YA vs. Teen Which Nomer Will Prevail?
According to www.googlefight.com the term teen wins by about 40,000,000 results.
Young Adult has the connotation of something more serious than you want it to be. Like when someone calls you “young lady,” you know you’re in trouble. There’s a sort of formal distancing when the term is used. Teen seems like a casual, passe term that people just fling around. You hardly ever hear a teenager refer to herself as a teen, or with any label for that matter, but she’d sooner identify with the term teen than with young adult.
The term young in itself seems an affront to some teens who like to think of themselves as mature beyond their years. As we get older “young” develops a more positive connotation especially when you start to consider yourself old. Age ain’t nothing but a number.
There have been occasions where I’ve directed an adolescent to the YA section only to get a bewildered look like I was speaking another language. Perhaps that’s an example where library terminology gets in the way of connecting with our target audience. Libraries tend to treat teens marginally, not as adults, but as kids too old for the kid’s section. As young adult librarians we’re trying to change that status quo.
So you decide, is it young adult or teen?