Sunday, July 08, 2007

Edmonton Journal - Commentary

Edmonton Journal, Sunday July 8th, 2007


Using the term "bazoongas" to refer to a distinctly feminine anatomical feature is a major faux pas in Kindersley, Sask., where a local elementary school librarian banned the Canadian book Trouble on Tarragon Island for containing language too bawdy for elementary schoolers. While it is true that the term is still likely a few years away from the pages of the Concise Oxford English Reference Dictionary, one really must question whether, in this case, the quest to insulate youths from such forms of linguistic turpitude is being taken to the extreme.

Indeed, one has to wonder whether it is wise to shelter kids from such language that, while suggestive and a little funny sounding, is hardly profane. More than ever, English is a constantly evolving idiom and young people are its main drivers. Considering some of the terms being bandied about in the new male-oriented "brocabulary" -- the "dude-isms" that pass for male bonding and are ubiquitous on TV, radio and the Internet -- chances are bazoongas isn't going to register very high on the Richter scale of bad words.

While various online discussion groups debate the issues raised by the librarian's decision to keep Trouble on Tarragon Island off the shelves and out of the hands of children, others choose to focus on other terms I might have used in lieu of the dreaded word, 'bazoongas'. My favourite alternative so far is 'bodacious tatas.' Yes, I can just hear those words being flung about the halls of a school in my neighbourhood - not!

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