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BITS ‘N’ PIECES

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By SG
Fri, 11, 19

Users of the service have seen the warnings attached to some of the company’s best-known animated films....

Time-travelling with Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary

Next to the earliest known year that a word appears in print, Merriam-Webster’s site now offers a link to a list of all the other words that were first used in the same year. The year-by-year lists start with 1500, the rich vintage that gave us “backside,” “brownie,” “cadaver,” “civil law,” and “haircloth”; and comes to a stop in the 2010s, a decade that saw the first recognition of “manspreading,” “bingeable,” “hot take,” and “blockchain.”

Disney+ adds warning for racist content in classics

Warnings have been added to a number of classic Disney films playing on the recently launched Disney+ streaming service that they may contain “outdated cultural depictions”.

Users of the service have seen the warnings attached to some of the company’s best-known animated films, such as Dumbo, Peter Pan and Lady and the Tramp, with text that reads: “This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions.”

While other warnings such as “contains tobacco depictions” seem straightforward, these disclaimers reveal Disney’s sensitivities over controversial past instances of racially charged characters. Its 1941 hit Dumbo, for instance, contains a group of crows long seen as mocking stereotypes of African Americans (with one named after Jim Crow, the nickname for the system of laws enforcing segregation in the south after the civil war), while Lady and the Tramp, released in 1955, contains a pair of duplicitous Siamese cats who are given exaggerated oriental accents. The recent remakes of both films removed them.

Compiled by SG