Last week, I caught on Amazon’s blog Omnivoracious, in its weekly roundup, this story that publishing house Random House was removing the word “twat” from Jacqueline Wilson’s book My Sister Jodie. Jodie is, apparently, a novel aimed at readers 10 and older. Wilson and her publisher mutually decided to change the word to “twit,” which is apparently less likely to send parents and librarians and teachers all a-fuckin’-twitter, because you know those are the only people complaining.
And apparently, only three people complained in the first place.
This, by the way, is the same publishing company who decided not to publish Sherry Jones’ Jewel of Medina, a novel concerning Aisha, the 9-year-old wife of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, due to an irate letter from one academic in Texas. Also the same company who, in the UK, is inserting morality clauses into its contracts. Not just about the books, but about author’s lives.
Editorial Anonymous posted her chagrin that Wilson had deigned to Random House’s censors. I noted there that I agreed that Wilson should have changed it, but had I been her, I would have changed it to “cunt.” In the comments section, though, someone had the idea of a naughty alphabet book. Which really set me thinking. Amazon’s got a listing for something called The Erotic Alphabet, but it looks more like a series. Then again, any series one installment of which is H is for Hardcore is totally okay on my shelf.
In my warped head, though, I started thinking about an illustrated kinky alphabet book. Fully illustrated and everything. A is for asshole, b is for bitch, etc.
But it’s hard to come up with a naughty word for every letter. Over at MakingLight, Abi Sutherland asked for comments/help filling up a list of obscenities, which yielded one of the most obscene and profane list of words I have ever seen.
I’m still coming up empty for “I.” The Alphabet series uses “indecent,” but that’s not really obscene. “Inbreeding,” maybe, but I think that’s more discomfiting as an idea than as a word.