Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 21:01:21 -0600
From: Dennis Baron debaron[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UIUC.EDU
Subject: Re: Banning words in class

Sorry but I haven't been following this discussion, which I find now to be
very interesting (was on spring break and just deleted all my email). Not
only do I not ban words in class, I encourage students to use words that
others have banned (including ain't, other forms of to be [what would
Hamlet have done without to be or not to be, that the question]; can for
may, like for as, that for which. I end sentences with prepositions; and I
curse wildly (I love the lesson on taboo, though I warn students that it is
for mature audiences and note that I am cursing as part of a scientific
study of language--as Clarence Darrow is supposed to have said, at least in
Inherit the Wind, I don't curse just for the hell of it. And double
negatives, hey I just love double negatives! Exclamation points, smiley
faces. Sure there's lots about language I don't like. Like share for
tell. But ban it? Hell, I hate that one so much I use it all the time. A
foolish consistency is the hobgoblin, if you ask me. Nay, I would ban
banning, were I of a mind to ban.


Dennis Baron, Acting Head debaron[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]
Department of English phone: 217-333-2390
University of Illinois fax: 217-333-4321
608 South Wright Street
Urbana, Illinois 61801