How does radio in 2011 deal with this?

A Joseph Ross
Thu Mar 17 00:43:16 EDT 2011

On 3/16/2011 2:00 AM, Richard Chonak wrote:
> I don't think it matters whether there's some linguistic pattern among 
> the vulgar and polite words.  That doesn't invalidate their 
> categorization as vulgar or polite.  Like all language, such 
> categorization is a social convention.   In a medium of social 
> communication, there is good reason to acknowledge the favored or 
> disfavored status of words, much as we acknowledge the standard or 
> marginal status of word spellings and pronunciations.

The f-word was called "vulgar and reprehensible."  "vulgar" means 
"common," and I won't dispute that.  But the word is only reprehensible 
to the extent that a society disdains mention of sexual intercourse.  
The reason the word has become less offensive is not because society's 
values are deteriorating but because we have become more willing to talk 
openly about the biological process to which it refers.


A. Joseph Ross, J.D.                     617.367.0468
92 State Street, Suite 700          Fax: 617.507.7856
Boston, MA 02109-2004

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