Info on How to Purge OS X Dictionary of Dirty Words Compared to Book-Burning

Erica Sadun gives instructions on how to purge the Mac OS X dictionary—a digital version of the New Oxford American Dictionary—of its coarse language.

As I wrote in the comments, this is a bad idea in several ways.

Well, as a lexicographer who had a small part in compiling that dictionary, I’d say your motives for removing such words are poor ones. When guiding children, the best approach to earthy or coarse language is always a matter-of-fact one. Children need straightforward non-giggly definitions for these words and dictionaries like this (as opposed to ones like Urban Dictionary) are the place to get them.

As a writer and a radio host, I’d say that abridging the intellectual creation of someone else in this fashion is shameful.

And as an IT guy (lots of hats, see?) I’d say this is the lamest HOWTO since someone explained that disconnecting a television’s CRT tube was a great way to make a radio.

Posted April 13, 2007

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