* * * *

The good Christian parents in the Bible-bashing town of Staphorst must be sleeping easier in their beds knowing their children will no longer have to use dictionaries containing such vulgar words as nitwit or verzuipen (drinking yourself silly).


Anything which could be a bastardisation of ‘God’ or ‘Jesus’ – such as jeetje or verdorie, the Dutch equivalents of ‘gosh’ or ‘damn’ – are also out. And as for seks – no sex isn’t in the dictionary, nor is sperma. And gay means homo, not homosexual.
The delicate little flowers, brought up to believe the world was created in seven days, will now be spared even more contamination by the 21st century.
Lexicon maker Theo de Boer has been quick to point out that Van Dale put its foot down when it thought the religious leaders were going too far in their demands.
But what is odd about this story is not that the fundamentalists wanted a cleaned-up dictionary. After all, every one knows looking up dirty words is a popular pastime among giggling eight to 12-year-olds.
No, the question is why did a respected organisation like Van Dale go along with it in the first place? Whatever next? The politically-correct dictionary? The Muslim fundamentalist dictionary? The white supremacists dictionary? It’s a slippery slope, Van Dale. And quite worthless for playing Scrabble.