Sunday, April 26, 2015

Don't clean up my act

Even a few days after reading about the app, my body is still reacting the way it does when I accidentally bite into a burrito filled with sriracha sauce. Maybe my face did not change to watermelon red and my cheeks did not streak with tears, but the sting, oh the sting, it certainly does exist.

What is this app that has me feeling so irritated?

It is the modern-day version of bowdlerising, the so-named cleansing of the English language to make it more acceptable to some unidentified group of individuals--well, maybe not so unidentified in some cases.

To me, this is censureship at the lowest level, right down there with book burners. Yes, down there, not up there, because I am sure there is a hot place for those folks who find it necessary to make sure I do not get them verbally mixed up with the offspring of their wayward female terrier.

Clean Reader! It is available through the customary downloading sites and it will zip through any book on your electronic reader, zap out "dirty" words and replace them with "clean" words.

Can you imagine the lack of satisfaction the reader gets when reading this line?
[Frankly,] My Dear, I don't give a pitooey! (Gone with the Wind)

And how much of a rally would result if the Admiral had cried,
Gosh dang the torpedos (David Farragut)

Do you think we would still be quoting Paddy Chayefsky if his sadly disillusioned character had shouted
I'm mad as heck and I can't take it anymore. (Network)

Maybe this would be acceptable in third grade (but would a third grade kid actually be reading this play)...
Darn Yankees (Broadway musical)

 Of course, Twain has already been sanitized by the academic world so maybe this is superfluous:
Go to Heaven for the climate, that other place for the company. (Twain)

We either love or hate Shakeaspeare. I think we would really dislike him if he had written this:
…[thou] art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pander, and the son and heir of a mongrel female dog. (King Lear)
I had a love/hate relationship with William Blake when trying to prepare my thesis. Maybe I should have done a clean up version of his work instead.
The Marriage of Heaven and Something Else (Blake)

If I downloaded the clean up app and applied it to my ebooks, I am sure I would find many examples of the sanitized segments.

I am not going to download it! Are You?