings up a lots of questions about pre-emptive strikes, morality and culpability and forgiveness. The best stories you can read involve the worst that can happen to a person and show how the characters come out of it. Again, if you are concerned, I would read the book alongside your son (grab your own copy from the library) and discuss the book together when he's finished.

The later books probably also contain curse words as warranted, but they should be in Portuguese....

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airmanfour
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quote:
Originally posted by Week-Dead Possum:
(Post Removed by Janitor Blade)

[ROFL] I used to posture on the internet, but then someone told me how pitiful it made me seem and I stopped. You enjoy that feeling of numbskulled rightness. I'll enjoy the freedom that comes with quantifiable accomplishment and the ability to not be a colossal tool on internet forums.

[ February 20, 2011, 11:42 AM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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Phanto
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The language is not good, but it can be important for kids to get exposure to this type of thing. It's a harsh world.

When I grew up, a book I learned to read from had a story about a cat who got into a fight with his friend, the mouse. The cat eats the mouse then is sad. The end.

The modern version? They work things out. Which story is more real though? (And will prepare a kid for a world where things aren't always nice, and actions have consequences?)

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by airmanfour:
(Post Removed by Janitor Blade)

Yeah, definitely frustrating, I'm sure.

[ February 20, 2011, 11:44 AM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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Raymond Arnold
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Seriously guys?
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Strider
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Orincoro, seriously dude. Someone came to the forum of the author of a book their child is reading asking if we think it might be age appropriate for their child given the language in the book. You think this is a non-issue. No need to attack the person for it. And there is especially no need to attack them in such a disgraceful manner. Whether you're even correct in your evaluation is immaterial.

[ February 19, 2011, 11:20 PM: Message edited by: Strider ]

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Blayne Bradley
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klak-klak-klak

@lyndsayb: I recall reading Ender's Game in high school at about grade 9, at about age 15-16.

If the words are offensive I suggest explaining that alot of older books provide 'culture', and a different perspective; it has to be understood that these are characters or other people speaking, in his minds-eye as it were, not him.

He doesn't have to repeat or use the words spoken in the book, just to understand that is how these people, at that time, at that age happen to speak to each other.

If it helps these are kids taken from their homes and forced through basically 5 year long summer camp without ever seeing their parents, they are 'mentally' much older and you son can use it as a point of comparison.

"This is how these people act because their life was so much harder, I am glad my life wasn't so hard so I don't have to speak like that."

Something along those lines.

Its all about putting up the proper sufficient barriers.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
Orincoro, seriously dude. Someone came to the forum of the author of a book their child is reading asking if we think it might be age appropriate for their child given the language in the book. You think this is a non-issue. No need to attack the person for it. .

You have your view, I have mine. Personally I think we should attack that kind of idiocy. It's, well... idiotic.
quote:
Well there you go lyndsay, you've certainly been put in your place. I hope you'll know not to come onto an author's fan forum and ask innocent questions about a book ever again.
God willing, people will eventually stop asking stupid questions. Even if it takes a million years- I'm ready to wait for that.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
Seriously guys?

I'm Srsly.
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Strider
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:

God willing, people will eventually stop asking stupid questions. Even if it takes a million years- I'm ready to wait for that.

If people stop asking stupid questions* then they will never be able to engage in a process of error correction or learning.

If other people answer stupid questions* with rude answers and personal attacks, those asking the questions are unlikely to learn anything from the interaction.

*I don't actually think it's a stupid question.

I might as well address the OP. Lindsayb, how old is your son? Though the book revolves around children, there are many adult themes throughout. I'd say the book is fine for anyone 12 or 13 and up. For those children who are younger, I think it would depend on the reading experience of the child. I think a child of 8-10 could get something out of the book, but only if they generally read above their age.

It's also the kind of book they will get more out of on repeated readings as they age.

[ February 20, 2011, 12:59 AM: Message edited by: Strider ]

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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
You have your view, I have mine. Personally I think we should attack that kind of idiocy. It's, well... idiotic.
What evidence have you ever seen that makes you think making the kind of post you made (and, for that matter, make on a regular basis) has a positive impact in the world?
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Rakeesh
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quote:
What evidence have you ever seen that makes you think making the kind of post you made (and, for that matter, make on a regular basis) has a positive impact in the world?
Actually, I'll ask a different, more refined question, though of course you're free to answer Raymond's question too. (Not that anything I said one way or another changed that, naturally.)

What evidence have you ever seen that makes you think that making the kind of post you made (and, for that matter, make on a regular basis) is likely to achieve your stated goal, that is to get people to 'stop asking stupid questions'? Because frankly I don't really believe that's your goal. Even in this very thread, we're seeing two very different goals being expressed. Early in the thread, you said:
quote:
Im well satisfied with being right, rather than popular.
Later you started talking about getting people to stop asking 'stupid questions', and then of course we come to the real question of whether or not the opening post actually contained any stupid questions. I don't think it did. Asking whether a book is appropriate for one's child to read of a community of book readers seems to me to be a pretty smart question, in and of itself. Without knowing more at least. Particularly since learning more about the initial question is really quite easy: all you have to do is ask.

No, your behavior pretty clearly indicates that you're far less concerned with stopping people from asking stupid questions than you are with personally being right, being seen as being right, and getting to rudely put down the stupid people who you perceive as asking stupid questions. Because you're not going to find a plurality of professionals anywhere on Earth, in history, who will tell you that the way to get people to stop asking stupid questions is to sneer at and insult them.

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rivka
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Hi, Lyndsay. [Smile] Welcome to Hatrack.

I trust you won't let one rude poster (and BTW, Orincoro and W-D Possum are the same person) chase you off.

I did wonder about your expectation that a book by OSC would be "safe" language-wise. Is this based on having read anything else by him? (Because his different books/series tend to have quite different flavors and vocabularies.) Or just because he's Mormon?

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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
(Post Removed by Janitor Blade)

That was more obnoxious than normal, Ori. What's up?


I imagine people will stop asking questions you consider dumb about the time you learn to be less condescending. In other words, not any time soon.

[ February 20, 2011, 11:31 PM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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Samprimary
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Have we upgraded from "Welcome to hatrack, you're wrong" to "Welcome to hatrack, you're dumb and I hate you" that soon, because

no seriously what's going on here

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
klak-klak-klak

@lyndsayb: I recall reading Ender's Game in high school at about grade 9, at about age 15-16.

If the words are offensive I suggest explaining that alot of older books provide 'culture', and a different perspective; it has to be understood that these are characters or other people speaking, in his minds-eye as it were, not him.

He doesn't have to repeat or use the words spoken in the book, just to understand that is how these people, at that time, at that age happen to speak to each other.

If it helps these are kids taken from their homes and forced through basically 5 year long summer camp without ever seeing their parents, they are 'mentally' much older and you son can use it as a point of comparison.

"This is how these people act because their life was so much harder, I am glad my life wasn't so hard so I don't have to speak like that."

Something along those lines.

Its all about putting up the proper sufficient barriers.

Blayne, I just wanted to say that this is a really helpful contribution to the thread, and I thank you for making it. [Smile]
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Scott R
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quote:
I thought getting a book by OSC would be pretty safe as far as language goes.
With the exception of the Alvin Maker books, I think there are swear words in all of OSC's books.

quote:
So, can anyone who has read the books let me know, does the language continue throughout the series?
Yes, at about the same frequency as Ender's Game.

Kudos to you for being interested in the books your son is reading. And kudos to him for having the gumption to talk to you about something that bothers him. Specifics aside, that speaks well of your parenting and his character.

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Samprimary
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I think I pretty much agree with blayne's post. I mean, it's a draw-up to controversies like the n-word in Mark Twain's opus. It is one thing to have the personal presence of mind (or whatever) to not use swear words yourself. I am of the opinion that this should not mean that you are sheltered/sheltering yourself from them to the extent that you feel like you have to shy away from them in a culturally important or valid context.
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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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Ender's Game (at least the pre-Han Shot Second revision where the n***** exchange was removed) does have the occasional instance of obscene language, I recall. Xenocide and Children of the Mind have quite a few instances of b**** as well. I don't remember Ender's Shadow and its sequels to have as much objectionable language, but it could just be that I was desensitized to it by the books (not OSC books) I had read immediately before Ender's Shadow.

If your son is the one who is worried about the "bad words," I would deduce that he probably won't be led to use these words himself just by reading them in a book, which is usually the reason parents censor these words.

If you want to help your son enjoy these books without being turned off by the bad language, my personal recommendation is to have him read To Kill a Mockingbird and discuss its use of the N-word to help him grasp how an author might choose to use offensive language for a better literary purpose than gratuitous profanity.

... Or if he doesn't want to read any books with offensive language, period, you could give him "Pathfinder," which is devoid of offensive language and is a great first helping of OSC's fiction.

Off the top of my head, here's a list of books by OSC you should stay away from if you really don't want your son exposed to "bad words" for the reason that they're "bad words."

1. The first three or four Alvin Maker books.
2. The Homecoming Series (not for the language itself, but because of the frequency of adulteries and marital arrangements our society might find objectionable)
3. Hart's Hope (again, I don't remember specifics about the language itself, but there is some content that is most certainly not for children)
4. Xenocide and Children of the Mind (contain a few instances of b****, but I don't remember anything else that might be objectionable there)
5. The Lost Gate (has an occasional swear, but I'm basing the inclusion of this book mostly on the references to child molestation)

I think Ender in Exile, Speader for the Dead, the Shadow books, Pathfinder, Invasive Procedures (not really written by OSC, though he did have a major role that book's creation), and Empire have minimal language, so you could look into those.

Ultimately, however, your son will have to mature to enjoy these books fully. Far be it from me to offer parenting advice, but he is clearly in the phase where he equates bad language with things that are bad for him, and will therefore avoid bad language simply because it's there. It takes a more mature mindset to recognize that these words are not bad because they are "bad words" by the authority of what Mom and Dad say, but because it is immature and impolite for people to resort to them because of their societal stigma and unnecessarily crude connotations. It will require transitioning from a morality based blindly on what parents say to a morality based on certain principles and a strong sense of identity. My personal experience is not unlike your son's: I was initially turned off by some of the language in Orson Scott Card's works (I first read Speaker for the Dead in fifth grade), but I thoroughly enjoyed the stories and the characters, and the novels' moral commitment helped me make that transition to establish my own sense of values and principles. As such, I never use profane language, but because I know why it is ethically objectionable to use the words in real life situations, as opposed to just considering them bad words because my parents told me so, I have learned to look past the automatic revulsion to the words themselves and look for how they create meaning in the story.

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jebus202
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:

quote:
Well there you go lyndsay, you've certainly been put in your place. I hope you'll know not to come onto an author's fan forum and ask innocent questions about a book ever again.
God willing, people will eventually stop asking stupid questions. Even if it takes a million years- I'm ready to wait for that.
Oh come on, and put a stop to that feeling of smug superiority you get from verbally backhanding anyone who asks a question that's beneath you? You wouldn't want that. [Wink]
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DDDaysh
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Blayne, while I'm obviously not the person who originally asked the question, I wanted to thank you for putting forward such a sensible and reasonable solution to the problem.

quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
klak-klak-klak

@lyndsayb: I recall reading Ender's Game in high school at about grade 9, at about age 15-16.

If the words are offensive I suggest explaining that alot of older books provide 'culture', and a different perspective; it has to be understood that these are characters or other people speaking, in his minds-eye as it were, not him.

He doesn't have to repeat or use the words spoken in the book, just to understand that is how these people, at that time, at that age happen to speak to each other.

If it helps these are kids taken from their homes and forced through basically 5 year long summer camp without ever seeing their parents, they are 'mentally' much older and you son can use it as a point of comparison.

"This is how these people act because their life was so much harder, I am glad my life wasn't so hard so I don't have to speak like that."

Something along those lines.

Its all about putting up the proper sufficient barriers.


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JanitorBlade
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Orincoro: You are *way* out of line with your original and some subsequent posts. It stuns me that you would consider that to be the appropriate response to a person's well intentioned post.

Doing what you just did repeatedly is a very efficient way to get yourself banned. I can't allow anyone to be so verbally abusive, to say nothing of being that way without any provocation.

I'm going to edit your posts as well as those quoting them, I'm so surprised you would just come out of the woodwork like that.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
quote:
You have your view, I have mine. Personally I think we should attack that kind of idiocy. It's, well... idiotic.
What evidence have you ever seen that makes you think making the kind of post you made (and, for that matter, make on a regular basis) has a positive impact in the world?
What evidence do you have that nagging me about my attitude in this way has had a positive impact in the world? And yet here we are!
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
Orincoro: You are *way* out of line with your original and some subsequent posts. It stuns me that you would consider that to be the appropriate response to a person's well intentioned post.

Edit: Fine, whatever, screw it. I'm not really interested in continuing here if I need to deal with this level of inconsistency from you. Blayne needs to run to you and cry about me and act like a good a little boy so that he can make me look mean and maybe get a cookie, that's fine. You buy that crap for some reason. I get an ultimatum for being frank with my opinion, and he gets.... hm, lemme see, *nothing*, for screaming and rubbing his feces on the walls of every pet-topic he has. You wanna continue this bull**** double standard for the forum's special little boy, please, enjoy. I'm done.
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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
What evidence do you have that nagging me about my attitude in this way has had a positive impact in the world? And yet here we are!
You've demonstrated enough concern for rationality in the past that there's a small chance a comment to that affect might get you to change this particular habit. If your statement was honest, and not a blatant rationalization for acting like a jerk.

Not a big chance, but it costs me almost nothing, and I've seen people with behavior patterns similar to yours change them. (My theory of why that is a positive impact on the world is long enough that I DON'T think it's worth my time to explain. Rest assured I prefer a world where you act nicer to people)

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Orincoro
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You see, that's not nagging, that's an appeal to flattery. Those actually work.
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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
Orincoro: You are *way* out of line with your original and some subsequent posts. It stuns me that you would consider that to be the appropriate response to a person's well intentioned post.

Doing what you just did repeatedly is a very efficient way to get yourself banned. I can't allow anyone to be so verbally abusive, to say nothing of being that way without any provocation.

I'm going to edit your posts as well as those quoting them, I'm so surprised you would just come out of the woodwork like that.

You are over-reacting. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, in what I said that does not equal a thousand things that have been said to me here before. If you want to ban me for that, go right ahead. I haven't seen much consistency in your work so far, so a left field move like that wouldn't surprise me at all.
What on earth are you talking about? You waltzed into this thread where a parent was simply asking what to expect from Ender's Game as their son noticed some adult language, and your response was to insult their kid, their parenting style, and cast suspicions on their real motives. How is that anything but rude, insulting, and uncalled for?

I don't want to ban anybody, and you know it. If you feel there is inconsistency in my work there are three things you can do about that.

1: Point out posts that are violations of the TOS, so the chances I'll miss something decrease.

2: Explain to me where I might have overreacted or under reacted when I do post. Tell me what you think the correct response is. Many people *do* employ that strategy.

3: Don't intentionally post as you did in this thread, and drum up drama thus creating an increase in the sheer number of incidents I have to respond to.

I want to be your friend Orincoro, I hope you feel the same way. Help me moderate.

[ February 20, 2011, 11:50 PM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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Orincoro
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You want a piece of advice? Don't delete my posts and then go on and on publicly about how deplorable they are. I haven't seen you do that before, and it makes me completely unable to defend myself. Now anybody reading this sees your edit, and your breathless reproach, and nothing else. That's constructive? That helps someone here? How am I supposed to explain how you overreacted when you deleted my post and then made a huge deal of telling everyone why? Tie my hand behind my back and then stick a fork in my eye and ask me to paint you a picture- that's a winning idea.

And don't impune my motives, because you do not know why I said what I did. You don't know how I felt about it. Assuming that you do know is part of your problem.

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JanitorBlade
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Orincoro:
quote:
Edit: Fine, whatever, screw it. I'm not really interested in continuing here if I need to deal with this level of inconsistency from you. Blayne needs to run to you and cry about me and act like a good a little boy so that he can make me look mean and maybe get a cookie, that's fine. You buy that crap for some reason. I get an ultimatum for being frank with my opinion, and he gets.... hm, lemme see, *nothing*, for screaming and rubbing his feces on the walls of every pet-topic he has. You wanna continue this bull**** double standard for the forum's special little boy, please, enjoy. I'm done.
So this is about Blayne getting unfairly good treatment while you get mistreated? I didn't find your comments out of line because of anything Blayne said, I'm so confused as to why you think Blayne would have that sort of pull with me.

Further, I have certainly disciplined Blayne in the past. I've removed/edited his posts, as well as chastised him by email, and on the forums. I've even suspended his posting here, a measure I have never taken with you. I'm sorry you feel like you cannot continue posting here on Hatrack, but I don't think you've made any sort of real case for defending your behavior in this thread, or for your feelings that I am inconsistent here.

You did not just "express your opinion." That's an extremely weak defense, and I am sure you know it. You were needlessly rude and abrasive to a brand new member, and there was no need for it. You could have easily expressed ideas regarding mature language without belittling the poster, or their son, as well not casting aspersions on their methods as a parent.

This is all I have to say on the matter. Stop doing that. If you are feeling unfairly treated, PM me, I'd be happy to talk about it, I'd even welcome a frank discussion of how you feel about this.

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The Black Pearl
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Ender's Game is a book about hyper competitive children in an environment where they're encouraged to be super competitive. That pretty much explains the language.

[If you let your son play XBL or Starcraft, theres no reason (related to language) not to let him read Ender's Game]

I don't remember any cursing in Speaker for the Dead save for one scene/word. The environment in that book is completely different and there arent even really any bad guys.

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JanitorBlade
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Orincoro: I hadn't considered deleting your posts as "tying your hands behinds your back." That isn't my intention. I'm sorry if you felt that disabled your ability to defend your motives.

I have in fact deleted other poster's posts before, when I felt they were so egregiously rude, leaving them up there would be impolite to those they were being rude to. I understand leaving your posts up there allows other people to judge for themselves how to take your posts, but I feel it's a case of damned if you do damned if you don't. Removing your posts also prevents other people who are late to the argument to reopen the debate when I'm trying to close it.

edit: Lastly, I don't think I have even attempted to describe your motives for you, only what you actually did.

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The Black Pearl
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Maybe hes that one guy from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!
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Orincoro
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Right, so leave the bit about calling me a tool, and your out of context excoriations, and delete everything I've said. That totally the best solution you could have come up with...
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JanitorBlade
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Orincoro: We need to stop cluttering up this thread. If you actually want to talk about this, email me. I really do want to hear what you have to say. But our conversation isn't really going anywhere here.

edited for conciseness.

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lyndsayb
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Wow! I was a little worried people would think this was a silly topic, but I didn't expect quite this response! Thanks to everyone for your help!

My son is 11 years old, but reads well above his grade level, which makes it tricky to find books that are at his reading level, but not at an adult level as far as content.

I usually do read the books he is reading, but I have just been crazy busy and haven't had time to read these, yet. Hence the post on the forum!

I'm glad that I didn't come to check for replies until after some posts were removed, so I will not be offended!

Phanto - I agree, the original version is better. I'm so fed up with how everything is babyed-down now, there's no good vs. evil, no true winners. Ugh. My kids don't even get letter grades anymore so that no one is better than anyone else (oops, I'll step off that high horse now, that's a whole new topic!)!!

Blayne Bradley - thank you for your reply, it was truly helpful. My son goes to public school, shops with me at Wal*Mart, etc., so he's been exposed to lots of "lovely" words. He does not like listening to or reading foul language. I do not have any concerns of his repeating the words. It seems there are hardly any books w/o language in them, I appreciate the help in your reply with me helping him to understand the language in books better.

Orincoro - I'm sorry you found my question idiotic.

Strider - (great name, btw) Another great reply. Thank you.

Rakeesh - thanks for your reply.

Rivka - yes, it is because he is mormon that I assumed his books would be language-free. I've never read any of his books before.

Scott R - Thank you for answering my question and for your compliment on my family!! My son is one great kid!

Samprimary and C3PO - Thank you both, I appreciate the help with helping my son deal with reading books that contain language he is turned off by.

Again, thanks to everyone (including JanitorBlade for editing some posts) for your help with this. You really have been very helpful!!

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by lyndsayb:
Rivka - yes, it is because he is mormon that I assumed his books would be language-free. I've never read any of his books before.

As you have discovered, that isn't actually the safest assumption. And I can think of several other Mormon authors whose books may be inappropriate for pre-teens for similar reasons.
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Belle
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lindsay please stick around. We love involved parents who read with their kids on this forum, and we also love people who think Strider's name is awesome. And, coincidentally, we love people who love OSC.

My son read Ender's Game at 10, but like yours, he read way above his grade level. My other kids read it around 12. Like your son, they had all been exposed to language before, but were taught that just because you hear something, doesn't mean you use it yourself. If your son is enjoying the book and you are both okay with the language issue (and Blayne's advice was fantastic!), then I say it is worth it to continue. Or, put the book up and have him read it in a few years. [Smile]

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AchillesHeel
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I always felt the Stilson fight at the beginning of the book was more reason to caution against young children reading it rather than the intermitten foul language. The general content of the story and its setting is far more mature than its dialogue, but kudos for having a son who felt it necessary to share his concerns with you.
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El JT de Spang
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quote:
Originally posted by lyndsayb:
My son is 11 years old, but reads well above his grade level, which makes it tricky to find books that are at his reading level, but not at an adult level as far as content.

Granted, it's been a while since I had to look for stuff like this, but I'm not sure what you and him want for him to read even exists. Wouldn't books above his grade level be meant for adults? And wouldn't adult-aimed books have adult content, definitionally?

Anyway, it sounds like he's a very together kid -- I'd certainly trust him to look around on his own for books he'll like that don't contain language he doesn't like. I've never been a person who was bothered by adult content (and read the EG books when I was 9 or 10), so I'm unfortunately not much help here.

Has he checked out the Hunger Games trilogy, by chance?

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dkw
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Here is a set of Amazon lists put together by a mom with boys who are advanced readers. It starts with books appropriate for 5 year olds reading at a 5th grade level and goes up to 11 year olds reading at a high school level.

Edit: Ender's Game is on the list for 7 year olds reading at a 7th grade level, but it has a note that it's "somewhat violent and intense."

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rivka
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Oh, NICE.
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dkw
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It occurred to me after I read JT's post that there were likely other parents on Hatrack that would appreciate them.
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