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BOWDLERIZE

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BOWDLERIZE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:34 pm

• bowdlerize •


Pronunciation: bod-lêr-aiz, bawd-lêr-aiz • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, transitive

Meaning: To prudishly expurgate any words, images, or expressions that might be considered offensive by anyone.

Notes: The censorship of suggestive words and phrases is bowdlerism, while the act itself is bowdlerization or bowdlerizing. One who bowdlerizes is a bowdlerizer. We are thus provided an ample store of forms to express this concept in any situation. If you are using the British spelling style, you may spell today's Good Word bowdlerise, with an S in the ending.

In Play: We generally think of bowdlerization as applying to the censorship of written material: "The new novel by Rhoda Book was bowdlerized beyond recognition by her editors." But motion pictures are generally bowdlerized before showing on US commercial television: "Some think the movie Django should be bowdlerized a bit."

Word History: Today's is another commonization of an originally proper noun, the family name of Dr. Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825). Bowdler was an editor known for publishing editions purged of all words that might prove offensive to even the most sensitive readers. He followed the principle that "(i)f any word or expression is of such a nature that the first impression it excites is an impression of obscenity, that word ought not to be spoken nor written or printed; and, if printed, it ought to be erased." In 1818 he published his bowdlerized 10-volume Family Shakespeare, which was such a success, he went on to publish a tidied up edition of the Old Testament in 1822.
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Re: BOWDLERIZE

Postby gailr » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:41 pm

I've always wanted a copy of that Bowdlerized Bible. I suspect it was *quite* a bit shorter than the Authorized Versions... :wink:
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Re: BOWDLERIZE

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:07 am

Thomas Jefferson bowdlerized the Bible for his own use. He expurgated all references to miracles, judgement and to the divine, thus producing a gentle Jesus, meek and mild, instead of the Lion of Judah. There is a stained glass window of the Lion of Judah in a Catholic Church near my home. If one looks at it, it might put the awesome fear of God in her/him.
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Re: BOWDLERIZE

Postby gailr » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:19 am

It's my understanding that he was aiming for 'reason' over 'meekness' in his version. :wink:
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Re: BOWDLERIZE

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:50 am

Perhaps the first Bowdlerizer was a guy name Marcion in second century Rome. He seems to be the first to divide the New Testament from the Old, which he didn't like, and developed his own version of the New. He only accepted one gospel, a modified Luke, and elevated Paul as the chief apostle. He accepted many of Paul's letters, Hebrews, and a couple of pseudopigrapha in his canon.
It also struck me as a coincidence ? that "bawdy" is so close in sound, spelling, and meaning - although that word goes back to the 16th century.
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Re: BOWDLERIZE

Postby wurdpurrson » Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:08 am

A few years ago, the movement to make films "acceptable" for family consumption resulted in the "Clean Flix" business in Utah. There were those who called it censorship and a violation of copyright and raised a brou-ha-ha. When a reporter assigned to interview the "Flixees" suggested they had Bowdlerized the films, the response was less than memorable: "Huh?"
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Re: CLERIHEW ON BOWDLER

Postby MTC » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:16 am

(Version 2)

Thomas Bowdler (not Reverend)
Came to a very fitting end
When on his tomb was writ petroglyphy
The courts redacted as pornography
Last edited by MTC on Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: CLERIHEW ON BOWDLER

Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:17 pm

MTC wrote:Thomas Bowdler (not Reverend)
Came to a very fitting end
When on his tomb petroglyphy
Courts censored as pornography



good
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Re: BOWDLERIZE

Postby bamaboy56 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:07 am

My wife and I like to watch movies although it's getting more and more difficult to find one without an overabundance of foul language. She can't stand the f-bombs, especially. We have walked out of the movie house before. Anymore, even some new releases rental movies are pretty bawdy. I guess I'm turning into a prude in my auld age. Oh, well.
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Re: BOWDLERIZE

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:06 pm

Lots of old and goodies can be found on
TMC, Turner Classic Movies, if you have cable.
The Western Channel on Encore is pretty clean, never
even see any blood. Check the ratings on the net
and watch for the "L" disclaimer, for Language.
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Re: BOWDLERIZE

Postby gailr » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:28 am

One of the most (in)famous of U.S. bowdlerizers was Anthony Comstock, who managed to leverage his serious personal issues into national law. Noah Webster (yes, that Webster) also brought forth a bowdlerized Bible, meticulously replacing 'dirty' words such as stink and spew with much more delicate counterparts such as smell and vomit. I can barely bring myself to type these words into a public forum... :wink:

But I think my favorite anecdote of how language can strike terror into the hearts of decent men and women is still this one.
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Re: BOWDLERIZE

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:59 am

gailr: I am reminded that, in my youth, my uncle told me, "The nastiest word in the English language is the word nasty." If you ever watched one of my distant cousins, the
“Fruit Cake Lady”, when she was a regular on Jay Leno’s program, she could spit out the word “Nasty!” that might indeed make the censors nervous. Alabama charm.
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Re: BOWDLERIZE

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:29 pm

Gail, I enjoyed your link to the 06 discussion. It reminded me of old virtual friends who have mysteriously disappeared. I miss them, and I'm glad you're still around.
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Re: BOWDLERIZE

Postby gailr » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:12 pm

Thank you, Perry; I miss a lot of the old gang as well. Boards are like other human gathering places where people come and go. Sometimes they're missed, (sometimes not!) sometimes they show up again, and new faces keep things interesting.
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Re: BOWDLERIZE

Postby bamaboy56 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:48 pm

Thanks, Luke, for the reminder. I really like Turner Classic Movies and we watch that a lot. Great movies on that channel! Silent movies, foreign movies, musicals, classic movies, I kind of like them all. So many movies, so little time!
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