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The dirty, dirty dictionary

Remember when you were eight years old and looking up words like “fart” in the dictionary? (We all did that, right? It wasn’t just me?)

Well, a school district in southern California has banned the Merriam-Webster dictionary from classrooms because of its sexually graphic nature.

The offending term that triggered the ban was oral sex (defined as “oral stimulation of the genitals”).

A spokeswoman says school officials are now reading the dictionary, cover to cover, in search of other overly graphic words and descriptions.

15 comments to The dirty, dirty dictionary

  • lucy

    Hahaha! This is so ridiculous it is funny.

    When I was a kid, my sister and I were playing some sort of rhyming word game and saying “funny bunny”, “fat cat”, and so on; then we decided to do the same thing for “duck”. Ha! My mom heard us and told us to stop, but she wouldn’t tell us what the offending word meant. I assumed it was a noun and it referred to a body part, but which one? Male or female? I remember looking it up in the dictionary and it was labelled as “vulgar” with some sort of definition that I didn’t understand. So it took me some years to figure out what it meant. Of course, the fact that our mom had told us not to say it meant that we kept saying more and more, mainly to provoke her. Sigh… my son does that to me now.

  • grace

    Heartwarming that school officials are reading . . .

  • Oh, those crazy Americans.

    All the violence you want, but no nipples on TV!

  • At first I thought you were joking until I went to the link.
    Oh dear.

  • Pat Robertson would be proud of that school board.
    I can’t think of a more damning indictment.

  • Bethany

    This is just absurd. I’m ashamed that it’s happening in California, of all places — it might make more sense coming from a state like Kansas where they seriously consider teaching “intelligent design” as an alternative theory to actual science, but California? I thought we were less susceptible to the hysterical bleatings of the “THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!” brigade.

  • Until I clicked on the link I would have sworn you were shitting us all out here in cyberspace.

    This is insanity!

  • Wouldn’t it just be quicker for us to send them a list of problematic words rather than reading the whole dictionary.

    I can start the list. Lemme see: I think I’d start with either foolhardy or short-sighted.

  • sassy

    Heather – good suggestion but YOU CAN’T FIX STUPID

  • XUP

    At least something good has come of all this — think of the increased vocabularies of all those dictionary readers!

  • Carmen

    So…are they going to have a bondfire in the school yarn and but all those naughty dictionaries? Yikes!!!! And which book will be next on their hit list?

  • Tom Sawyer

    As for “Related posts: The dirty old pigeon man.” I missed this one from 2008. (Or I didn’t know you yet.)

    The old man in Athens, Greece, wasn’t “copping a feel.” Old men in Athens, Greece–or anywhere, for that matter–don’t lower themselves to that level. The man was simply arranging you to better feed the pigeons. Your twist on it is typical of a hypersensitive thirty-five-year old gal. You know better now, don’t you, Zoom?

  • Think of the other words the committee might find! Things like education, and intelligence, and open mindedness.

  • Wow… that’s all I have to say… wow!

  • har! wish it weren’t so but if nothing else, yes, officials edify themselves.