Monday, January 25, 2010

WTF. Seriously.

Southern California, the loins of America from which our best and brightest spring forth,* has banned dictionaries.

Let me just write that one more time.

Dictionaries. Merriam Webster's 10th edition, to be exact.

Why? Are you sure you really want to know? Because I don't think you do.

Okay, just don't say I didn't warn you.

The dictionary ban is due to a definition (after all, what dictionaries do best) of the phrase "oral sex."

The parents opposed think the definition is too graphic. May I ask how one defines "oral sex" without describing what it is? The definition provided by Merriam Webster is straightforward and honest. It is a legitimate phrase in a reference text. See, reference texts are what some people turn to when they need to learn more information about something they are unfamiliar with. Even ten-year-olds, the likes of which have probably heard worse from dear old mom and dad.

Of course, educating one's own children on the cusp of puberty would be just the worse thing a parent could do. Having an open and honest conversation can never be a good thing. Hurry! Burn the books, hide the DVDs, cancel the Internet service, and forget sex-ed. The little cherubs need to be protected forever and ever.**

I am not saying that looking out for children's well-being is wrong. But banning dictionaries? Damming the flow of information? Discouraging research and curiosity? That is wrong.

Very, very wrong.

* This is sarcasm.

** This is also sarcasm. Just so you know. Oh, and also? I hate people.


Leslie said...

There were some interesting comments on mefi about this. And, sort of in defence of the rest of southern california, it was one school district in a particularly conservative area.

I think someone just needs to play would you rather with them... would you rather your kid looked up this term in the dictionary or typed it into google?

Kyle said...

Leslie, I more or less said the same thing. I doubt kids know how to do a define: in Google, so let them do an image search instead...

whiskey9cjo said...

Holy cow! I had no idea define: existed! Thanks Kyle!

Guess I always used the electronic dictionary on this computer.

Katherine said...

Love it, Leslie. Kids would probably skip the old fashioned dictionary and head straight to Google anyway! They'd better get going on censoring the whole Internetz.