On TV Euphemisms

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Dec 15 23:39:04 UTC 2007

Last night a TV broadcast of the movie _High Fidelity_ (2000) was playing in the background on the Retro Channel. (Yep! 2000 is now "retro.")

  It was one of those presentations that bowdlerized bad words by replacing them with harmless though often unidiomatic words chosen because they almost match the on-screen lip movements.

  Anyway, a character comes into the movie rental and says, "Holy shoot!"  Thirty seconds later he says, "What the frog is this?"

  What I found morbidly interesting about all this was that a few seconds later he says, "That really sucks ass!" With plenty of emphasis.

  Since "suck" is OK by itself, and "ass" is OK by itself, they must be OK together.  The two bowdlerized words are not OK.  So rest easy, parents.  No bad language on our channel!

  As for me, I'm going start saying "what the frog" from now on.  Sounds cool, that's all.


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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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