Saturday, November 7, 2009

More on repugnant language

While the Federal Communication Commission continues to regard the broadcast of some words as repugnant, language scholars continue to trace how taboo terms gradually become more acceptable. (See my earlier post Fleeting expletives and wardrobe malfunctions: FCC vs Fox Television and CBS.)

Oxford University Press has just issued a new edition of The F-Word. Their blurb begins:

"We all know what frak , popularized by television's cult hit Battlestar Galactica , really means. But what about feck ? Or ferkin ? Or foul --as in FUBAR , or "Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition"? In a thoroughly updated edition of The F-Word , Jesse Sheidlower offers a rich, revealing look at the f-bomb and its illimitable uses. Since the fifteenth century, no other word has been adapted, interpreted, euphemized, censored, and shouted with as much ardor or force..."

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