This chapter explores the mundane, pleasurable, and eminently political work in educational publishing. An ethnographic discourse analytical approach traces the collaborative process of writing and rewriting a history textbook. It observes how the political nuance of each word and image carries the potential to shape young citizens’ views of what is ‘normal’ and ‘worth knowing’. At the core of the chapter is the ethnographer-author’s reflection on her analysis of a recent revision. At first, the revision looked like a regression from the previous politically progressive (postcolonial) approach to history. However, a closer engagement with (i) linguistic/semiotic design, (ii) ideological principles and (iii) centring institutional contexts, suggests that it is precisely this revision that creates a space in the school for critical voices oriented to social justice. Thus, the chapter reflects on the impact of academic language workers (e.g., linguists, discourse analysts) engaging directly with (other) wordsmiths, encountering them not as the objects of analysis but as sources of valid linguistic and contextual insight. The title hints at the chapter’s attempt to use a Deleuzian ‘and’ to avoid domesticating insights from informants or research participants within a dominant academic order (e.g., they do understand the classroom, ‘but’ they also reproduce a colonial logic).