R.I.P. George Carlin
Seven Dirty Words
When I was growing up in Baton Rouge I don't recall being chastised by my parents for using dirty words. I can even recall overhearing my mother say "shit!" once in the kitchen when something boiled over on the stove and she forgot that I was within earshot. They didn't have to wash my mouth out with soap to teach me not to use common obscenities in Sunday school. However, both of my parents came down on me like a ton of bricks the first time at around age seven I used the "N word" which was in common usage in Louisiana 60 years ago. They made a very clear distinction between slang or "dirty words" not to be used in polite company and racial epithets not to be used EVER, PERIOD. [Both of my parents were "damn Yankees" who didn't want me to pick up bad habits from my playmates.]
Susan Ager's column on Carlin, linked below, covers the subject much better than I could.
NYT 7-13-08 "When to Quote Those Potty Mouths by Clark Hoyt
- "When to Quote Those Potty Mouths"
For the curious about Jesse's exact words--"I want to cut his nuts off" the Post's Web site provided a link. The NYT didn't. The NY Post put the single word on its front page as a huge headline..Is the NYT edited by a prudish kindergarten teacher?
Susan Ager on George Carlin in the Detroit Free Press
- Susan Ager on George Carlin in the Detroit Free Press
Ager: "Propriety is the curse of our language."
Google Search Data an Indication of Community Standards? Matt Richtel in the NYTimes 6-24-09
- Is Google search data a valid measure of community standards?
Judges and jurors who must decide whether sexually explicit material is obscene are asked to decide whether the material violates community standards. A Florida defendant is using Google search data to show that interest in sex exceeds other topics.