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Old 01-05-2011, 05:00 AM   #1
kentatm
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Default Mark Twain New Editions: 'Offensive' Words To Be Removed

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Mark Twain wrote that "the difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter." A new edition of "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "Tom Sawyer" will try to find out if that holds true by replacing the N-word with "slave" in an effort not to offend readers.

In addition to replacing the N-word, Gribben changes the villain in "Tom Sawyer" from "Injun Joe" to "Indian Joe" and "half-breed" becomes "half-blood."

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how can you properly teach if you whitewash history?

if you are too uncomfortable to say "offensive" words in the context of the subject at hand you shouldn't be teaching IMO.
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:04 AM   #2
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Default Re: Mark Twain New Editions: 'Offensive' Words To Be Removed

Retarded
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: Mark Twain New Editions: 'Offensive' Words To Be Removed

The Ticket had a long rant about this today...I think there are even black people upset at this if i remember it correctly...like we are trying to pretend it never happened...

I think the problem was that teachers have never been able to read that book to kids because of all the "N-bombs"...Huck Finn never sees a school room...
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: Mark Twain New Editions: 'Offensive' Words To Be Removed

It sucks and I definitely don't condone it, but I think putting yourself in the shoes of a white teacher at an inner city high school shines light on the decision. Calling out the credibility of teachers based on their discomfort using some of the most provocative to a demographic that would be most likely to take issue seems like a low blow. Altering the books is hardly the answer, especially considering the alternatives of, you know, just using other books (there are quite a few last I checked), but you can be damn sure I'd feel uncomfortable reading a passage from 'Huck Finn' to a few dozen black innercity teenagers as well.
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: Mark Twain New Editions: 'Offensive' Words To Be Removed

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Originally Posted by RidonKs
It sucks and I definitely don't condone it, but I think putting yourself in the shoes of a white teacher at an inner city high school shines light on the decision. Calling out the credibility of teachers based on their discomfort using some of the most provocative to a demographic that would be most likely to take issue seems like a low blow. Altering the books is hardly the answer, especially considering the alternatives of, you know, just using other books (there are quite a few last I checked), but you can be damn sure I'd feel uncomfortable reading a passage from 'Huck Finn' to a few dozen black innercity teenagers as well.


well since I actually have taught Huck Finn in an English class and Civil War through reconstruction era US history to black students I feel I have the right to call others out.

I always looked at it as if I don't trust my students to understand then they won't trust me either. I found that if you speak to kids as adults rather than at them as children, they will respond quite well.

(was in my college teacher program and was a student teacher for two years, taught at Denison High in Denison, Texas. classes were mixed race. Hispanic, black, white in that order of prevalence )

to me it would be like a science teacher saying wiener instead of ***** or poop instead of feces.





and of course, f-ing pen!s is a censored word here.




PS: I realize I am on a bit of a high horse and that I don't have anywhere close to the same issues with supposed "bad" words as others might. IMO people should get over it. They are just words. The only power they have is what you give them.

PPS: I led into the Huck Finn discussion by recognizing it was full of the N word, asking why that might be and going into the history of the word and how the perception of other words have similarly changed throughout time. Kids aren't stupid. Give them the context of what you are talking about and they can follow. Unfortunately, too many school districts and states have gone the route of teaching Snapple cap facts to regurgitate onto standardized tests with zero context for what they have learned. Its a big reason why I left the profession. I kept getting into trouble for, and I quote, "Giving them more information than they are capable of retaining." This was funny to me b/c the students often stayed far more engaged in discussion and retained the information better when I was giving them a reason for knowing it other than they needed it to pass the test.

Last edited by kentatm : 01-05-2011 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:54 AM   #6
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Default Re: Mark Twain New Editions: 'Offensive' Words To Be Removed

horribly, horribly wrong. The West has openly condoned China and Japan (along with many other countries) for whitewashing history in school text, and while this is different (a piece of fiction) it is very symbolic of the era, and that is the main reason it is still taught today, and in many ways rewriting fiction to fit today's social norms is somehow even more perverse than rewriting history.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:25 AM   #7
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Default Re: Mark Twain New Editions: 'Offensive' Words To Be Removed

Quote:
Originally Posted by kentatm

PS: I realize I am on a bit of a high horse and that I don't have anywhere close to the same issues with supposed "bad" words as others might. IMO people should get over it. They are just words. The only power they have is what you give them.


to me it would be like a science teacher saying wiener instead of ***** or poop instead of feces.






good post. i disagree.

fwiw, i don't think that's a good comparison.



i'm ok with this type of editing, in principle.

it's not like the original versions are a secret or aren't available.

those types of words are not only offensive, but this is a country that has historically mind-fukced minorities.

those types of words have a much deeper meaning. anyway, it's not like the reader loses anything (imo), since the new words reflect the same idea.

Last edited by BRabbiT : 01-05-2011 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: Mark Twain New Editions: 'Offensive' Words To Be Removed

i think this is crazy, but neccessary given today's times of our litigious society.

it seems today somebody will sue for just about anything.

i think it would be important for teachers to point out the issue of the book being censored and could point their students to the uncensored book and could spark a good lesson and discussion in the classroom.

here's a book that probably won't get sensored.
its a good book for anyone inteseted in basketball and good for coaches and players in all levels.

http://www.amazon.com/Basketball-Dri...4240950&sr=8-1
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:57 AM   #9
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Default Re: Mark Twain New Editions: 'Offensive' Words To Be Removed

When Twain's autobiography is gonna be released? Should be awesome to learn things from this dude.
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: Mark Twain New Editions: 'Offensive' Words To Be Removed

Anyone who read the abridged version is gonna know what the original text is, so what's the difference if they actually read it or simply think it.

It's kinda like using the phrase "The N Word", is still has the same meaning and intent. If I use the phrase in dialogue, like here, and it has no ill intent, and is being used in subject, then why not just say ******. Now if I yell out my car window "This N-Word can't drive!!", just because I didn't say it doesn't mean it didn't have the same meaning or intent.
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:25 PM   #11
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Default Re: Mark Twain New Editions: 'Offensive' Words To Be Removed

Slave Jim was always my favorite character!
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:52 PM   #12
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Default Re: Mark Twain New Editions: 'Offensive' Words To Be Removed

This could have saved me from all those awkward moments in high school.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:39 PM   #13
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Default Re: Mark Twain New Editions: 'Offensive' Words To Be Removed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorpesaurous
Anyone who read the abridged version is gonna know what the original text is, so what's the difference if they actually read it or simply think it.

It's kinda like using the phrase "The N Word", is still has the same meaning and intent. If I use the phrase in dialogue, like here, and it has no ill intent, and is being used in subject, then why not just say ******. Now if I yell out my car window "This N-Word can't drive!!", just because I didn't say it doesn't mean it didn't have the same meaning or intent.
Doesn't have the same effect though. Kinda like the difference between saying, "excuse me, your head is blocking my view" and "move your big ass head b!tch". One is considered much less provoking.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:40 PM   #14
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Default Re: Mark Twain New Editions: 'Offensive' Words To Be Removed

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Originally Posted by JtotheIzzo
horribly, horribly wrong. The West has openly condoned China and Japan (along with many other countries) for whitewashing history in school text, and while this is different (a piece of fiction) it is very symbolic of the era, and that is the main reason it is still taught today, and in many ways rewriting fiction to fit today's social norms is somehow even more perverse than rewriting history.

Agreed. Especially considering this is a defining work in American literature.

“All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.”

- Hemingway

Last edited by Jailblazers7 : 01-05-2011 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:17 PM   #15
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Default Re: Mark Twain New Editions: 'Offensive' Words To Be Removed

shameful
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