…and there are writers.
So what about the distinction between “serious” readers and “influential” readers? Maybe cynical, but let’s just suppose that a “serious” reader is a critical thinker whose opinion is worth something more than money. Which leads to the other kind, the “influential,” rich famous whatever… got money.
“Serious” and “influential” need not be mutually exclusive, but how about letting the cat out of the box and admit: some writers direct people with money here because the writer hopes to get some of it. Well, gosh-all-heck, we all have our golden crosses to bear. When the text-resources-solutions language cops arrive, the text begins to look like a gilded cemetery. Nothing is happening on the “influential” side except abject obedience, now a-la mode in most industries. Still, sometimes it is possible to be creative and mercenary. Just don’t step in the bucket.
Now- the “serious” reader is quite capable of spotting sexism, racism, and whatever bucket of isms and phobes can be drawn from the text. They are also able to weather the slings and blings of naughty words. I would say that readers who get ubis in a wad over naughty words had little exposure to literature. If they have, they’re probably comp-rhet people, whose text is as dismal as any on the planet.
Now, about writing, that is, the most advanced and creative form of the written language, this is an art. As such, some practitioners will fowl the critics… usually the lame ones, but sometimes the wise. As usual, all is forgiven by the formalists when language evolves in the obvious direction. There will always be representationalists to do a Thomas Kinkade™ number on the surrealists, always people who think Mozart has “too many notes.”
If kussin is tuber-verboten by the kartoffel boss heavyweights on the site, then why not say it’s a rule because we said so and be done with it? How about if everybody has to write with a tie on, ladies- you may wear heels. Betcha you’ll get a fair amount of naked people of every gender and age submitting text wearing naught but ties and heels. In the dark, of course, buckets on heads to maintain anonymity Maybe I’m just being “childish.” Hey, guilty as charged. One of the penalties for keeping a sense of play is crinkling some starchy britches and getting whacked with a ruler.
So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever.