Books Blog: English Literature & Linguistics

New Edition of Mark Twain’s “Huck Finn” Replaces “Nigger” with “Slave”

Posted in Classics, Oddly... by Elliott Back on January 7th, 2011.

The headline says it all. According to the Guardian article Censoring Mark Twain’s ‘n-words’ is unacceptable, a new edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn from Alabama-based publisher NewSouth books plans to replace “nigger” with “slave,” and “injun” with “indian” in what they describe as a “bold move compassionately advocated” to replace “two hurtful epithets” that have caused the book to often fall off of school curriculum nationwide.

What’s the point of reading a censored version of the book? By the time that we Americans dilute our literary heritage, taking away both impact and historical significance from what we read, we will have thoroughly become a nation of imbeciles, and may not even notice the loss.

As the famous Mark Twain said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” And in his books, I’m sure he’d prefer that the rights words, as written, continue to be used.

More Six Word Short Stories

Posted in Classics by Elliott Back on March 1st, 2009.

I’ve posted about 6 word short stories before, but now it’s time to celebrate the genre with new dedicated blog Six Word Stories:

My current favorite is this one:

“Hello Son,” it said, tentacles waving. G. Sulea

Stomache is Stomach and Ache

Posted in Language by Elliott Back on June 29th, 2008.

I “invented” the term stomache the other day, by noticing how the words stomach and ache overlap. Why should you say “stomach ache” when they both already share an ach? Take that ach out! Here is a visual depiction of the future evolution of the phrase “stomach ache”:


Urban Dictionary has a definition of its own:

1. Stomache

An idiot who can’t spell “stomach”.
Guy1: Man, my stomache is killing me.
Guy2: It’s stomach, dumbass.

2. stomache

Upset stomach, contracted form of “stomach ache”
You can’t sit on my lap, pet, I have a stomache.

The rest of the Google references will take you to pages about gastroenterology, under the assumption that stomache is really just a common mispelling of stomach. Unfortunately, I’m writing this to tell you that it’s not. It’s its own new portmanteau word, replacing “stomach ache.”

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