Bad words

Black parents are upset that a white principal spelled out the N-word as an example of something that shouldn’t be used, while congressmen are upset that the FTC now allows the F-word to be used as an expletive.

These issues are impossible to decide in a way people agree makes sense. Since language is part of what constructs the human world, a strictly clinical attitude doesn’t work. Almost no-one would be willing to live by it consistently. On the other hand, different people object to different things. The taboo is the flip side of the sacred, so to say what’s obscene is to say indirectly what’s holy.

That issue is now the subject of a low-key civil war. The Right doesn’t think highly of the things the Left thinks are sacred, so they view the concerns of the Left as PC silliness. The Left in contrast wants to desecrate what the Right thinks holy, so they find traditional standards of obscenity absolutely intolerable. As on most issues, the Left has mostly persuaded the courts to their way of thinking, so the FTC thinks it has constitutional problems taking a stronger stand on the F-word issue. This is not a conflict that’s going to go away, though.

1 thought on “Bad words”

  1. In the neighborhood of my
    In the neighborhood of my childhood, any “off-color” or “rude” comments in company that would have been offended were unacceptable. Such comments very seldom occured, because they were answered with physical threats from men who were present. I never saw a fight between adult men over any rude comment.


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