I wouldn't usually make a journal about this, but it's just been irking me a little since Squirrelfox sent me a video earlier.
You know, I'm sitting here watching lewd videos on YouTube, reading an AAR from the Battle of Fallujah (don't ask, I have no effing idea) and this jerk comes along and shows me this video that's gonna irritate me. Thanks a bunch, Squirrelfox!
Ok, I'm kidding.
The video in question is not a particularly egregious example of the thing I'm talking about, so I won't link it here. It mostly just reminded me of something that I feel like I need to comment on.
Now, I won't lie. I call it a pet peeve, but this is a big issue and I'm obviously not keen on causing controversy or conflict. But that may happen.
As an author who, thus far, has primarily written stories featuring younger characters (having started writing at the age of twelve myself), I get irritated whenever I see children in fiction speaking in a way that is unlikely or absolutely inappropriate for their age. It's not even just in fiction: you're almost guaranteed to see this even when it's supposed to be a simple matter of transcription.
In the case of the video Squirrelfox linked me, it was a boy saying "my mom is" and it was transcribed as "my mommy is." Simple thing, right? Wondering why it irks me?
Like I said, this isn't a good example because "mom is" and "mommy's" is fairly close, though I have no doubt that the kid said the former. This particular form of the problem is minor, but it nonetheless irritates me because I think it demonstrates an underlying desire to portray children as more dependent and shallower than they really are, because that appeals to people who don't really connect with or have respect for young people as human beings. Who think of them as cute little dolls who do cute things and nothing more.
It's "cuter" and more appealing to us if he said "mommy." So we misquote him, portraying him as more immature than he really is for our own amusement. Hey, it's fine if he actually said that, but I have a big problem with seeing children misportrayed in fiction, because it frankly seems like too many people get their idea of what kids are like from watching television. If even that.
That, ultimately, is the problem. Many of the people that do seek to portray children in fiction have zero experience with them - especially online, and especially in the furry fandom.
But the problem is endemic to mainstream television, movies and books too - and 50% of the jokes about children I've seen on the internet fall flat simply because kids do not act that way.
What I am saying is that as an author with many child characters, I roll my eyes whenever I read laughably inappropriate dialogue or otherwise get the impression that an author has never spoken with a real kid for more than five seconds.
What? I can have pet peeves, okay?
7 years ago
08 Dec 2011 11:43 CET