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  • Webster's banned for too much sex


Comments Jan 25, 2010 11:55 pm

Somebody must be thinking that removing the dictionary from the school's library will abate students' curiosity or perhaps that dictionaries play as much a role in spreading explicit or vulgar terms as the actual interactions in which these are perceived and the contexts in which their meanings can often be inferred accurately. Pretty soon these "language officers" will have to levy a fine on whoever uses a vulgar or sexually explicit term, which is probably a more efficient way than removing the dictionary from the school's library. Hey, why stop at sex terms and not purge the language of everything offensive? Then one generation of speakers will be short of terms for what they really want to say. We know very well the cycle will start all over again, as with euphemisms. Speakers will invent new ones. If the guys really want to protect their children, they should start by sanitizing the social practices that these terms name.Salikoko Mufwene

Reply to at 11:55 pm