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The Perils of Technology, iPad Edition

(Photo: FHKE)

These days, I read a lot of books on an iPad 2 using the Kindle app. It is for the most part a very good experience, especially for recreational reading. As millions of others have noted, having an electronic device loaded up with a mini-library of e-books is especially valuable while traveling, which is when I do a lot of my reading.

The other day, on vacation with the family, I came across a pitfall. I was reading the old football novel North Dallas Forty (thanks to Henry for the suggestion, and all of you for other suggestions). It’s pretty entertaining — especially the race stuff and drug stuff. As it happened, my 9-year-old daughter was curled up beside me reading her book (The Doll People). She took at look at what I was reading. Her eyes immediately found a four-letter word.

“Hey,” she said. “That’s a bad word!”

“Yes, yes it is,” I said. (What are you supposed to say? Advice, pls.)

And then, out of instinct, I covered up the offending word with my thumb. What this was supposed to accomplish I do not know; she had already seen the word. But even worse, I didn’t just cover up the word — I actually touched the word on the screen with my thumb. Which, helpfully, pulls up a dictionary definition of the word:

VULGAR SLANG v. [trans.] 1 have sexual intercourse with (someone).

<SPECIAL USAGE> [intrans.] (of two people) have sexual intercourse.

2 ruin or damage (something).

Thank you, technology. You are indeed a double-edged sword.