Merriam-Webster dictionary banned from school

The Menifee Union School District is forming a committee to review whether dictionaries containing the definitions for sexual terms should be permanently banned from the district’s classrooms, a district official said Friday.

The 9,000-student K-8 district this week pulled all copies of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary after an Oak Meadows Elementary School parent complained about a child stumbling across definitions for “oral sex.”

Saw this on the Marginal Revolution blog today, referring to it as something not from The Onion.

Hell, they’ll still pick up naughty terminology on the playground, anyway. At least with a dictionary, they’ve got a usage panel standing behind them to ensure they’re getting it right.

I didn’t realize kids still knew how to use dictionaries.

They’re kind of like dictionary Easter Eggs.

Is it so bad if kids spend hours pouring through a dictionary to find the occasional naughty word?

Kids shouldn’t learn words because words are a gateway to thoughts.

Knowledge is subversive!

The issue is the definition of sexual terms in elementary school dictionaries, and I can kind of see where they’re coming from. I don’t necessarily agree with them, but I don’t think it’s quite as hopped up as you make it out to be.

And we all know that individual thought makes Jesus kill kittens. And puppies. And your grandmother. Shit, without the MW dictionary, how will I ever discover oral sex? I met this girl a few weeks ago that tried to put her mouth on my peepee. It was an interesting experience, one I’m sure of which has never happened. It was… pleasant. If only I knew what general term to call it…

Figuring out that there were dirty words in the dictionary was like the highlight of second grade for me. Do we really want to take that away from kids?

What’s next, banning National Geographic because of topless South Pacific island women?

Double plus ungood, citizen!

It’s a terrible dictionary anyway.

I’m going to go ahead and toss in the slippery slope argument… What’s next? Banning words like genocide and racism because we don’t want kids in elementary schools to learn them?

I think we should ban the word censorship.

Elementary school kids need to know what “snowballing” and “felching” are.

We should ban ban. Both the word and the roll-on deodorant.

Yeah, they just Google things nowadays. Those results are far superior to anything a vanilla dictionary can produce.

Gently touch

Okay, now, it’s been a while since I read the dictionary, but in what scenario are these folks theorizing that this is how children will learn about oral sex again? There’s like twenty billion pages in that damn thing and it’s boring as hell - are our children REALLY reading through them and looking for new racy terms to throw around on the playground? And if so, why the hell do half of their words contain numbers these days?

It seems to me that in order for a child to look up oral sex in the dictionary, he has to already kind of know that there’s a thing you do with your mouth and somebody else’s genitals.

I was just going to make a comment about that. I’d vastly prefer my kid look it up in a dictionary that typing “oral sex” into a Google search…

Also, it’s not banning, which is a totally loaded word, it’s switching to a dictionary more appropriate to the age level of the kids, as naive and pointless as that may be. It’s not like they are asking to switch out Horton Hears a Who for the Bible, although that is clearly the next logical step.