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It seems as though New York State has been doctoring the passages used for the reading comprehension part of the Regents Exam (required for public high school students in NY). “Most Jewish women” are now “most women;” “Jews are Jews and Gentiles are Gentiles” gets deleted (without elipsis points); Kofi Annan no longer praises “fine California wine and seafood,” but “fine California seafood;” people no longer “went out to a bar” but merely “went out;” “skinny” people are suddenly “thin,” while a “gringo lady” is now an “American lady,” and “hell” has now become “heck.”

In short, virtually all references to race, religion, ethnicity, alcohol, profanity, etc. have been edited out of the works of Chekhov, Annie Dillard, John Holt, Frank Conroy, and others. The State Education Department says that it is merely following “sensitivity guidelines,” but apparently some of the authors have found out and are a little less than pleased. This is all in Sunday�s New York Times, but I think you need a password to access it. I�m a little nervous about posting this, but I can just hope Dartmouth doesn�t get any good ideas out of this.