Jan 06

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Regarding the latest kerfuffle

The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—’tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.

— Samuel Langhorne Clemens

Those who cannot remember the past are, famously, doomed to repeat it. And the easiest way to ensure that the past is forgotten is, as Orwell said, to change the language used to describe it.

The fact that the N word is – quite rightly – taboo in modern society does not alter the fact that, at the time and in the place Huckleberry Finn was set, it was rare to hear a white man use any other term to describe the African-American race. To pretend otherwise is not only to do a great disservice to a man who chose every word he wrote with the utmost care and precision, it is to censor history itself.

The right thing to do would be to use it as a lead in to an intelligent discussion of the history of racism and how it still affects people today. Instead, this new edition sweeps the whole issue under the carpet.

I am fuming about this.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.goldeneyes.org.uk/braindump/2011/01/regarding-the-latest-kerfuffle/

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