You know the term bowdlerizing, right? After Thomas Bowdler who carefully excised all the questionable bits in Shakespeare, often used disparagingly. I'm having second thoughts about the disparaging part. It's all because of Tom Sawyer. Since we're studying the Mississippi River, we have been reading Tom Sawyer at lunch time. On the whole, everyone is enjoying it. I knew going into reading it that there would be some issues with a bit of language and attitudes. I was up for this since I see it as a part of learning about history. We have to be willing to tackle the hard parts as well as the easy parts. But I was unprepared for having to actually deal with the racial epithet that no one says and just abbreviates by its initial letter. So I took a deep breath and dove in with incredibly strong warnings that this word was to never, ever be used. I did that once and said the word aloud, choking on it even as I said it. But the word comes more than once in the book. I suppose if I had really thought about it, Tom Sawyer doesn't end up on banned books lists just for one instance of a controversial word. What did I end up doing? Bowdlerizing. And I'm OK with that.
So what have you done with controversial words or ideas when you come to it (often unexpectedly) when reading out loud?