Twain comes to Carmel, Indiana
After reading the editorials of Current in Carmel for January 25, 2011, it appears that Mark Twain has again angered the reading public. It is high time the fine citizens of this community put a stop to this by starting a campaign to change The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for the last time. This one book has created controversy for over a century, upsetting people of all races, young and old alike. When I read the latest commentary, I wondered what Twain would have said about such a proposal. After thinking about this, I believe he would have considered the changes cited, but not stop there. He would have championed going through the entire book and changing each n-word reference in question not to “Runaway Slave” but rather to something more descriptive yet less offensive. He would have used something like “Unpaid Minority Employee of Unknown Location”. To further his belief and not offend southern people of lesser education, he would recommend correcting all of Huck’s grammar errors – his cain’ts and ain’ts – making him talk like a proper Midwesterner, okee dokee?
Twain, being the liberal-minded man he was, would take this further by using this chance to employ all the linguists who have lost their jobs during the economic downturn. As you read this, linguists are roaming the streets of America, yes your America, engaging ordinary citizens in excitable, yet well-reasoned, discourse. Ordinary citizens do not have the verbal skills of the dangerously well-trained linguist and therefore suffer embarrassment. A few Sundays ago, three linguists from Ohio were spotted in Muldoon’s, drinking foreign beer, eating tuna fish sandwiches, AND NOT WATCHING SPORTS! The next thing you know, these people will be hanging around our schools espousing the virtues of generative grammar. We must put them to work, bend them to our needs and have them correct every controversial book ever written. They need to feel lucky they have a job. Twain would want this and you should too. After all, think of the terror if the linguists were allowed free reign. Not far behind will be English majors, mathematicians and engineers; people who think about things and are thoughtful. That is a world I do not want to live in.