Lexicon Zeitgeist

bowdlerize – to physically remove material from a book deemed improper, thereby negatively impacting the message of the literary work

Taken from recent headlines. I find censorship in schools to be a futile exercise. Banning books in schools does not prevent ambitious readers from getting them at public libraries, book stores, or even (scandel!) the internet. It is a repugnant practice that diminishes educational possibilities. It shuts the door on open dialogue.

Without further ado. Pretend that I am Jewish and practice the laws of Kosher.

As a faithful and practicing Jew I find Dr. Suess’ book “Green Eggs and Ham” to be highly offensive. All references to ham will be ripped out of the book before my first grade class is allowed to read the book. I have to bowdlerize this book to make it acceptable for others.

I will never claim to be a good Jew because, let’s face it, I love ham. Nor am I implying that Jews actually do this. But, bowdlerizing not only dimishes the literary merit of a work, but it impinges one’s beliefs of what is acceptable onto another.

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Lexicon Zeitgeist

bricolage – construction or creation from a diverse range of things

In the layman’s terminology…

Using all available means of persuasion for attaining one’s goals. Professor Gemin explains it in the following scenario.

I’m staying at a hotel and I have locked myself outside of the room. My wallet is inside the room and I have no means of convincing the staff of who I am. The staff refuse to let me in the room and are threatening to call the police. Explaining that my wallet is in the room clearly has not worked. Instead of pushing the point I state that my medication is in the room. If I do not get my medication I will become very sick. This statement is intentionally vague. The staff contemplates the possibilities of a guest becoming very sick and seeking monetary retribution against the hotel. The staff then agrees to let me into the hotel room. That, my friends, is bricolage.

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