It's official. The New York City Department of Education has sent book publishers a list of objectionable words that should not be included in their books. You're guessing 4-letter words, aren't you? Wrong. Apparently the Department trusts publishers to omit these kinds of words on their own. There are other words which should be deleted, words that would make children uncomfortable, or, some would say, words which are politically incorrect. You're guessing racist words, sexist words, ethnic slurs. Wrong again.
Here's a partial list and the reasons why each word was censored:
Dinosaur: Not everyone believes in the theory of evolution. We don't want a classroom religious war.
Birthday: Another religiously unacceptable word. Not celebrated by Jehovah's Witnesses.
Pepperoni: Are you kidding? It's junk food. Let's not reinforce that. Also insensitive to vegans.
Divorce: Too upsetting for kids whose parents have split.
Home computers: Not every family can afford one.
Terrorism: Also scary.
I'm sure the list contains other words, equally dangerous, that were not mentioned in the article I read. Isn't it comforting to know that children in New York are being shielded from such subversive concepts? Perhaps you have suggestions for additonal words for the list. If so, mention them in the comment section. Or just send them to the New York City Board of Education. I'm sure they'll appreciate your concern.