Denny's Zinger: Books Are Dangerous!
What triggered this column was the story of how American students are being emotionally hurt by literature. The lede:
Should students about to read "The Great Gatsby" be forewarned about "a variety of scenes that reference gory, abusive and misogynistic violence," as one Rutgers student proposed? Would any book that addresses racism—like "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" or "Things Fall Apart"—have to be preceded by a note of caution? Do sexual images from Greek mythology need to come with a viewer-beware label?
Colleges across the country this spring have been wrestling with student requests for what are known as "trigger warnings," explicit alerts that the material they are about to read or see in a classroom might upset them or, as some students assert, cause symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in victims of rape or in war veterans.—Jennifer Medina, The New York Times
Takeaways to Consider:
- Be careful what you write. You could be accused of causing post-traumatic stress disorder.
- One solution: require colleges and universities to institute a rating system for books and courses, such as "Parental Guidance Required."
Denny Hatch's new book is Write Everything Right!
***** Five Stars Write Everything Right! is a great resource for anyone who uses writing in their lives because he talks about all forms of writing from e-mails to articles and memos. The goal is for everyone to write in a way that makes it easier for the reader to read it than to ignore it. —Robin Perron
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