Spelling Isn’t Witchcraft!

18 01 2007

Last night NPR interviewed a Muslim woman raised in Canada, who writes tv comedy from her own life. Her new sit-com is “Little Mosque on the Prairie.” (good name)

They played a sound clip from an episode poking fun at an old imam cautioning children against “licorice” and “hamburgers” because they had wicked words embedded in them to appear innocent and suitable for kids, that would weaken their resolve and likely lead them astray later in life to accept “liquor” and “ham”. The writer said her real life childhood imam in Canada had forbidden root beer to Muslims, because its name would confuse children’s minds into accepting beer as perfectly fine. She explained how she just exaggerated for comic effect, something that was dead serious (and seriously deluded!) at the time. Something her parents bought into and forbade quite seriously to her as a result, believing they were doing what their faith required.

Wonder if this Georgia mom fighting an epic battle against a fictional children’s book character hears those same delusional voices in her head about modern culture. Does her logically (and linguistically) twisted literalism lose so much in translation that she could be dead serious about sounding like a ridiculous old imam exaggerated for comic effect?