Banned Books Week 2017 – Dictionary

Banned Books – Banned books are books or other printed works such as essays or plays which are prohibited by law or to which free access is not permitted by other means. The practice of banning books is a form of censorship, from political, legal, religious, moral, or (less often) commercial motives. – Wikipedia

There are a lot of reasons why a book gets banned.  Usually, because someone, somewhere disagrees with the ideas in a book.  So because that person, or group, doesn’t like the book they decide that no one else should be able to read it.

In celebration of banned books week, I will choose one banned book each day to highlight.  Some of those won’t be a surprise.  Some of them may shock you. Good. Don’t be afraid to read a banned book today…


The Dictionary

Reasons for ban: Explicit words and definitions


Wait – what?! Yeah I thought we’d star this year off with a bang.



6. Informal. sudden or intense pleasure; thrill; excitement:

a big bang out of seeing movies.


I kid you not. They banned the Dictionary .. because of the definitions. It wasn’t even that long ago! Most recently, in 2010 the Merriam-Webster Dictionary was banned at elementary schools right here in my own beloved Southern California.

I’m going to print the definition that prompted the ban right below. Perhaps it would be best to scroll past if you must!

Are you sure you want to know?

You can turn aside, I won’t judge you…

Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate…


Oral Sex

/ˈôrəl,ˈōrəl seks/

1.Noun. oral stimulation of the genitals.




Wow. What a let down. I was anticipating something much more salacious!

Seriously though, how can a person justify banning a definition? If we don’t write the words then does that make the subject go away? I just can’t wrap my head around the concept.

That was a fun first look at a banned book. If you’re interested in more, I will be posting about a new banned book every day this week. If you’re writing about banned books this week, I’d love to include a link to your blog so let me know in the comments so I can include you in my posts!

Bonus link: Merriam-Webster has a really great Twitter feed. They love a good sub-tweet and can be very amusing. You should follow them!


3 thoughts on “Banned Books Week 2017 – Dictionary

  1. The idea that if ye don’t use words then the subject can go away is what The List was about. There is an approved list of words folks can use. Can’t say I loved the book but I found some of the ideas involved fascinating. Great post matey!
    x The Captain

  2. Ugh. This is just embarrassing to Americans everywhere. Seriously? Don’t ban the dictionary. PARTICULARLY when kids are at the age where they are still learning their vocabulary. Sigh. If I was a kid, I’d have to look up “oral” after this too. Keep it coming, Merriam-Webster!

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