- Robin: Why is this kid around anyway? Shouldn't he be with his mother? I mean, what kind of lawyer does this guy have if he has to take care of the kid all the time?
- Lily: A good one. He won full custody.
- Robin: He won? Oh god, getting the kid is winning, isn't it? Don't tell anyone I said that.
Space Invaders: Why you should never, ever use two spaces after a period.
I’m a very visual person. Two spaces after a period drives me batty. So just so you know, one space is correct. As is the Oxford comma, but that’s a whole other story.
As some of you may or may not know, a new version of Huckleberry Finn will be published in February—one that replaces Twain’s use of the n-word with “slave.” People are up in arms about how these changes are an effort to “erase a history of racism,” etc., etc. And, at face value, I am obviously against changing a classic literary text to make it more P.C.
BUT— I’m not sure this is worth the collective freak-out the internet seems to be having right now. First of all, there have been abridged and edited versions of Huck Finn (and pretty much every classic text ever) published before. Is it any less offensive to take out pieces of a novel’s plot than it is to change a word, no matter the context?
So for years, people have been choosing between reading an original text or the Reader’s Digest version. They can do the same now. Just because a tiny publishing house in Montgomery, AL decides to release a “less offensive” version does NOT mean that every other publishing house is going to follow suit. If Random House or Penguin or a publishing house that actually mattered were to make this decision, there might be a bit more cause for concern, but standard texts of the novel will ALWAYS be available. New South Books, on the other hand, is a tiny, southern publishing company that markets books to tiny, southern bookstores and mostly publishes memoirs written by tiny, southern grandmas.
Also, New South’s reasoning behind their editorial choices is not to erase racism from the South or even from the novel’s plot (which, arguably, would negate the whole story). Alan Gribben, a Twain scholar and editor of the book, notes in his decisions were made “to counter the preemptive censorship that has increasingly formed a barrier to these works for teachers, students, and general readers.” So basically, he’s sending out a big “fuck you” to the obnoxious parents who submit proposals to ban the book in public school districts. I’d rather students read a “watered down” version of a classic novel than not read it at all.