‘Meep’ follow up

A column from the Ideas section of the Boston Globe follows up on the story about the Danvers High school banning the word meep.   ( Which I wrote a blog post about a month ago)

Meep has been used many ways as slang. The column says that Urbandictionary has 71 entries for it!

A word is only as powerful as people says it is. So why am I still hung up about the principal banning the word? Maybe because by banning it, he gave it more power than it had before. I don’t really know…  but I found the ending of the column to be really interesting:

All words mean only what we all collectively agree they should mean, no more and no less. In Danvers, meep came to mean: “We’ll obey your rules when we feel like it.” And that, in the end, made it a dirty word.

~Erin McKean

When I take that in to consideration, banning the word makes more sense. It was never about the word (the school was quoted to not banning the word for the sake of the word itself) but what it stood for. In effect, they banned the word for its definition.

It’s just a little surreal to see meep on a list of words that should not be spoken at school with the likes of real four letter words and other swear words.



Filed under Musings, News

4 responses to “‘Meep’ follow up

  1. Lianna

    I like MEEP. In fact, you hear me say all the time. I think that they banned it because it was annoying. It’s harmless and honestly has no meaning at all.

    • Yeah that’s what I thought a month ago, when the Principal actually banned it, but this WORDS column from the Boston Globe points out that, it wasn’t about the word, it was about what the students meant behind the word.

      And would you want to sit in class where there was Meeping every minute? ‘Twould be very distracting.

  2. Lianna

    I know, I know. I meeped, you meeped, we all meeped. And you’re right, it is distracting in class. But then again, so are people who say “like” and “um” every other word. Do we ban those too?

    • Anne the Intern

      Well, actually…. http://www.taylormali.com/index.cfm?webid=15 “Like” has been banned from classrooms. But for a different reason. Mali wasn’t banning the word because it meant something bad, he banned it because it meant absolutely nothing.

      I disagree with the banning, though. I think any rules the school had in place for general disruption of class would have been adequite. Banning a word that itself is inoffensive because they dislike its meaning is censorship. Even though technically a student gives up his or her rights upon entering a school building, I feel like because schools are supposed to prepare students for the “real” world, part of that process is allowing them some way to express themselves, rather than totalitarian censorship.

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