The word "pornographic"

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Fri Jan 21 21:34:45 UTC 2000

And in fact "obscene" was extended in much the same way in the '60s, as I

At 01:40 PM 1/21/00 -0500, you wrote:
>On Fri, 21 Jan 2000, James Smith wrote:
> > Is it just me?...or does the following use of
> > "pornographic" bother anyone else in this group?
> >
> >    Has the word "pornographic" lost its reference to
> > the erotic and sexual (whether erotic and sexual
> > material is good or bad is not the point of my
> > enquiry) and become another word for disturbing,
> > obscene, disgusting, horrific, etc.   Maybe this is a
>I have heard and read "pornographic" commonly used in this way for
>decades.  The OED documents "pornography" in a transferred or extended
>sense back to 1968.  Other words such as "sexy" have undergone similar
>Fred R. Shapiro                             Coeditor (with Jane Garry)
>Associate Librarian for Public Services     TRIAL AND ERROR: AN OXFORD
>   and Lecturer in Legal Research            ANTHOLOGY OF LEGAL STORIES
>Yale Law School                             Oxford University Press, 1998
>e-mail: fred.shapiro at               ISBN 0-19-509547-2

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