Monday 30 August 2004

Insane or stupid?

The offensiveness-banning culture of modern control freaks got well beyond a joke a long, long time ago, yet still it manages to surprise me.

A Dutch group wants to ban the word 'thin' from the dictionary because it's insulting to underweight people.
The organisation wrote to Dutch dictionary publishers Kramer and Van Dale asking them not to include the word.

Does the Dutch word for "thin" lose something in translation, or what? 'Cause it's just not sounding all that offensive to me in English.

The dictionary publishers responded with a terrible heresy against Socialist principles:

"We publish a dictionary of spoken and written Dutch. The word 'thin' is part of it. You don't change a language by just erasing a word."

Honestly, you'd think a publisher of dictionaries would know better. That's exactly how you change a language, not to mention its underlying culture. Of course, to succeed, you need to do more than merely change the dictionaries: you need to establish a predominant culture of absolute terror of authority, too. Stalin forced Russian dictionaries to define the word "initiative" as "Seeking for the best way to carry out an order." So these idiotic skinny people are, I think, showing a shrewd understanding of history and politics here. There aren't many of them, so any attempt on their part to throw a proper revolution would surely be utterly quashed, but they can lobby the evil dictionary companies, and then they can lobby the government to force people to obey the dictionary.

Mark my words: having failed to acquiesce, the dictionary publishers will find themselves being sued.

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