During World War II , some United States soldiers in the Pacific theater used the word lollapalooza as a shibboleth to challenge unidentified persons, on the premise that Japanese people often pronounce the letter L as R or confuse Rs with Ls; the word is also an American colloquialism that even a foreign person fairly well-versed in American English would probably mispronounce or be unfamiliar with.  In George Stimpson's A Book about a Thousand Things, the author notes that, in the war, Japanese spies would often approach checkpoints posing as American or Filipino military personnel. A shibboleth such as "lollapalooza" would be used by the sentry, who, if the first two syllables come back as rorra, would "open fire without waiting to hear the remainder".  During the Allied breakout from the Normandy beachheads in 1944, hand-to-hand fighting occurred throughout the hedgerows and thick undergrowth of the Norman countryside. British and American troops were told to use the word "Thunderer" as a countersign through the thick foliage. Given the number of syllables and the leading "th" sound, it was believed that the word would invariably be mispronounced by native German speakers. [ citation needed ]
Maybe the most abiding lesson that Hinton taught authors about writing for teenagers is that they didn't need to water down their prose to relate to a younger audience. A look at the most recent New York Times bestseller list proves it – for the last for weeks, the most popular young adult book is Angie Thomas' The Hate U Give , a book about a 16-year-old girl grappling with the aftermath of her friend's fatal shooting by a police officer. Nor has the work of popular YA authors like John Green or Woodson shied away from serious "adult" issues like violence and racism. This is no "a horse-and-the-girl-who-loved-it" stuff. Many writers have heeded the advice Hinton gave as a teenage author. "Writers shouldn't be afraid that they will shock their teenage audience," Hinton wrote in the Times . "But give them something to hang on to. Show them that some people don't sell out and that everyone can't be bought. Do it realistically. Earn respect by giving it." In other words: stay gold.