OT? Sex ed and language

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Tue May 25 17:19:25 UTC 2010

At 5/25/2010 12:54 PM, George Thompson wrote:
>I dare say that the bit about allowing the students to use their own
>vernacular in this class come from the thought that there's no point
>in teaching about penises when the students only know mommy-talk
>words like "thingy" or "wee-wee".

A variant on this dilemma:  Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke was distressed
during his lecture on the psychology of sex at a convention of
psychiatrists in San Francisco, when he discovered kiddies in the
audience -- he felt he could not use the "Latinish words from the
academy" and, hoping to keep the children unaware, resorted to
infantile euphemisms, which of course mystified his adult audience.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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