Waugh Wednesday – does a racist word need to be changed in the modern age

Well the latest Waugh story I read Multa Pencunia ,another of Waugh’s junior stories written when he was 9 ,a story about sir Alfred that had brought a unusual book with the same title as the story ,that disappears now when the book is discovered to have Gone missing Tom sir Alfred’s son says –

Jumping Golliwogs  cried Tom 

Now I was taken aback as Golliwogs a word that hasn’t been in usage in Britain since the mid seventies ,it was the name of a black rag doll in the 1800’s ,also was on a famous brand of Jam in the uk until the 1980’s when a campaign got it removed from the jar .I dislike this word it is such a derogatory term and needs putting in a dictionary of words never to be used and thrown in a deep hole so a question should it be changed ? to say golly gosh  .I can partly forgive Waugh as it was used more in his times ,but would he want it used now or would he have edited it and change it ? do we accept a writer using racist words due to their time of writing or take a sharp breath and  change these words ? .I don’t know but what is your view ?

July 2011
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