US school bans the dictionary (seriously)

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US school bans the dictionary (seriously)

Postby Darth Wong » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:36 pm

This is not The Onion or any other satirical website.
http://www.parentcentral.ca/parent/educ ... dictionary

Here's the key excerpt:
U.S. school bans the dictionary
January 26, 2010
Cathal Kelly

A Southern California school board has pulled the Merriam-Webster dictionary off its shelves after a parent complained about the entry “oral sex.”

The collegiate-level dictionary was being used in grade four and five classrooms. The school now promises to begin a thorough scouring of the dictionary for other offensive entries.

“It’s hard to sit and read the dictionary, but we’ll be looking to find other things of a graphic nature,” Menifee Union School District spokesperson Betti Cadmus told the local The Press-Enterprise newspaper.

...

You just can't make this stuff up, folks. It's unbelievable. What kind of imbecile would ban the dictionary?
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Re: US school bans the dictionary (seriously)

Postby tmbackoff » Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:51 pm

Darth Wong wrote:A Southern California school board has pulled the Merriam-Webster dictionary off its shelves after a parent complained about the entry “oral sex”

She's worried about that? Words found in the dictionary:

*snips*

By they way, I'm 13. Believe me, if anyone (any age) wants to know the definition of any of these words, they won't go looking in the dictionary, they will ask their friends. :roll:
Last edited by lurttinen on Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: The list of obscene words is not needed to make the point.
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Re: US school bans the dictionary (seriously)

Postby Christian 2.0 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:42 am

This is getting silly, the whole "lets keep our children away from anything that could even be remotely bad" trend is being blown way out of proportion.

This story reminds me of something similar that's happened recently over here. We have an infant's cartoon called "Peppa Pig", the animator has agreed to re-animate the entire series because in several episodes the pig drives its car without wearing a seatbelt. Consequently, one parent's child refused to wear a seatbelt in a car because Peppa pig did not. More on that here.

As the user above me said, removing the dictionary is only going to effect childrens' ability to learn. Looking up obscene words in the dictionary is just part of being a kid. They'll be exposed to much worse on the Internet, parental block or none. :roll:
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Re: US school bans the dictionary (seriously)

Postby ric323 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:04 am

If we're only going to have a "nice" dictionary, then they should remove all terms describing torture, violence and war....
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Re: US school bans the dictionary (seriously)

Postby RMcGirr83 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:31 am

The school now promises to begin a thorough scouring of the dictionary for other offensive entries.


:lol:

Thanks for the laugh. They must have nothing else better to do.

Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, together with its 1993 Addenda Section, includes some 470,000 entries.


Good luck with that. School board members will be retired by the time they "scour" through 470,000 entries.

Here's an "offensive" word for that parent.

Troglodyte

Thanks to "Jurassic Park"!!
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Re: US school bans the dictionary (seriously)

Postby Desdenova » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:11 pm

They might as well just write their own dictionary. It'll take less time.
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Re: US school bans the dictionary (seriously)

Postby Cpt. Blackbeard » Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:00 pm

To be honest when I was in school they did not use the unabridged version, they used an abridged copy that did not contain words considered offensive so this is hardly a new idea. Sounds like they just stopped making an unabridged version or schools forgot what the word unabridged means. :D
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Re: US school bans the dictionary (seriously)

Postby Darth Wong » Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:50 pm

It's one thing to have only a small dictionary in the classroom and a bigger one only in the main library (or even to lack an unabridged version in the school because you're incredibly short of funds), but it's quite another to actually ban the unabridged dictionary from school property.
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Re: US school bans the dictionary (seriously)

Postby Cpt. Blackbeard » Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:39 pm

I do not believe lack of funds was the reason they only had an abridged version, it was censorship. The only difference is that this school is now trying to make their own abridged copy, sounds like they plan to simply mark out all the "offensive" items and return it, so in that it will be no different than the ones I grew up with.
The sad thing is that the parent complained, as we all know it has simply created a controversy but solved nothing.
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Re: US school bans the dictionary (seriously)

Postby AdamR » Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:15 pm

Cpt. Blackbeard wrote:The sad thing is that the parent complained, as we all know it has simply created a controversy but solved nothing.


The sad thing isn't that the parent complained. There's always going to be rather strange individuals out there who can't think for themselves. The truly sad thing here is that the school board didn't laugh in their face when they brought up the issue.

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Re: US school bans the dictionary (seriously)

Postby TheSnake » Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:11 am

After reading this, & laughing my socks off, 1 thought remains, how stupid must both the Parent & the School feel now?

OK, so they have a dictionary that contains choice references that could be a little awkward to discuss with a child. The parent obviously has issues when it comes to taking to their child about such matters. The parent should be able to talk to their child in a round-about fashion about such matters, which they then shouldn't feel embarressment over, but also gives the child a basic answer to the question.

I am a parent myself, & my child asked me a few questions a few years ago that had been overheard in school of other children talking about. It was of the crude variety of words for body parts, it was easy to deal with. If you put it into basic terms the child can understand, as well as more of a clinical nature rather than a descriptive explanation, children will usually just accept what you say, then go on with whatever takes their attention 10 seconds later.

What I am surprised over, is why the school didn't smile & just accept what the parent was concerned over, then make sure that the child/children of that class/year have a different dictionary more suitable to their age. From my understanding of the schools year 1-11ish type guide, the child in question would have been about 9 or 10, most of the words in the type of dictionary that was being referenced would be out of the child's understanding anyway.
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Re: US school bans the dictionary (seriously)

Postby battye » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:41 am

Tom wrote:
Darth Wong wrote:You just can't make this stuff up, folks. It's unbelievable. What kind of imbecile would ban the dictionary?

This is America. God forbid we say one thing about intimacy or use "obscene" language on public TV without the FCC on our tails. That, my friend, is the pinnacle of freedom. :roll:


There was an episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip which summed up exactly what you said; the FCC wanted to fine the network (and threaten to revoke the transmitter licenses and affiliate licenses) if they did not issue a public apology, or air all future news broadcasts on delay, because a soldier swore on live news when a bomb exploded next to them in Iraq.
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Re: US school bans the dictionary (seriously)

Postby kill_switch » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:54 pm

RMcGirr83 wrote:Here's an "offensive" word for that parent.

Troglodyte

Thanks to "Jurassic Park"!!


ROFL, I wonder how many people had to look that up.

New JP movies coming out soon.
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Re: US school bans the dictionary (seriously)

Postby Dog Cow » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:32 am

A spokesperson for Merriam-Webster pointed out that they also publish dictionaries for elementary- and intermediate-level readers, dictionaries that don’t include sexually explicit explanations.

“We are a bit surprised to hear about the controversy,” Merriam-Webster spokesperson Meghan Lieberwirth told thestar.com Tuesday. “The job of the dictionary is to reflect language. Unfortunately, some of those words are going to be the sort you don’t want grade-school kids using ... We don’t recommend the use of our college-level dictionary at the grade-school level.”


This seems like a reasonable solution. I had a children's dictionary when I was in grade school. And I still have it now.
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Re: US school bans the dictionary (seriously)

Postby kshawkeye » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:01 am

This actually really pisses me off, how protective are we going to let parents and teachers get? Kids need to scratch there knee, laugh at the word "oral" and just have fun in order to grow up. Some may disagree with me but I think that overeating on a stupid word in the dictionary is pushing it.
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