In Structures of English, we've been talking about attitudes people have toward language, especially toward particular words or accents in English. Quite often, those attitudes are, unfortunately, on the negative side. We tend to have feelings about words or constructions that should or should not be used in the English language and judge other people according to those feelings. Yet, who has the right to dictate what words should or should not be used (or even belong) in the English language?
The English dictionary is a book set apart from other books in its long tradition of supplying definitions based on usage for words found in our language. It is possibly the most useful reference book students, writers, readers, and language lovers can consult. And yet... It was recently banned from a school for its inclusion of "colorful" language (read about it here). Banning dictionaries takes the idea of banning books to a whole new level and makes me question just how attached American English speakers are to the idea of being able to monitor--and control--language use.
I would like to hear what other people think about this. Should dictionaries be banned? Further, should they be better censored for content if being published for use in elementary schools? Or should dictionaries be allowed to grace bookshelves everywhere in their full glory?