Friday, February 27, 2009

Secondary Topic: Censorship

10-second review: Gore Vidal suggests that students substitute “good words” for obscenities like those in The Catcher in the Rye. A good way to neutralize them.

Title: “Holden Caulfield Is Alive and Well and Still Causing Trouble.” RL Page. English Journal (May 1975), 27-31. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary/Quote: “…Vidal’s solution: eliminate all ‘bad’ or ‘dirty’ words, and replace ‘the missing bad words with some very good words indeed: the names of the Justices who concurred in the Court’s majority decision. Burger, Rehnquist, Powell, Whizzer White and Blackmun fill, as it were, the breach….’ I believe [Vidal continues] that these substitutions are not only socially edifying and redemptive but tend to revitalize a language gone stale and inexact from too much burgering around with meaning.” p. 31.

“Pretty soon he’ll be telling me to get my blackmun out of here. I guess I will.”

Comment: I’m still laughing. What a great idea. Should also help keep the discussion clean. RayS.

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