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Good Grief! scrotum, scrotum, scrotum

 
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Feb, 2007 02:07 pm
George--

Beauty is truth. Truth, beauty.
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Feb, 2007 03:08 pm
First the hoo hoo monologues, now this.


I don't know a nice word for scrotum. I do know that a basset hounds scrotal sack is huge.
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George
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Feb, 2007 03:25 pm
Noddy24 wrote:
George--

Beauty is truth. Truth, beauty.

...that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

Was that written on a Grecian Urinal?
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George
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Feb, 2007 03:28 pm
I once taught high school English and looked forward to announcing
"Next we'll look at a poem written about a Grecian Urn," hoping someone
would ask "What's a Grecian Urn?"
I would then reply "About 4.50 an hour."
Tiddy boom.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Feb, 2007 03:33 pm
George wrote:
I once taught high school English and looked forward to announcing
"Next we'll look at a poem written about a Grecian Urn," hoping someone
would ask "What's a Grecian Urn?"
I would then reply "About 4.50 an hour."
Tiddy boom.



One hopes, however, that the world was saved from this disturbing utterance?
0 Replies
 
George
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Feb, 2007 03:39 pm
dlowan wrote:
George wrote:
I once taught high school English and looked forward to announcing
"Next we'll look at a poem written about a Grecian Urn," hoping someone
would ask "What's a Grecian Urn?"
I would then reply "About 4.50 an hour."
Tiddy boom.



One hopes, however, that the world was saved from this disturbing utterance?

Alas, one hopes in vain.
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shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Feb, 2007 03:40 pm
I dunno


have you seen a brown squirrels nut sack?

They cant even walk right..
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Feb, 2007 04:08 pm
I don't have a problem with the writer chosing to have the dog bit on the scrotum but honestly, to me it just doesn't sound "true".

A "scrappy 10 year old orphan" listening to other kids through a hole in the wall is not likely to over hear "scrotum" unless the hole in the wall is at a doctor's office.
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Feb, 2007 06:46 pm
I don't think any of you have suggested "private parts"?
How could that possibly offend or shock anyone? Very respectable!
And it has that air of mystery about it. You have to use your imagination to try to figure out exactly which bit/s are being referred to. :wink:
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Tai Chi
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Feb, 2007 06:43 pm
Nuts to you, testy librarians

'Scrotum' in book for preteens sparks panic

by Joey Slinger in the Toronto Star, Thursday, February 22, 2007

"...Lately, the world of children's literature has been twittering because that word (scrotum), spelled out in full, not even blanked to a decent "s------," nails you when you've barely started rolling through an award-winning book for preteens called The Higher Power of Lucky. It provoked some librarians to ban it from their shelves so it won't rot the minds of its readers and terrorize their parents when they're asked to provide a definition.
I actually twittered a bit myself. Not because of the censorship. I don't mind a little censorship. Without it, the literary business would get pretty boring. I twittered because the author is a woman, and the protagonist, Lucky, age 10, is likewise female, and I assumed they had come up with such a dubious term because, when it came to certain linguistic matters, they, to coin a phrase, threw like girls. Here's how it makes its debut on Page One:
"Sammy told of the day when he had drunk half a gallon of rum listening to Johnny Cash all morning in his parked '62 Cadillac, then fallen out of the car when he saw a rattlesnake on the passenger seat biting his dog, Roy, on the scrotum."
....
It turns out, though, that Lucky had been eavesdropping on an alcoholics' 12-step meeting at which Sammy made that statement as part of his testimony about how he hit "rock bottom." When Sammy fell out of the Caddy he passed out, and "scrotum" was how the vet described the precise location of the wound to his wife when she took Roy in for treatment, which she reported to Sammy when he regained consciousness as she packed the dog's dish, and water bowl, and Roy himself, and drove off for good.
With a scrotum being such a physical mystery to kids, and much as this particular one inspired Sammy to seek "a Higher Power," it more or less inspires Lucky's own astonishing journey. And it's inspiring me to read the rest of the book, which is as magical an antidote for February as I have ever found.
When Mark Twain said the difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between the lightening and the lightening bug, he knew what he was talking about.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Feb, 2007 06:47 pm
interesting...
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Feb, 2007 07:40 pm
Here's more from my absolute favorite columnist, hoping he won't mind I copy the text in full -
LINK TO SF CHRONICLE ARTICLE


JON CARROLL
02/20/2007

You've probably read about this already, but I thought I'd repeat the cogent details. There is a children's book called "The Higher Power of Lucky," which concerns the adventures of a plucky 10-year-old orphan who somehow eavesdrops on a 12-step meeting. That is not a promising premise, but the book won the Newbery Medal, the Oscar™ of children's literature, so maybe author Susan Patron brought it off.
(Imagined dialogue: "Gosh, Lucky, do we have to keep coming back?" "No, Buster, we don't. Isn't that the bestest news you've heard all day?" I'm being unfair.)

But the book is the center of controversy for a whole different reason. Lucky overhears another character say that he saw a rattlesnake bite his dog, Roy, in the scrotum. Yes, the scrotum. That's what the fuss is about.
I am happy to report that, as yet, no school boards have banned "The Higher Power of Lucky," although just wait. On the other hand, the Internet is buzzing with librarians expressing outrage at the use of the word and pledging not to buy the book for their institutions, and other librarians saying, "Are you mad? 'Scrotum?' Kids shouldn't read that word? Heck, half the kids have one, for heaven's sake."
Again, all dialogue imagined.

This is not, strictly speaking, a censorship issue, because librarians are supposed to select books for their libraries, and they can do so on criteria they find appropriate. It could be an issue of fear, of librarians unwilling to defend "scrotum" to angry parents and school administrators.
(And, to be candid, scrotums are pretty indefensible. Have you seen those things? Uglier than toes, most of them. Wait, no, I'll calm down. Just a brief moment of giddiness. I blame the overuse of parentheses. I got into the habit as a young man. I need a 12-step program. Maybe Lucky could come listen to that one.)

There are all kinds of dirty words. There are blasphemous phrases, which are becoming less acceptable than they used to be because our God-addled culture is taking offense at casual cursing -- although perhaps when "God damn it to hell" is meant literally, it's still OK. Then there are the common words for excrement and intercourse, which are taboo because they're taboo, but at least everyone knows it. But "scrotum"? Is that a known corrupter of youth? How about "underpants" or "nipple" or "pubic" or "herpes" -- are they bad too? I remember when librarians just had to worry about the Dewey Decimal System. Come to think of it, "Dewey Decimal System" sounds a little iffy. Best not to write about it, dear authors.

All of which reminds me of a story. On our weekly rides down to Castro Valley for her horseback riding lessons, my granddaughter, Alice, and I have discussions on a wide variety of philosophical and equine subjects. A few weeks ago, she told me that one of the horses she rode, Papa, had serious digestive difficulties.
"How do you know?" I asked.
"Every time I jog on him, his stomach just rumbles all the time."
This didn't seem right to me. Not the data -- Alice is extremely trustworthy on factual matters. But I suspected the interpretation might somehow be flawed. When we got to Miss Molly's Academy for the Horsely Arts, I asked Miss Molly herself about it. She looked at Alice.
"This is just when he jogs, right?" Alice nodded. "Oh, that's his penis slipping back and forth in his penis sheath. It's very loud." Alice nodded. The information did not shock her; it did not even strike her as funny. (It struck me as funny, but I am not as serious-minded as Alice or, indeed, as most children.) Molly said it in a very matter-of-fact way.

So here's my theory: We have gotten too far away from our agricultural heritage. Kids who grow up on farms know all about elimination and procreation and penis sheaths. Animals behave like animals, and it doesn't take a big imagination to figure out that humans are animals too. If a dog got bit on the scrotum by a rattlesnake, there would be more important things to worry about than what to call the place where the dog got nipped.

My solution: field trips. Lots of field trips. Lecture-demonstrations. Maybe that will make those squeamish librarians more comfortable.
I watched Alice while she rode that day, and I listened. Yup, there it was -- I'm surprised I didn't notice it before. Kind of a "slurp slurp slurp" sound. Twenty minutes later, I learned that horses have frogs in their feet, but that's another story for another day.
I know that this is a tempest in a teapot, and that most librarians are doing the sensible thing and staying out of it. Teapot tempests, though, are my bread and butter.

____________________________________________________________
Jeremiah was a bullfrog, was a good friend of mine; I never understood a single word he said but I helped [email protected].
This article appeared on page E - 18 of the San Francisco Chronicle




Note from Osso - Jon Carroll has written many wonderful columns about cats and mondegreens, columns I savor like fine gelato, but also covers other subjects.
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Tai Chi
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Feb, 2007 08:55 pm
Enjoyed the column, osso. There goes the stereotype of the "sensible" librarian, I guess, since it took humour columnists to state the obvious. Will have to see if my library gets a copy of the book.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Feb, 2007 09:03 pm
We have a very sharp library-involved person on a2k, I'd love to see her take on all this (Piffka). Carroll may well be right that most library folk are not reacting on this.

Perhaps I'll email her, but I prefer not to be intrusive..
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Tai Chi
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Feb, 2007 09:06 pm
Just realized how my post could have come across -- I think very highly of librarians as a rule! Of course people who like to make mountains out of molehills are the ones who will be quoted.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Feb, 2007 09:11 pm
Well, I understand the range and I hope am typical. I have librarian pals (ok, one actual head librarian pal, we ate lunch together with some others in high school), though I haven't talked to that one in a decade. Hmmm. Anyway, I'm pretty pro librarian as a generalization.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Feb, 2007 12:31 am
Mags used to be a childrens librarian. You might remember her from Abuzz. When she shows up here, it's mostly in trivia & word games.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Feb, 2007 09:53 am
Erm, librarians usually (not always) don't do the censoring. In general, if a book is yanked from the shelves, it's because it's likely to be stolen or defaced. Not just sex books fit this description -- auto repair books can be the kinds of things you have to specifically ask for, too.

Signed,
proud daughter of a retired reference librarian
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dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Feb, 2007 10:03 am
Australian Librarians in action

Pushing a barrow for page turning while sunburning

Clay Lucas
February 24, 2007

LIBRARIANS have a barrow to push, and it's filled with books.

Just ask St Kilda Library's Nick Whittock, who last week made his first rounds on the beach as part of Port Phillip Council's wheelbarrow library service.

Photo: John Woudstra
http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2007/02/23/knBEACH_LIBRARY_wideweb__470x339,0.jpg
The Age newspaper

Those of you with a keen eye will note the line of vision of the librarian pushing the barrow.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Feb, 2007 10:10 am
DDC176 "degrees".
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