Taped versions of an old nursery rhyme on sale in Scotland have an added verse in order to avoid upsetting little tykes who hear it, reports Glasgow’s Sunday Mail.

The original version of the Humpty Dumpty rhyme has the egg man falling off the wall, and none of the king’s horses nor any of the king’s men able to put him together again. End of story. The new version adds a verse: Humpty Dumpty opened his eyes/ Falling down was such a surprise/ Humpty Dumpty counted to 10/ Then Humpty Dumpty got up again.

What Happens When Columnists Run out of Ideas

Denver police are unnecessarily driving a wedge into an already divided community by accurately transcribing their interviews with African-American witnesses, reports columnist Jim Spencer of the Denver Post.

Denver Police records routinely have phrases like "aks" instead of "ask," "sumpin'" for “something” and "baf'room" for “bathroom.”

"It's not only insensitive, it's insulting," said the Rev. Gill Ford, the NAACP's regional director and a member of the state's Peace Officer Standards and Training Board.

But the police say everyone gets treated the same way, regardless of race.

"I know the implication is that someone is trying to put a racial spin on something," explained Al LaCabe, the police’s public safety manager. "But the transcriptionists are trying to be as accurate as possible."

Angry and Confused

A fraternity at California State University in Long Beach, Calif. was forced to apologize for using a picture of a naked black man from the movie “The Full Monty” in a flier advertising a charity pledge auction, reports the Daily Forty-Niner.

Similar fliers featuring white men from the movie, also naked and with their genitalia covered by hats, provoked no reaction. But the one of the black man was called “racially and culturally insensitive” by students who described themselves as confused and angered. Following the flier fiasco, Sigma Phi Epsilon promised not to hold any more pledge auctions and to undergo cultural sensitivity indoctrination.

No Fun

A city council in Britain has banned the handing out of goldfish as funfair prizes out of concern that the practice may be too stressful for the fish, reports the Daily Post.

In the first ban of its kind in Northwest England, the Liverpool City Council took the measure at the behest of liberal Democratic councilman Coun Jean Seddon, who said he was concerned about the welfare of the fish. The Royal Society for the Protection of Animals applauded the decision. "Winning a goldfish at a fair does not require people to give any kind of thought as to whether they can be responsible for an animal,” said the RSPCA’s Heather Holmes. "It is all very distressing for the goldfish."

A Different Kind of Mascot Trouble (for a change)

Sparty the Spartan, the mascot at Michigan State University, is in trouble for a stunt that was called insensitive and offensive to students with disabilities, reports the State News.

For a mascot competition, Sparty was filmed stumbling through the student union with a white cane and referee’s jersey. The intent was to poke fun at "blind" referees.

Members of the Council of Students with Disabilities were irate about the stunt. They said they were being "stereotyped, mocked and harassed by a symbol of this university."

The incident couldn’t have happened at a worse time, the paper says, coming as it did just after Accessibility Awareness Week. The students responsible have agreed to apologize and attend diversity re-education seminars.

Out of the Stadium

Another week, another sportscaster in trouble. The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Warren Sapp is under fire for accusing National Football League officials of “slave master” style management in an interview on CBS' pre-game program.

"It's a slave system," Sapp said of an NFL edict with which he was unhappy. "Make no mistake about it, slave master say you can't do it, don't do it. They'll make an example out of you."

Host Bob Costas lit into him for the language.

"Anybody, white or black, who cares about the present state of race relations in America, and the scarred history of it in this country, would never trivialize that discussion by likening being disciplined for football infractions to anything that has to do with slavery or racism,” Costas said. “It's so far out of bounds, it is out of the stadium."

Modern Journalism

A tipster sends this memo that went out to copy editors at a newspaper in the southern United States from its managing editor:

STYLE UPDATE 6

Some words have negative connotations, even though we don’t intend for them to be taken that way. For that reason, Tonnya has requested that we stop using the following terms:

Broken English -- a phrase than many consider elitist. Rather, we could say someone speaks English poorly.

Broken homes -- again, this has a negative connotation. A single-parent home can in some instances be more stable than a home with two parents.

Third World -- this is AP style but Tonnya would prefer we not use it because it could be considered condescending. Economically developing nations is an alternative. Nonaligned countries would work for some political references.

For a daily dose of politically correct shenanigans, head over to the Tongue Tied Web site.

Mailbag:

Joey W. writes:

I'll tell you the group that is the most offended by the weekly hog roast in Bath, England: the pigs!

Steven Z. in West Hartford, Conn. Writes:

While it may be better to avoid presenting literature to school-children which is insulting to blacks or some other minority, the novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" should be presented, even if it does contain the N-word, because the overall theme of the novel is that the white protagonist learns to overcome her prejudice and becomes aware of the goodness in black people.

Isn't this what politically-correct tolerant people are trying to prove anyway?

Kathleen J. in Pittford, N.Y. writes:

Correction on your story about Cheery Holidays last week -- the display was not even a Christmas display. The display was a winter scene in Pittsford with cut evergreens and birdhouses the tree was not decorated and there were no presents under the tree. The ignorant parent said it could have "reminded her of a Christmas" and she was offended.

What you also missed is the story about how our middle school principle ordered a fund raising book to have pages spray glued together because they contained Jewish, Christian and Kwanzaa stuff on them but nothing about Islam. They even sprayed over a crucifix so we would not offend anyone.

Paul C. in Groton, Mass. Writes:

As a resident of Groton, Mass. with a child in the Groton-Dunstable school system, I am frustrated and appalled at the commotion regarding our Crusader mascot. The issue was settled within the town last year, with a vote by the high school students to alter the mascot's image to be more politically correct but to not do away with the Knight.

The Americans United for the Separation of Church and State should understand that they are more of a nuisance than a help, as our schools need to focus on more important issues that directly impact the children, such as dealing with drug use in the town and schools, instead of what they wear on their sports uniforms.

Jason A. writes:

The fact that the women on the campus of Sierra College intend to file a gender harassment charge against the school over something as silly as whether they are "hot" or not proves the column to be accurate in its assessment.

Shawn C. writes:

Your article about the Pittsford, N.Y. board of education doing away with Christmas concerts and Christmas parties makes me sick. If a student is offended by Christmas, then why can't he or she just not participate in Christmas events? There is no need to ruin it for everyone else.

Also, the AUSCS should mind there own business and stop looking for trouble to cause. If a school district has had a certain mascot without for years without trampling on other people's rights then they should be able to keep it.

American culture, history, and even our rights are being thrown away in the name of political correctness. Why does the majority have to suffer just to make a few people feel a little more comfortable?

Dwight writes:

It's too bad the movie "Song of the South" is banned. It is a great movie, as I remember it, and it made much history for the actor James Baskett. He was the first live actor hired by Disney, and he was the first African-American to win an Academy Award. Instead of celebrating what Baskett accomplished, his crowning achievement has been banned by the new fundamentalists using political correctness as their tool. I am sorry all generations have lost Baskett and a great movie.

 

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