Jesse Sheidlower on Morning Edition

Benjamin Lukoff blukoff at ALVORD.COM
Thu Mar 27 22:58:00 UTC 2008

On Thu, 27 Mar 2008, Mullins, Bill AMRDEC wrote:

> "Why Children Curse"
> Money quote:
> "  "There is an assumption that 'sucks' was a reference to oral sex,"
> explains Jesse Sheidlower, editor-at-large of the Oxford English
> Dictionary. Some scholars debate this, but Sheidlower says perception is
> what matters.
> "Suck" may sound edgy or obnoxious to middle-aged ears, but parents may
> be at a loss to explain why it's a bad word, especially to an 8- or
> 9-year-old. "It brings up a conversation you might not want to have
> right now," says Sheidlower. "

When I was that age, most of my friends and I knew it was "bad," but we
didn't think it referred to oral sex--we thought the object of the verb
was "shit."

The American Dialect Society -

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