Blushing in 1915

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Sep 15 14:07:35 UTC 2010


How much blushing -- that is, use of asterisks or dashes -- was there
in newspapers of the first decades of the twentieth century?  (I do
see it frequently enough in 18th-century newspapers, although not
merely for taboo words but also in personal names with the presumed
motive of avoiding libel action.)


At 9/15/2010 09:41 AM, George Thompson wrote:
>It's true that as long as we research "jazz" by searching databases,
>we won't find newspapers that were ashamed to print the word -- but
>it will take someone finding a newspaper reference to "the ****
>band" or "the j--- band" or to "that vulgar music with the vulgar
>name" to convince me that "jazz" was a word originally associated
>with sex.  Even newspaper reports that denounce jazz music as
>immoral and associating it with indecent dancing print the word in
>full, without blushes.  (It's true that blushes on a newspaper page
>don't come through well on microfilm.)  There's a story from a New
>Orleans paper of 1917 or 18 saying that the word and music arose in
>the brothels of our city, but it prints "jazz", no blushes.

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