Tuesday, 20 February 2007


On BookCrossing recently there has been a mild debate on the censorship, as reported in the New York Times, imposed on a new book by some school librarians because it uses the word “scrotum”. The book has won this year’s Newbery Medal. Amazingly one of the contributors said that she (I have to assume it’s a she) that using the word would make her “want to put the book down, because honestly, it's gross”. Since the NYT article, Gelf Magazine has found a number of other books for young readers using that awful word. Will they be banned too?

I just don’t see how people can make such a fuss over the name of a body part. It reminds me of a very funny post, “Vagina! Vagina! Vagina!” in a blog by a junior psychiatrist, which I imagine you could guess, complains about euphemisms for vagina. Some of the comments are equally funny. Similarly NHS Blog Doctor, although not totally in favour of medical terms being used by children, nevertheless attempts to introduce one to his daughter.

What euphemism would they find acceptable for scrotum I wonder?

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