Redacting the D-word

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Feb 23 15:43:42 UTC 2008

The NYTimes today has a story headlined "All Those Foul Words Are
Tennessee Williams's".  See

The current production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", with James Earl
Jones as Big Daddy, uses the foul words that were written into it by
Williams for a 1974 revival, restoring "what he clearly meant to say
all along".  They had not been used in the 1950s, because (the
article says) they were too strong for the times.  After Williams
died, the then-executor of Williams's estate would not allow the 1974
text to be used in ensuing productions.

Among other words replaced, apparently, is "ducking".

One element present in a 2003 production, with Ned Beatty, Big
Daddy's "so-called elephant joke", has not been used in the current
production.  I wonder what it was; quick Googling doesn't find the text.


The American Dialect Society -

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