if you ever check to see who's online you'll notice that there is ALWAYS at least one guest, usually more, reading this thread. this is obviously a question at the forefront of a lot of peoples minds.
"To shorten so as to distort the meaning"
I don't think that's exactly what "bowdlerize" means - I think it specifically means to censor or make suitable for younger (or just more innocent) people by cutting bits out - probably at the expense of quality. ie the aim is not to distort the meaning although that may well be the effect.word that I was thinking of is indeed "bowdlerize", thanks dominic
Good word anyway."Thomas Bowdler (July 11, 1754 – February 24, 1825) was an English physician who published an expurgated edition of William Shakespeare's work that he considered to be more appropriate than the original for women and children. He similarly edited Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. His expurgation was the subject of some criticism and ridicule and, through the eponym bowdlerise (or bowdlerize), his name is now associated with prudish censorship of literature, motion pictures and television programmes."