Marc Velasco marcjvelasco at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 28 01:31:50 UTC 2008

On Mon, May 26, 2008 at 8:46 PM, Charles Doyle <cdoyle at uga.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU>
> Subject:      "explicit"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I am emailing from the "business center" of a hotel on the coast of Georgia, where a sign is posted that forbids the viewing of "explicit material."
> Obviously, "explicit" there represents a truncation of a phrase like "sexually explicit." Probably such specificity in the understanding of the word "explicit" has become widespread.
> I wonder what the range of forbidden materials is? Verbal as well as pictorial? Philosophical as well as amoretic?
> --Charlie
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> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Ever since the warning label on music came out that says "Parental
Advisory Explicit Lyrics"
I can imagine it's use being fairly widespread.

What you point out though, that in substituting for phrases or
meanings like 'sexually explicit' or 'explicit violence', whatever,
the word _explicit_ essentially becomes a euphemism, a sort of sliding
signifier (as the semiotics crowd would put it), but in doing so it
ends up betraying the literally meaning of the original word.  So it

Something of the reverse ended up happening to the _blue_ in blue
laws, I think.  Didn't it start as a 'coded', polite form of speech,
which ended up just being associated with smuttiness?  At least in
regards to film?

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

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