Being that I was in Italy for this overhear, I certainly could have chosen many other Italian phrases. But, aside from the fact the most of them I didn’t understand and couldn’t duplicate, this word just fit my post today in many ways.
First, next month Romancing the Genres will spotlight guest authors of YA (or young writers themselves). Now for me there are three times when you do not want to get language usage wrong while writing. 1. When you are using foreign terms, like Ciao. 2. When you are writing for the young adult audience. (Which, let’s face it, can often sound more foreign than another country’s language.) and 3. Anytime you reference another literary world. (Do not, for example, use Thumping Willow when referring to the Harry Potter Tree that tries to smash people.)
Of these three situations, I think the most difficult to get right is the language of youth. For one thing, it is entirely fluid, changing rapidly with both geography and time. More importantly, they don’t really like to share it with us mere adult mortals. Seriously! Ask a teenager what salty means and you are sure to get an eye roll rather than an answer. BTW – according to an article on Huiffington Post it is; “Someone or something who is overly pissed off, angry or annoying.” (Find more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/12/19/slang-words-2013-_n_4461422.html)
The best YA authors use slang that will stand the test of time, at least for a little while; like hashtag. Otherwise, they know that language isn’t simply the words we use, but how we frame sentences and conversations. Tight, abrupt, short, could all be used to describe language as used by teenagers. Life feels too short and too busy to speak in long, flowing sentences. But don’t, please, take my word on this as I don’t write YA. Do come back in September when our YA authors can, I’m sure, talk more about it.
Since my post is getting long… I'll only say a bit about the other two reasons I chose the word ciao. As I mentioned, I was in Italy when I overheard it… and I have a lot, (a lot) more to say on the topic. Too much for here in fact! But now that my jetlag is finished, I’ll be spending lots of time with my computer posting all about my amazing trip on my personal blog, http://www.deannewilsted.com/my-world---blog.
Which… I do hope you’ll find. Since, I am sad to say, this is my final official post as a Genreista! I’ve decided, after a couple of years of being part of this amazing group of bloggers, that it is time to let a new author have their chance at writing about Romance and genres and for me to focus on the reason for my European trip- my next book.
I truly appreciate all of the support for both my writing and my words over the last two years. And I plan to be a guest for RTG whenever I get the chance. I hope you’ve enjoyed my overhears… and for now, rather than say ciao I will say Arrivederci – which means, goodbye until we meet again.