Do-gooder reforms Huck Finn


The schoolmarms are still at it.

Next month, you will be able to buy the single- volume NewSouth Edition of Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” edited by Professor Alan Gribben of Auburn University at Montgomery. It differs from other editions of those books because Mr. Gribben has turned the word “nigger” — as used by Tom and Huck — into “slave.” Mr. Gribben has also changed “Injun” to Indian. — Jan. 6, The New York Times

Beware of jackasses in positions of authority, especially those who bear the title of “professor.” (How do you get to teach English Lit if you don’t understand that altering an author’s text is like defacing a painting, and that, if you can’t discuss what the author actually wrote, you might as well let your students play video games on their phones until school’s out?)

Here’s a Mark Twain quotation for teachers in Philadelphia and elsewhere: “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter — ’tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.” Write me a 500-word essay on this quote, and no cribbing allowed.

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