Thursday, February 22, 2007

Scrotum Appreciation Day

There's currently a huge wave of outrage among librarians, about the fact that the word "scrotum" appears on the very first page of the new Newberry-Medal-Award-winning book, THE HIGHER POWER OF LUCKY by Susan Patron. Apparently, the horror of a dog's scrotum being stung by a rattlesnake, which is what occurs on that first page... clearly, it is a horror too great to be inflicted upon our children.

*drips venomous sarcasm*

I haven't personally read the book, but I intend to eventually check it out from the library, purely because I think everyone getting freaked out about a perfectly correct anatomical term is ridiculous. There's news coverage about the whole thing, which can be found pretty much anywhere, so I'm not going to link to that. Instead, I'd like to direct you to the blog of Charlie Colman Finlay, husband of my internet buddy, Rae Carson. Charlie is running a poetry contest to popularize the word "scrotum". It's ongoing until midnight tomorrow, whereby tomorrow is February 22nd.

My personal favorite so far, comes to us from the talented author, Leah Bobet. I shall quote it below, for your enjoyment.

(a sonnet)

by Leah Bobet

The English language moves, akin to sperm
in ways mysterious to contemplate;
Each phrase for manly parts, it has its term:
its rise and fall, its length and width and date.
But what if a once rigid word must fall
and cease to stand erect betwixt our lips?
Vernacular is brought low, that once tall
graced page and tongue -- our very language trips.
Where else do balls belong but libraries?
O bastions of collegiate night romance
Where 'tween stacks of dusty philosophies
The gentle scrotum 'scapes so oft its pants?
So mock not the kindly word, the sweet scrota
But pronounce it daily, weekly: set a quota.


Southern Writer said...

Brava! Very nice!

Jackie said...

I love the poem..and the controversy is silly. I have a hard time imagining a child over six in the USA not knowing what "scrotum" means.Using my male childrens delight in saying the word as an example,a delight more wonderous as they are the proud possessors of same.

Catherine Avril Morris said...

Yahaha--what a great poem!

I won't even bother to comment on how totally ridic the kerfuffle about scrota is.

(Scrota! That's one for today! Working toward meeting my quota!)

Anonymous said...

I did a double take when I saw the author's name...

Anonymous said...

Jackie: I have a hard time imagining a child over six in the USA not knowing what "scrotum" means.

Unfortunately, I suspect a great many children have never heard the correct names of body parts. And very young girls, especially those without brothers, are less likely to be aware of that particular part.

Many librarians also think the controversy is silly. Others are correctly assessing the level of protest it will draw in their local communities, regardless of their personal opinions. Also, school librarians have to answer to school administrators, some of whom will order a book removed if even one parent objects.

Kelly Swails said...

I read about this on Rae's blog and got a laugh out of it but didn't realize that it was about scrotum sensitivity amoungst uber-conservative parents/librarians. Now I'm fired up.