Marchbooks' Blog

October 26, 2009

An Insane Ban On Words

Filed under: On Writing and Publishing — marchbooks @ 4:01 pm
Tags: , , ,

I have always had a love affair with words. Even before I began writing with a purpose, I was enmored with the use of words, both written and spoken, to convey my thoughts. Conversation can be so colorful with just an occasional dash from a broadened vocabulary. The right word can make you see the vibrant color in a fall leaf, smell the salt in an ocean breeze or taste the first snow flake of the season on your tongue. Even the clunkier, less elegant inhabitants of the dictionary serve a purpose. That is why it so infuriates me to see a campaign, to ban words, such as the one shown below.

To me, this is the equivalent of banning building blocks from toy stores. True, words hurt and there are certain words; racial slurs, swears, etc. that do not add much to any dialogue but, in the right circumstance or setting, even they can serve a purpose. The ban in question, however, goes beyond the pale. Teenager, homeless and American are just a few of the words that are targeted to be banned.

You might say to yourself, who cares? After all, they can’t exactly arrest you for calling your son a teenager. But, what they are talking about here is excluding these words from school text books. I have to wonder if this energy couldn’t be rechanneled to a more worthwhile cause. Our school children are having to deal with drugs, sex and violence in their schools. Will the banning of these select words serve to improve their school experience – I doubt it. In almost all cases, they are only replacing one, succinct, word with a cumbersome three word phrase. Yes, that would be our definition of progress.

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