I found (in a comment on a review on Amazon) a rather profound statement. The reviewer had panned a naval book based in the 1800s because it used the vernacular of the times. He found the navy jargon of the 1800s “boring” and it was too much trouble for him to look up the meaning of the terms. He is what I call an “uncommitted” reader. There is an unwritten agreement between author and reader. I will write this book as authentically as possible, but you must put in a little effort yourself. The comment on the review said that the authenticity of the language is exactly what that particular reader was looking for. He summed it up by saying, “Books that are for everybody are generally dull anyway.” I love it! The man speaks to truth.
When I encounter a book that is placed in another era I expect the “jargon” to be of that period. Nothing is more disconcerting then to have a story supposedly taking place in Olde England and have the protagonist say something like, “Hey, man, this horse-drawn carriage is super cool.” That, in my opinion, is a terrible misuse of the English language. It is one reason I have gone back to re-reading some of the old masterpieces by Jack London, Robert Louis Stevenson, etc. For me, words have always been like jewels and should be treasured for their value. A writer who is too lazy to research the language of the time he or she is writing about, is too boring for me to read.
I don’t know how you check out books you might want to read, but here is how I do it. I go on the site and check how many one and two star reviews are there. Then I check anything from three stars upward. If the “goods” seem authentic, and the “bads” are some picky reference to something the reader has a personal vendetta against (which, to me, means that this is just a bitter person who wouldn’t be pleased with anything) that makes me give the book a try.
One man’s tea can easily be another man’s poison. And I find that what the commenter alluded to is often quite true. “Books that are for everybody (and in that category I personally would include, Romance, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Cozies, etc.) are generally dull anyway.”