You Fuck With Laurie Halse Anderson, You Fuck With The Rejectionist

No doubt you have all heard about the latest in book-banning, which flew all over the tinterwebs this weekend and has produced a heartening rallying cry amongst readers, librarians, and educators. We have nothing to contribute to the discussion around Speak that hasn’t already been said, and said beautifully.

However, we are the Rejectionist, and we are here to help. While we do not ever, under any circumstances, support the banning of books in schools, it pains us greatly to see any argument, no matter how reprehensible, being made poorly. And so, as a gesture of goodwill and reconciliation, we wish to offer Dr. Wesley Scroggins our editorial services FREE OF CHARGE. Dr. Scroggins, as someone who read a great many books in high school to someone who clearly, bless your heart, did not, we encourage you to embrace proper usage of the English language, which can be a mighty weapon when it is used correctly. Our commentary on your article follows; while we are actually writing this at work, and thus cannot provide a full analysis of your composition, we have selected certain key phrases to illustrate areas in which you may wish to improve.

As another school year begins at Republic Schools, parents need to be cautious and inquire as to the nature of the material that their children may be exposed to.

Well! This whole sentence, it is sort of painful, sir. This is the LEADING SENTENCE OF YOUR OP-ED, a sentence which ought to reassure your readers of your masterful command of rhetoric, your general intelligence, and the strength of your argument. We will give you a pass here on “inquire,” although traditionally in American usage “inquire” indicates a formal investigation (i.e. “a Senate inquiry”) whereas the correct usage here would be “enquire;” however, this is a rather subtle distinction which may be challenging for persons who demonstrate difficulty grasping the nuances of language, and “inquire” is not technically incorrect. But “as to the nature of the material that their children may be exposed to”? What is this? Mr. Scroggins, this is what we call A PASSIVE CONSTRUCTION, which is, in general, not a good idea, unless you are a Rejectionist and also greatly enjoy reveling in other grammatical self-indulgences such as rampant abuse of the semicolon, paragraph-long sentences, and hyperbolic excess. When one is making an argument, which you seem to be doing, albeit rather ineptly, it is significantly more effective to eschew such constructions. We do have sympathy for persons who let loose multiple combating ideas into a single sentence, as this is a syntactic adventure upon which we frequently embark with great joy; but you would be better off here not juxtaposing “caution” with “inquiry,” as the nature of the inquiry which you are proposing is not in fact “cautious” at all.

Sex education curriculum in the fourth grade includes topics on reproduction. Is this what parents and taxpayers in this community want their children exposed to in school?

Perhaps not! But they might want their children exposed to SENTENCES IN ENGLISH, which you have denied them! “Includes topics on reproduction”? WHAT IS THIS? It is fucking INEPT, is what it is! We are trying to assume the best of you, sir, but you make it a great challenge! And AGAIN with the passive construction and using “exposed” twice in two paragraphs is just sloppy and now we are beginning to doubt not just YOUR competence but also the ENTIRE EDITORIAL STAFF of the Springfield, Missouri News-Leader who apparently saw fit to allow you these FLAGRANT ABUSES OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE which are verily so many knives into our heart thrown by demons frolicking in the lusty pits of hell.

Equally shocking is the content of the high school English classes.

One such book is called "Speak."

Okay, here. We’ll DO IT FOR YOU. “The content of the high school English classes is equally shocking.” “Speak is one such book.” See? Not hard, sounds better. Maybe if you hadn’t slept through high-school English you would be in a better position to comment on its curriculum, Dr. Scroggins.

The content ranges from naked men and women in cages together so that others can watch them having sex to God telling people that they better not mess with his loser, bum of a son, named Jesus Christ.

The comma, Dr. Scroggins, is a friend, not a foe; and a loyal, staunch friend it may be to a writer who treats it with the respect and admiration it is due. Yet you, sir, appear determined here to heap upon this hardworking little ally all manner of abuses; unsurprisingly, in your hour of need the comma has betrayed you, thanks to your callous disregard for its proper employ.

In this book, drunken teens also end up on the beach, where they use their condoms to have sex.

And how, pray tell, does a drunken teen use “condoms to have sex”? We consider ourselves pretty worldly, good sir, but we are quite baffled as to the exact logistics involved in “us[ing] their condoms to have sex.” Perhaps you are more well-versed in the vagaries of kink than this innocent Rejectionist, Dr. Scroggins. A little light shed on the technicalities of this activity would be most useful, as we are left here to our imagination, which we must admit is failing us entirely.

Parents, it is time you get involved!