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back to article California school pulls 'oral sex' dictionary

A California school last week pulled the Merriam-Webster 10th edition dictionary from fourth and fifth-grade classrooms, after one parent "complained about a child stumbling across definitions for 'oral sex'". The Menifee Union School District moved with lightning speed to protect Oak Meadows Elementary School's nine and ten- …

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Anonymous Coward

This whole story

leaves a bitter taste in ones mouth.

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Children can be very understanding

This will be excellent. The children will see the teacher checking a list for which children should receive which dictionaries, and then they'll wonder why. Then someone will find out and they'll all go and look up oral sex in their MW dictionaries, and then they'll brutally mock the children whose parents asked for the sex-free version.

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Make parents provide the dictionaries they want

The school should add a clause to the form they send to the parents, such that parents not wanting their kid to use M-W, agree to provide their kid with a good dictionary of their own choice. The school could ask for a minimum number of entries in the dictionary, so the parents don't give their kids inadequate dictionaries.

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FAIL

What a bunch of wankers.

Nuff Said.

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It's all so hard to swallow.

I agree Real Ale is Best.

I'd like to add a word -

ignorant

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Coat

here it errr comes ...

That will be because they're doing it wrong, having never found the correct definition in a dictionary .....

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Anonymous Coward

I still have the pocket Collins I used at school

which helpfully has all the rude words underlined, thanks to some of my more erudite classmates

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Coat

Pocket Collins...

...has great potential as a euphemism...

Mine's the one with deep, deep, deep pockets.

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Paris Hilton

Really?

one parent "complained about a child stumbling across definitions for 'oral sex'"

I assume that experience left a bad taste in the parents' mouths, though probably the mistake was simply a slip of the tongue.

But really, such things are easy to find on the internet and ignorance is a far more foolish thing than a child being able to look something up and find a factually correct explanation.

Paris, a lot of slipped tongue there...

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Careful with that education mom and pop!

Don't want your kids to end up knowing a lot more, and perhaps not growing up to be as ignorant or reactionary, as you are...!

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A word by any other name?

Times have changed.

When I was that age, at school, we didn't have what might be called a full dictionary available.

The way schools are split by age-group might be awkward, and these kids might be at the bottom of a "middle school". In which case the parents who started this need to grow up a bit. But if it's the last year of what might be called a primary or elementary school, I wonder if they need a dictionary which is that complete.

But maybe the teachers weren't so good in my time. I had to buy my own copy of Fowler.

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fart. fiddle fornicate

We only used dictionarys to look up words like this back when I were a lad

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Anonymous Coward

Precisely!

It is good to see youngsters being able to use the damn thing, rather than removing the only incentive to do so.

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Happy days

Happy days at school, when we'd all take turns looking up 'rude' words.

Won't somebody think of the children?!?!

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Coat

Quote error alert!

"School board president Rita Peters protested: "If we’re going to pull a book ..."

Nah. They just gobbled them up.

OK, gone.

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Good lord

Kids have been looking up sex words in dictionaries since there have been such thing as dictionaries. It's part of growing up and being literate.

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I seem to remember...

... not so long ago, certain celebrities trying to get the word C*NT into the Oxford English Dictionery ON TV!!!! (BBC 2 as I recall)

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Oh yeah

Parents will now receive a letter informing them of the decision and those "who do not want their child using the Merriam-Webster can sign a form at the bottom of the letter and return it to the school".

So when Mum & Dad sign the form saying you cant use the MW dictionary you just go to your mates who are allowed to use it and ask them to show you what it says. Doh.

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Muppet Gayda

> One dad said: "Pretty soon the only dictionary in the school will be the Bert and Ernie Dictionary".

Hmm. Unlikely that they'd use a dictionary from a couple of gay guys.

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Stop

We Brits are much more liberated!

American culture is (generally) very prudish! I distinctly remember looking up the F word and C word in the dictionary when I was in primary school. There's never been a fuss about reference tomes in this country as far as I can recall. We even read E.M. Forster's Maurice in sixth year English.

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This rock music has got to STOP!

An obscure quote for the geek of a more discerning age!

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Joke

School board president Rita Peters protested:

that she had a ridiculous name.

ROFL Rita Peters! LOL

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Joke

Re: Rita Peters

Hey, she's the finest girl you'll ever wanna meet!

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Wikipedia

For goodness sake don't let them NEAR the internet or they will be looking up stuff on Wikipedia.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 13:10

Well, I had the Oxford schools dictionary .... didn't have the words underlined but we looked them all up ... after all, why else would 10 year olds use a dictionary?

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Flame

Lets have ourselves a good ol' book burnin'

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a child in possession of a good dictionary will immediately look up all the rude words.

Perhaps they would also like to ban the bible? It's packed with obscenities and violence...

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Pint

Not just that

You forget that the bible may be packed with obscene acts and (what some would deem) unjustifiable violence but it has got a positive side - your kids wont need to learn anything about genetics, astrophysics, geology, palaeontology or microbiology (to name a few)

The reasons are simple:

Genes can't be real because god made us as we are and evolution is a lie.

Astrophysics says that the universe is older than 6000 years and we know that can't be true

Geology says the same thing.

Those pesky palaeontologists keep trying to show that evolution took place.

Microbiology is also a lie - we all know that diseases are created and spread by god to kill those evil unbelievers/homosexuals/commies/terrorists.

Give those kids a fucking dictionary and a few science books and America might end up with a more educated generation less laible to knee-jerk reactions...

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Big Brother

Rather than pulling the dictionary

...they are going to need to pull every child with knowledge of the subject out of school! By pulling the book and making news of it, every child that hears of the story/controversy will want to know what "oral sex" is.

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But how...

...are they ever going to land a role in a major Hollywood blockbuster if they go into the director's office not knowing what oral sex is?

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Coat

In other (good) books...

" I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste."

Song of Solomon 2:3

-- Mommeeeee!

-- What's this? <Flicks through Ezekiel as well> This is pure filth! Must... Protect... Children...

Mine's the one with the much-highlighted Old Testament in the pocket

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This sucks....

nuff said

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Happy

Not just kids

Hey, it's not just kids who enjoy looking up naughty words in dictionaries!

I've got a leather bound copy of a dictionary from 1749 and it's quite fun to see what words that lists, eg.

"DIL'DO [contracted from the Italian diletto, q.d. a Woman's Delight, or of our Word Dally q.d. a Thing to play withal] Penis Succadaneous, called in Lombardy, Passatempo."

Hours of amusement :-)

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clarification needed

I've got a leather bound copy of a dictionary from 1749 and it's quite fun to see what words that lists, eg.

"DIL'DO [contracted from the Italian diletto, q.d. a Woman's Delight, or of our Word Dally q.d. a Thing to play withal] Penis Succadaneous, called in Lombardy, Passatempo."

Hours of amusement :-)

Hours of amusement? What, reading the dictionary or er fnarr, fnarr.

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FAIL

Dictionary.

Johnson: (to George) So, ahem, tell me, sir, what words particularly interested

you?

George: Oh, er, nothing... Anything, really, you know...

Johnson: Ah, I see you've underlined a few (takes dictionary, reads): `bloomers';

`bottom'; `burp'; (turns a page) `fart'; `fiddle'; `fornicate'?

George: Well...

Johnson: Sir! I hope you're not using the first English dictionary to look up

rude words!

Edmund: I wouldn't be too hopeful; that's what all the other ones will be

used for.

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FAIL

I cant find it in my dictionary....

....so i'll go and look on google and get pictures and video!

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Anonymous Coward

Growing up now Verboten

But hey, that's in line with government policy, innit? Or general PC and moral panic madness. I never know which.

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Joke

They have "Blown it out of all Proportion"

PS Dictionary's tell you what the constituents and ratios are for how to make gunpowder, so they are "Bomb making manuals" as well as sex manuals.

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Grenade

Umm...

That would be "Dictionaries"...

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WTF?

Freaks!

Why is it these self-appointed moral guardians are so f**ked in the head that they have to waste time going and deliberately looking for reasons to be outraged?! They could be putting that time to better use, cleaning sewers, licking toilet bowls, sniffing asbestos, anything infinitely more useful.

Gosh! Shock! Horror! Kids are learning words? Oh no! Learning stuff on their own? Not being brainwashed by our sick and twisted ideas on what is and what isn't right?! Quick raise the independent thought alarms, this must be stopped!

I would rather my kids read something like this, then came and asked me what it meant, then I can, with slightly embarrassed foot jiggling of course, try to give them a simple clear idea, so they don't go out and catch something unpleasant that needs medical umberellas to remove!!!

GET A F**KING LIFE! Let the rest us sane people get on with ours!

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Good grief

On the initial point pulling a dictionary because of explicit words is rather ridiculous, maybe they need to make a "bible belt" edition for all the prudes over there.

On the other hand I'm not sure "oral sex" should be in simply because it is a two word term the meaning of which is obvious from the words it is made up of. It is sex involving the mouth. Why does this need an entry? Equally I wouldn't expect there to be entries for anal sex, and for the same reason wouldn't expect entries for "fleece jacket" or "ear infection".

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Anonymous Coward

Lexicography

The meaning of "oral sex" isn't totally obvious, especially if you're not already familiar with the activity. It could potentially mean something like phone sex if you compare it with "oral examination". In fact, when I was about 10 or so I had a conversation with a younger child who thought oral sex was "just talking". Of course I took the opportunity to demonstrate my superior knowledge and experience ...

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Black Helicopters

@Lexicography

I'm seriously concerned for you. You appear to have just admitted to inciting a minor to participate in a serious sexual offence with you! I don't think there is any statute of limitations on this sort of thing (ask the Vatican for a more informed legal opinion on this). As you are no longer a minor (I am making an assumption here), I am worried that the black helicopters will track you down and incarcerate you. Probably somewhere rather unpleasant.

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Stop

Hammer Time.

"If we’re going to pull a book because it has something on oral sex, then every book in the library with that better be pulled."

My word, how many are there?

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Anonymous Coward

The father/uncle of this kid is a blatent peado

The kid knows that giving 'oral sex' to someone is wrong at their age.....But if they don't know what it is then the adult abusing them can get away with it...I'd say send the feds around to his house to check out his shit...At the very least it would cause the fucking useless parent to be severly inconvenienced.

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I may be imagining it.

But ISTR that one teacher had a dictionary in which "fart" was described as "a small explosion between the legs" and "fuck" was "sexual intercourse between dogs".

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Why has no one yet mentioned...

... the Bible? I mean have you actually read it? Most of the early sections are pure filth talking about rape, murder, incest and near constant fornication!

Americans are weird IMO :)

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Send all dictionaries to the Pope for checking

After all, he's GOT to know all the rude words so he can tell whether people have been truly naughty or just misguided.

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To anyone called Philippa

Don't use the shortened version of your name in Sweden.

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Joke

"It’s hard to sit and read the dictionary..."

...the story's a bit fragmented, but at least it explains each word as it goes along.

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