His companion, Mr. Shelby, had the appearance of a gentleman; and the arrangements of the house, and the general air of the housekeeping, indicated easy, and even opulent circumstances. As we before stated, the two were in the midst of an earnest conversation.

“That is the way I should arrange the matter,” said Mr. Shelby.

“I can’t make trade that way—I positively can’t, Mr. Shelby,” said the other, holding up a glass of wine between his eye and the light.

“Why, the fact is, Haley, Tom is an uncommon fellow; he is certainly worth that sum anywhere,—steady, honest, capable, manages my whole farm like a clock.”

“You mean honest, as niggers go,” said Haley, helping himself to a glass of brandy.

“No; I mean, really, Tom is a good, steady, sensible, pious fellow. He got religion at a camp-meeting, four years ago; and I believe he really did get it. I’ve trusted him, since then, with everything I have,—money, house, horses,—and let him come and go round the country; and I always found him true and square in everything.”

“Some folks don’t believe there is pious niggers Shelby,” said Haley, with a candid flourish of his hand, “but I do. I had a fellow, now, in this yer last lot I took to Orleans—‘t was as good as a meetin, now, really, to hear that critter pray; and he was quite gentle and quiet like. He fetched me a good sum, too, for I bought him cheap of a man that was ’bliged to sell out; so I realized six hundred on him. Yes, I consider religion a valeyable thing in a nigger, when it’s the genuine article, and no mistake.”
Uncle Tom’s Cabin (or Life among the Lowly) by Harriet Beecher Stowe

This text is so offensive that it can’t be read in public. Reading this text in a YouTube video or other podcast is likely to get you multiple strikes.

But this book is important to our history. This book is a propaganda work that was used to stir up Yankee feelings against slave owners and slavery. It worked.

This book helped lead to the end of slavery in these United States.

How could you talk about this book today? You can’t even read it outloud. It would be verboten in most schools. All because it used the language of the day.

“Say, Jim, I’ll fetch the water if you’ll whitewash some.”

Jim shook his head and said:

“Can’t, Mars Tom. Ole missis, she tole me I got to go an’ git dis water an’ not stop foolin’ roun’ wid anybody. She say she spec’ Mars Tom gwine to ax me to whitewash, an’ so she tole me go ’long an’ ’tend to my own business—she ’lowed she’d ’tend to de whitewashin’.”

“Oh, never you mind what she said, Jim. That’s the way she always talks. Gimme the bucket—I won’t be gone only a a minute. She won’t ever know.”

“Oh, I dasn’t, Mars Tom. Ole missis she’d take an’ tar de head off’n me. ’Deed she would.”

“She! She never licks anybody—whacks ’em over the head with her thimble—and who cares for that, I’d like to know. She talks awful, but talk don’t hurt—anyways it don’t if she don’t cry. Jim, I’ll give you a marvel. I’ll give you a white alley!”

Jim began to waver.

“White alley, Jim! And it’s a bully taw.”

“My! Dat’s a mighty gay marvel, I tell you! But Mars Tom I’s powerful ’fraid ole missis—”

“And besides, if you will I’ll show you my sore toe.”

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Again, text that would be (is?) suppressed today. Mark Twain uses the N-word nine times in this one book. If that isn’t enough to get the book removed from polite company, read the nearly undecipherable words of Jim, above. I remember Jim as being a slave but that isn’t found in this work.

The left is judging this work by what is “acceptable” speech today. It hurts that great literature is so maligned.

“Goodwives,” said a hard-featured dame of fifty, “I’ll tell ye a piece of my mind. It would be greatly for the public behoof, if we women, being of mature age and church-members in good repute, should have the handling of such malefactresses as this Hester Prynne. What think ye, gossips? If the hussy stood up for judgment before us five, that are now here in a knot together, would she come off with such a sentence as the worshipful magistrates have awarded? Marry, I trow not!”

“People say,” said another, “that the Reverend Master Dimmesdale, her godly pastor, takes it very grievously to heart that such a scandal should have come upon his congregation.”

“The magistrates are God-fearing gentlemen, but merciful overmuch,—that is a truth,” added a third autumnal matron. “At the very least, they should have put the brand of a hot iron on Hester Prynne’s forehead. Madam Hester would have winced at that, I warrant me. But she,—the naughty baggage,—little[57] will she care what they put upon the bodice of her gown! Why, look you, she may cover it with a brooch, or such like heathenish adornment, and so walk the streets as brave as ever!”

“Ah, but,” interposed, more softly, a young wife, holding a child by the hand, “let her cover the mark as she will, the pang of it will be always in her heart.”

“What do we talk of marks and brands, whether on the bodice of her gown, or the flesh of her forehead?” cried another female, the ugliest as well as the most pitiless of these self-constituted judges. “This woman has brought shame upon us all, and ought to die. Is there not law for it? Truly, there is, both in the Scripture and the statute-book. Then let the magistrates, who have made it of no effect, thank themselves if their own wives and daughters go astray!”
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

What was the sin of Hester that was so great that some women of the town were demanding she be branded and another felt should should be executed?

She was an unwed mother. What 20 years ago was “Brave and courageous” is today a common occurrence. To suggest that a woman be punished for the inability of society to provide her with free birth control and “health care” is unacceptable.

Aunt Sponge was terrifically fat / And tremendously flabby at that, Aunt Spiker was thin as a wire / And dry as a bone, only drier, most formidable female, and hundreds of other words and phrases were recently removed from Roald Dahl’s beloved books.

He is known for writing James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, and many others. His publisher feels that it is “for the good of the children” to put their words in place of his.

I despise editors stealth editing anything. I want to know what the author said, not what you think I should be reading. If I have hit the publish button on one of my articles and I feel I must edit it, I will mark the title and mark deletions and insertions. It is the right thing to do.

I do not want to live in the world of 1984. It isn’t “big brother is watching” it is history being erased and rewritten in real time. It is having my words stripped away until the only thing left to say is “double plus ungood”

My wife is a teacher. When she read about these edits to Dahl’s book she had a fit. It just wasn’t acceptable.

But just like we now have “Coke Classic”, a pale imitation of real Coke-a-Cola, we are now going to have “classic” editions of Dahl’s works.

Many many years ago I read what I though was Call of the Wild by Jack London. It was boring. It was dry. It was written for young readers. It was abridged. Instead of reading the words of Jack London, I was being told what London said.

In doing so, the soul of the story was stripped away, leaving nothing but a hollow husk of what was once a great story.

In high school we were reading Romeo and Juliet. It was one of a number of shorter works in our text book. That text book was 8.5×11 and weighted way to much to lug around. I picked up a copy of the play at the local bookstore.

We were reading out loud in class when it came to my part. I read it from the book and there was the response. My words next.

There was something strange going on, Mrs Trout was nodding along, enjoying the reading. My classmates were looking confused. My words were not in their book. Mrs. Trout figured it out when the next door teacher came over and closed our door because her class was paying more attention to our reading than her.

I was reading the unabridged version of Shakespeare’s work, the textbook had a version suitable for high school students. In other words, all the juicy parts had been ripped out. Mrs. Trout figured it out. She didn’t notice because I was reading what she expected to hear. She was a good English teacher.

By the end of the week, everybody in class was reading from the unabridged version.

Words have meaning, we shouldn’t allow the left to redefine words. If words can be redefined at will they soon mean nothing.

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”
Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

When I use a word it means what we agree it means. That is how we communicate and will continue to communicate.

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By awa

18 thoughts on “Judging History by Today”
  1. I lived in the town of Readfield here in Maine on “nickerson hill rd” until some time in the 50s-60s I think, it was known as nigger hill rd because there was a settlement of blacks on it way back. Also another town I was in had a road that on old 1940s maps it was known as “nigger ridge” again because of a settlement. It wasn’t a “bad” word until democrats got bigger mouths… no difference than other words of the time.

  2. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/12608-when-i-use-a-word-humpty-dumpty-said-in-rather
    “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’ ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.” ― Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

    Welcome to 1984

    In the mid 1970’s I went back to junior college. While there I had a brush with Scientology. When I discovered that the road to “Clear” (Scientology Speak) was paved with changed meanings of common words my head spun. I felt as if the ground were moving under my feet and myself becoming disoriented. I cut ties quickly and never got near any cult after that. My Acme bullshit’o’meter had gotten pegged.

    In recent years I’ve had that disoriented feeling again. Up is now down. Wrong is so right. Now, when I speak or write using common words I have to be careful because the person I’m trying to communicate with may be working from a different dictionary. Look up the word “Violent” or “Violence” on line. Then find a dictionary from the 1980’s and look it up again. The purpose of this is to make your head spin, to confuse and make you unsure. To make you keep your thoughts to yourself. It is done to control you and fragment us as a people.

    We shouldn’t be living in an America where the party is always right.

    1. “History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right. I know, of course, that the past is falsified, but it would never be possible for me to prove it, even when I did the falsification myself. After the thing is done, no evidence ever remains.”

      “All within the Party, nothing outside the Party, nothing against the Party.”

      “My Party loves me and wants what is best for me.”

  3. This is one of the things that worries me about e-books. Amazon, for instance, has the ability to reach out and update books in your library and on your device if, for instance, an updated version has been released which fixes spelling errors and the like.
    But that update feature doesn’t know whether the update is fixing punctuation, or removing bad language. And there’s very little in the way of digital paper stubs to indicate sections have been rewritten or wholly deleted.
    I admit I am a heavy Kindle user. I travel a lot so it’s great in terms of having many books at my fingertips without having to carry them, not to mention being able to get a new book from the comfort of my hotel room, or at 35,000 feet. And I’m getting older, so sometimes it’s more comfortable to take off the glasses and notch up the font size a bit. Extremely convenient, yes, and for the most part I wouldn’t do without it; but I still worry. That’s one reason why most of my books related to gunsmithing etc. are all paper.

    1. Use Epubor Ultimate and take complete control over your ebook library. It has a free version, but the paid version is a pay once use forever. Use calibre to manage your library. This is free open source software. Both of these programs convert nearly all book and text file formats.

    2. My rule is hard copies for things I would hate to see bowdlerized — Tolkien, Heinlein, Twain, Shakespeare, etc. Digital copies for popcorn books, or an extra digital copy of something I want to read while mobile.

  4. “The expectation of receiving emotional shelter has now infected multiple younger generations, so that children and young adults have been conditioned to constantly be alert for anything they deem to be offensive, and they have developed highly tuned antennae for it. “
    … AND …

    “The most sensitive person in an audience has become the schoolyard bully writ large. Authorities capitulate to this abusive bullying and support toxic overprotection out of pure cowardice, fear for their own positions, the warm glow they experience from virtue-signaling, or because they have newfound control. “
    From: Why “The Right Not To Be Offended” is Offensive:

  5. As a person with an autistic family member or two, the phrase, “Words have MEANING,” is important. Really important. One of my autistic family members has this tendency to not remember words, so they’ll replace those words with whatever pops into their head. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes bad, sometimes indifferent. Regardless, I have to be vigilant. Words have meaning, and I have to make sure that the right words are used at any given time.
    That said, the meaning of words does drift. That’s not wrong… it’s just the way things are. If you look at Old English, it’s almost indecipherable to us. Even as someone with a lot of language experience, I struggle to read texts written in Old English (Beowulf, for example). The lack of common spelling and meter is off putting. Even Middle English (Shakespeare, Chaucer, etc) can be rough without a bit of guidance. Modern idiom and the idiom of 50 years ago are not the same.
    The difference is, some of us strive to understand those old texts, so that we can better understand those people, that time, and our history. Being able to use your noggin to work out the meaning of a text does not seem to be taught in public school anymore. I taught it to our kids at home, because it’s That Important. Look at the Constitution. Look at the Declaration of Independence. Look at the Bill of Rights. These things are not written in today’s language, but it is vital that we learn about it, not just as a translated work but as a living document that each of us, ourselves, can read whenever we wish.
    History is one of my passions. Language (literature, books, historical writings) is another.
    The problem isn’t that public school doesn’t teach these things. Public school is there to teach your children and mine how to work together well in a factory. It does that just fine. The problem is that way too many parents don’t teach their children things at home.

    1. Shakespeare is effectively modern English — Chaucer is middle English. “Smalle fowles maken melodye” is much farther from modern than “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

      There are a couple great YouTubers who cover language — one focuses on old English the other on the origins of words and signs. I learned from one of them that “deer” was originally the term for any animal you hunted.

      1. Technically speaking, Shakespeare is “Early Modern English”, you’re correct. It’s still very difficult for the general public of today to read. I note that most of the people on GFZ don’t really fit into the “general public of today” category, though. LOL…

  6. When and where were you in high school? In southern Ohio — within spitting distance of Kentucky — in the late ’80s we read “Othello” and “Jude the Obscure” unabridged. Our English teacher made sure we got the references — what’s a pig’s pizzle? why were Desdemona’s sheets important? what’s the “beast with two backs”?

    This was a small town with more churches than bars, no stoplights, and where teachers had given me and my friends grief for playing D&D.

    1. I graduated from high school in the late 70’s. The textbook we were given had all of the literature we were to study that year as well as all of the connecting stuff. From what I have learned censored and abridged literature in k-12 textbooks is not uncommon.

  7. My preferred method of storing electronic copies of documents is either in HTML or PDF format. For bulk storage, PDFs stored on a Kindle is a great solution. Kindle software can read a PDF and display it in reasonable ways. And the battery life on a Kindle is pretty darn good.
    Put an older lap top, its power brick, a stack of 64GB SD cards along with your Kindle in your Faraday Cage. Each document is on at least two, preferably three different SD cards.

    1. The battery life on a NEW Kindle is pretty good. Mine, sitting idle, discharges in a couple days. A day of reading drains it.

  8. I’m just as guilty as the next guy but I strive for free and open source in all electronic endeavors at this point. It is almost at the point where it us a viable alternative for normies. Too bad signal had to go and shoot themselves in the foot…
    Unfortunately all that hard work is undone the moment I place my 22nd amazon order for the week and concessions that must be made to serve the corporate world.
    Digital updates is why I never connect my kindle to internet.
    Its an extension of and in connection to the move towards subscription everything, own nothing, and be happy that Tesla/apple/etc can shut your service off because you dared tinker or want control over the physical device you hold. No security or freedom if you can’t own it and exercise complete dominion over your property; the same applies to words.

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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