OK, one more comment and I'll go back to lurking.
As an academically-oriented former educator who doesn't currently hold an
academic position, I want to encourage those of you who do still walk those
halls to keep something in mind. As a few have pointed out, there is really
only one idea in dispute here: Can authors (and their readers) reasonably
expect that the integrity (both syntactic and semantic) of their published
works will be protected even in the face of significant cultural (and, for
that matter, linguistic) change? Have we concluded that there is some amount
of study, some level of scholarly recognition or achievement, some
assignment of title, or some circumstance that grants one person license to
steal the pen of another?
And a parting question: Does anyone know if Gribben actually made this
"Well, if ever I struck anything like it, I'm a nigger." --> "Well, if ever
I struck anything like it, I'm a slave."
If so, I would have to rank it the most efficient case of obfuscation I've
ever seen: From 100 to 0 on the meaning scale with a single ostensibly
validated word swap.