Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Speaking of Banishing Words...

Daryl Cagle collects political cartoons from various sources and has created a list of comic strips in response to the "cleaning up" of the words in Huck Finn; you can find the cartoons here. There are quite a few in the list, and several had me snorting at my computer screen.

Anyone who has had a linguistics course with me knows that I strongly feel that we associate negative connotations with words and that the words themselves cannot be "good" or "bad." They are words. The "good" and "bad" comes in how we use them. I find it disheartening that instead of using books like Huck Finn that were written in a different era with different ideals to prompt discussions on language change, our nation is sweeping its verbal history under the rug and telling the public that some words are, indeed, bad. In fact, they are so bad that readers should not have to find such words in their books. *sigh*

What was your reaction to the changing of the words?


  1. I heard about this earlier today. Someone told me about a bit on the January 11 episode of The Daily Show where a black correspondent addresses this.

  2. I will go look that up immediately. Thanks for letting me know.