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Not sure whether to laugh or cry...
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Evie
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:57 pm    Post subject: Not sure whether to laugh or cry...  Reply with quote

http://timesonline.typepad.com/sc...banned-from-school-classroom.html


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spidernick



Joined: 01 Jul 2009
Posts: 107


Location: Fareham, Hants

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a thread about The Style Council's Long Hot Summer then?!!!

I was going to say 'Only in America', but these days we seem to follow their lead in madness like this (the litigation culture, etc.) so we may well have similar stories at some stage in the future.  It's bonkers!

On a lighter note it reminds me of Blackadder the Third and of course, the dictionary episode:

Johnson: 'Surely you're not using the first ever dictionary to look up rude words?'

Blackadder: 'That's what every other one will be used for!'.



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VillageDuckpond



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 57


Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spidernick

I really wouldn't be surprised if this weren't taken up in the UK as well as we seem to follow the US in everything else! Surely what that child was doing is all part of growing up and being curious ....and I see no harm in that!

Sasha


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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864


Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must admit that when I got the one-volume edition of the complete OED, the first thing I did was to look up the etymology of the word "fart".

(And no - I wasn't a child: I was in my 30s.)


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Chibiabos83
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3362


Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much for flagging this up, E/V - I'm about to get stuck into writing an essay on censorship and it will be a very welcome inclusion. Always a good idea to put something topical in as it may come as a pleasant change to the lecturer who has had to read umpteen essays all the same. Though in fact I may be the only one in the class who's doing censorship.

Nick, the first time I saw that episode of Blackadder I laughed out loud at the acuity of the observation, still very young though I was. I would have been six or seven and it chimed in perfectly with what I had been doing with dictionaries in the past few years. To this day it's all I use them for.


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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2932


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was about 13 (children - some of them anyway - were more innocent in those days) I asked my grandmother what a brothel was.  [The hostel kids walked in crocodile to school past a house which seemed to have loosely clad young women hanging out of at odd times of the day and some of the more sophisticated of us thought it was a brothel.  But this was information beyond me.]

She told me to look up the dictionary (my grandmother had brought four sons and wasn't great on sex education), which I did, but it an irritating way of saying "Where prostitutes work" and then "prostitutes" were "'people who work in a brothel".  So I was going round in circles till an aunt who must have been there for the original question decided she would tell me.  

By my desk is an Oxford school dictionary and it does not mention oral sex or some of the other words kids (and adults) like to look up.  I think there is a reasonable point that a more age-appropriate dictionary could be used.  

Cheers, Caro.


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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864


Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caro wrote:
...then "prostitutes" were "'people who work in a brothel".  


That was a shockingly bad definition of "prostitute" in that dictionary!

But yes, I agree that one could have an age-appropriate dictionary in schools for small children. But then again ... sniggering over rude words in a dictionary may well be part of growing up!


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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2932


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was a long time ago, Himadri, and I may not have remembered the actual definition but I do remember that the definitions just took me in circles and didn't help me understand at all.

Cheers, Caro.


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Freyda



Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 425



PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Chambers Dictionary doesn't have an entry for oral sex but does have oral contraception - clearly it's the sensible girls' dictionary choice.


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Melony



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 364



PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freyda, that was the best comment ever!  LOL  It's incredible that the dictionary was banned, but really, is a definition of oral sex really needed in a dictionary?  Must be a post-Clinton dictionary.  Of course there are age appropriate dictionaries that should be purchased and used in an elementary school, but evidently the naive librarians never thought about such a word being in the dictionary!



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