Maybe this is part of the whole language barrier I encounter as a non-native speaker.

Arun K Raman arunkr.shivers at GMAIL.COM
Fri Feb 22 17:19:54 UTC 2008

Without going into the territory of what is or is not profanity, It always
astonishes me when people censor "profanity" with substitute words that are
obviously meant to be something else.

My daughter was watching some PBS children's program called "A Big, Big
world" and I heard the phrase "what the heck..." as an obvious substitute
for "What the hell..."

Does this happen in other languages as well? Or is this a fairly
western/English-based pheomenon?

I can't recall much of this happening in most Indian languages.

-- is
Arun K Raman

The American Dialect Society -

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