Saturday, 16 December 2017

Seven dirty words

In 1972, US-American comedian George Carlin (1937-2008) listed "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television". The words that were considered highly inappropriate for broadcast and bleep censored in case they were used were: sh*t, p*ss, f***, c**t, c***sucker, motherf***, and t*ts (via)... all of them for obvious reasons.

Recently, a list of seven forbidden words was given to the US-American health agency Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From now on, officials at the public health agency are prohibited from using the words "diversity, vulnerable, entitlement, transgender, fetus, evidence-based, science-based" in any official documents (via). An interesting selection.
"I use the terms taboo words or swear words interchangeably to describe the lexicon of offensive emotional language. A taboo is a "ban or inhibition resulting from social custom or aversion" (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 2000). Taboo words are sanctioned or restricted on both institutional and individual levels under the assumption that some harm will occur if a taboo word is spoken. (...) At the institutional level, taboos on certain forms of speech arise from authorities that have the power to restrict speech and can act as arbiters of harmful speech (...)".
Jay (2009)
- - - - - - - - - -
- Jay, T. (2009). The Utility and Ubiquity of Taboo Words. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4(2), 153-161
- image via