The Web Runs on Love, Not Greed

Fri, 4 Jan 2002 13:42:59 -0800


> Er .. I'm confused here. A student turns to a dictionary
> to look up a word, and it is THERE, and how is this an
> editorial failure?? A dictionary is used to find the
> meaning of words. It seems to me a minimum obligation of
> the editor is to make the dictionary as comprehensive
> as reasonable for the intended audience.

You said it.. the word is 'reasonable'.  Now, to you or I, the concept of a
dictionary being fully inclusive should be a given.  In fact, I argued this
point with my aunt.  But see, reasonableness affords both good and bad -- to
her, and to the majority of the administrative types at her school it was
not 'reasonable' to include words such as 'fuck' 'cunt' and 'asshole' in a
dictionary designed, marketed and geared to a sixth grader.  Nevermind that
the kids have already likely learned the words from either television, their
parents or peers, but for them to be actively learning the proper
definintions of these words in a school-sanctioned dictionary was simply

Again, I dont' agree, but I used it to make a point about how publication =!
better content.   His argument was relatively subjective -- to him, the net
offered little in the way of fact/truly certifiable content, and instead
offered a lot of 'other'.  To my aunt an dher school, these dictionaries,
while offering content did nto offer good content.

 And this is
> especially so for a student audience, since we want to
> reinforce the notion that dictionaries are useful.
> I can understand why the editor might not include words
> such as "mediastinum" or "mumpsimus," since it is the
> rare sixth grade student who encounters these. But a
> sixth grader who doesn't know what "dick" means should
> have a way to find out, so that he then can apply the
> term correctly when describing the heads of those who
> would "protect" him from the common tongue.
Again, agreed.  But it was meant to hit the central point of JKelly's
argument.  I don't endorse censorship:)