Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed May 28 01:47:05 UTC 2008

At 9:31 PM -0400 5/27/08, Marc Velasco wrote:
>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
>>  ____________________________________________________________
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>  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

This isn't too surprising; the same thing happened with "suggestive",
for example.  Or "double entendre".  And, mutatis mutandis, with
"lewd".  And then there's "lust".


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

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