Depending on how old you are, you may not remember George Carlin; and depending how drunk you were, you may not remember 1972. So for the youngsters and drunksters out there, George Carlin was a well-known comedian who often pushed the boundaries of what was considered “acceptable” entertainment .
On an album he released in 1972, was a track about the seven words that can’t be said on television. Those seven words were shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits.
I’m pretty sure you still can’t say them on network TV in America, although I could be wrong about piss. It may be fine to say you’re pissed off, but against the rules to say “pissed my pants.” Or “pissed your pants” too, I would imagine. However, if you’re pissing someone else’s pants, you’ve got bigger problems than a using bit of salty language.
I don’t know what is or isn’t allowed in other parts of the world, but the British seem terribly fond of cunt. The word, not the body part. Although I would imagine that a fair share are fans of both.
What I do know is that even if those words are still banned from television, it isn’t illegal to say any or all of them. But that wasn’t the case in 1973 when Carlin was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace after doing his 7-words routine during a show in Milwaukee. I guess the Bill of Rights must contain a potty-mouth clause that renders one’s first amendment rights null and void in the event of felony swearing.
I’m a big fan of swearing, and whether it’s to emphasize a point or simply for the lalochezia, I practice the craft at every opportunity. Obviously I don’t have a problem with that kind of language, and I find it offensive only when it’s poorly done.
There are other words, however, words with no restrictions and available for use by everyone from toddlers to the geriatric set, that I avoid saying and prefer not to hear. So, the fact that I’m about to discuss a few of them with you is kind of a big deal.
Discharge – I’m fine with this word when it’s used in connection with weapons. Feel free to share anything and everything about discharging a gun, it doesn’t bother me a bit. But, if it involves the human body, and could be preceded by words like bloody or foul-smelling, I will get up and walk away. I have a vivid imagination and would prefer my thoughts not be polluted by the images conjured up by certain word combinations.
Panties – Panties are what little girls wear once they’re weaned off the Huggies Pull-Ups. I am a grown-ass woman and I wear grown-ass clothes on my grown-ass, like underpants and underwear. I watch a lot of murder shows on the Discover ID channel, and often hear victim described as wearing only her panties, or that her panties were missing or down around her ankles. It just sounds creepy and somewhat disrespectful to use such a cutesy, baby word to describe such serious events.
Phlegm – Maybe it’s the spelling, all those those consonants squeezed together, some silent for no good reason … sneaky bastards, but to me phlegm sounds like what it is. It’s not a true onomatopoeia, but if you showed the word to a non-English speaking person and described what it is, I bet most of them would say, “Of course! That’s exactly what it looks like it would be!” They’d be saying it in their own language, of course, but you get the idea.
Pustule – This one runs neck and neck with phlegm for me. Pus is gross, so a word that uses the word pus to describe something that is “full of pus,” (I assume that’s what it means, but I can’t look it up because I’m afraid there will be pictures) is just unnecessary. We were smart enough not to name our noses “snot expellers” and intestines aren’t “poop tubes,” so how did we drop the ball so badly with pustule??
Squirt – I liked the citrus-y, refreshing beverage and often referred to a water pistols as a squirt guns. But then a much-debated, biological occurrence in women sparked the imagination of the porn industry, and any use or mention of the word is forever tainted.
There are other words I don’t like and try not to use, but just writing about these few made me throw-up in my mouth a little, so I have to limit the discussion. There is one last word I want to mention before I finish, however, because it troubles many people, yet doesn’t bother me in the least.
That word is moist.
I’m unclear as to what it is about this word that puts it at at the top of the list for some people. If you’re one of them, perhaps you could explain it. I realize asking for that could result in ruining moist for me, but it’s a chance I’m willing to take.
My Love is incapable of using bad words. She’s no prig. She can express herself more colorfully than anyone I have ever met. But her vocabulary is more chaste than your second grade teacher’s.
Her favorite word: “lube”.
No matter how she says it, no matter what the context, when she says it, it’s the most erotic word I’ve ever heard. Just writing it makes me, uh, moist.
Have you ever accompanied her to the auto mechanic for a lube and oil change? I’d imagine that would be somewhat awkward or uncomfortable for you … 😉
Funnily enough, we took her car in for an oil change on Monday and got it back yesterday. I cracked up when the shop guy asked if she wanted a lube job. (I wanted to say, “That’s my department,” but discretion got the better of me.) We giggled every time he said, “lube”. After the third or fourth round of our inane hysterics, he’d drop his voice an octave and say, “looooobe”.
We are both in our 30s, I have an Engineering PhD and she has an advanced degree in some quantitative discipline so esoteric that I don’t even pretend to understand it. It’s not like we’re a couple of 12-year-olds who’ve just discovered urbandictionary.
Actually, it’s exactly like you’re a couple of 12-year-olds who just discovered UrbanDictionary …
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Ha ha, you said “taint.”
I’d be curious to know what you mean by offensive if poorly done.
Taint! I said it again! 😀
My mother is a poor swearer. She does fine with “damn” and “hell” level words, but has never been able to master the types of words that George Carlin listed. For instance, it’s very obvious when she’s about to drop an F-bomb because she pauses and looks like there’s something struggling to get out of her mouth while she’s struggling to keep it in. It’s very awkward and causes her to lose all swearing credibility.
But now that she’s in her 70s, I have to admit it’s now much much more entertaining when she swears.
That’s awesomely perfect.
Words don’t bother me quite so much. However, what does gross me out are smells of the unhygienic nature. In that sense the word unhygienic makes me want to puke. I’ve been working with a family who smell as though they’ve bathed in poo, pee and the sort of body odor one smells during humid heatwaves on a person who hasn’t washed for about a month. When I work with them as part of a team I’m always frowned upon because I end up putting hand sanitiser in my nostrils to take the edge off the rancid smell that fills the room. I’ve tried vicks and it doesn’t work as well. As I’m telling you this I’m actually heaving. Thank you for wonderful post.
You might have jumped from a moving train if you’d been on the one I took to San Francisco some years ago. In one of the cars was an extended family of Amish folk. As it turns out, these ones were allowed to use semi-modern transportation, but deodorant was strictly verboten.Walking through that car was a powerful experience to say the least.
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That’s gross. Do you realise that you got my OCD senses working overtime. Smelly, unhygienic people should be banned from public transport and confined spaces. Apart from homeless people who unfortunately cannot control their circumstances. You never fail to put a smile on my face buttercup. You’re hilarious and bloody brilliant. I’m totally loving your posts.
Thank you! It’s nice to know you’re being entertained even when I’m grossing you out 😉
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I’ve always hated the word, “panties”. It also holds true for “choose” “expectorants” “mucus” and “grunt”. When I was in grade 1, we students had to take turns reading a passage from a book. I was reading ahead of the others and when I spied the word “grunt” and anticipated that it was going to fall within my reading passage, I began having a full on anxiety attack. I’m also a huge fan of the swear word. So satisfying.
I’m sure there’s an interesting story behind “choose.” Perhaps you’d be willing to share it with us???
And yes! Grunt! I have to idea why, but I’ve always disliked that word. Nice to know I’m not the only one with oddly random words in my list.
I have the opposite thought on panties. To me, little kids wear underpants. Adult who wear lingerie have panties.
Although if we are the kind of friends that see each other undressed, you can call then whatever you like.
I’m willing to compromise and call them undies. Unless we’re those undressed types you mentioned, in which case I feel that fundies would be more appropriate.
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speaking of “discharge” I once, in a professional capacity mind you, was required to read a medical report which discussed “malodorous exudate”. True story.
Just because because your profession demands such discussions, please don’t feel obligated to share them. Now I’m going to have “malodorous exudate” hanging around in my brain for days…