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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: July ::
Re: A Fifth Grader's View of Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1444  Thursday, 17 July 2003

[1]     From:   Martin Steward <
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        Date:   Friday, 11 Jul 2003 14:45:01 +0100
        Subj:   SHK 14.1435 Re: A Fifth Grader's View of Shakespeare

[2]     From:   Jeffrey Myers <
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        Date:   Friday, 11 Jul 2003 10:22:17 -0400
        Subj:   Re: A Fifth Grader's View of Shakespeare

[3]     From:   Rainbow Saari <
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        Date:   Thursday, 17 Jul 2003 10:37:35 +1200
        Subj:   A fifth grader's view of Shakespeare?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <
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Date:           Friday, 11 Jul 2003 14:45:01 +0100
Subject: Re: A Fifth Grader's View of Shakespeare
Comment:        SHK 14.1435 Re: A Fifth Grader's View of Shakespeare

"I haven't read Lederer's book and probably won't - but cannot brook the
idea of it being censored by the carping insistence of it being
"offensive".  What on earth does "offensive" mean, may I ask? It is not
an insult, because the above posters would have said so. It actually
means that it is an opinion or taste which they do not subscribe to."

No - it is offensive because it publishes lies that suggest that Fifth
Graders and/or their students are stupid.

By all means publish truths that suggest this, if you can find a
truthful evidence for such a thing. But how to justify lies, pure lies,
without even a disclaimer?

The original post contained cited evidence that Lederer's material was
falsified.

m

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jeffrey Myers <
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Date:           Friday, 11 Jul 2003 10:22:17 -0400
Subject:        Re: A Fifth Grader's View of Shakespeare

Sam Small <
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 > writes,

>Is this a new spat of political correctness from Jeffrey
>Myers and Michael LoMonico in the name of dear Shakespeare?

What is the emoticon for irony, Sam?  :-)

Jeff Myers

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rainbow Saari <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 17 Jul 2003 10:37:35 +1200
Subject:        A fifth grader's view of Shakespeare?

I hope Jeff Myers will not be offended by my saying that I was
convinced, upon reading his post (of 9th July), that his tongue was
placed firmly in his cheek when he wrote it. If I have inappropriately
credited you with a sarcastic bent, you have my apology. (I hope this is
not the case; I thought you did it well.)

Michael Lo Monico writes that "there's a slight difference between
laughing at a pompous character who uses malapropisms while trying to
sound intelligent and laughing at a 10-year old child who simply makes a
mistake." This got me thinking. How much of a difference is there? What
makes malapropisms 'work' for me is the innocence with which the
originating party says them. Neither the 'pompous character' or the
(supposed, in this case) student is aware that they've made use of the
wrong word. Both can be said to have simply made a mistake. It seems to
me that the fact that this quote is represented as having come from a
student's test paper (wherever it originated) plays on this factor of
innocence that makes malapropisms funny. And is a student answering test
questions not 'trying to sound intelligent'?

My reaction to the quote I forwarded was not 'What a stupid kid!' but
'what delightful malapropisms.' As a reminder not to take the man who
brought us Mistress Quickly, young Master Slender, and the exquisite,
enthusiastic Dogberry, too seriously the humour worked well. However
un-PC it might be, the mental image I now have of Shakespeare toiling
away over his "tragedies, comedies and hysterectomies" (and all done in
'Islamic pentameter'!) satisfies. I suspect our Will would have chuckled
over such an absurd assessment of his efforts.

I hadn't heard of Lederer. I don't feel inspired to out and get his
book.  But thank you, Michael, for passing on the Romeo and Juliet
segments of that 'answer'. I admit that it also made me smile.

Cheers,
Rainbow Saari

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