"uterus" an indecorous word? ("slut" in the news)
nunberg at ISCHOOL.BERKELEY.EDU
Fri Jul 8 04:19:33 UTC 2011
File under "O Florida, Venereal Soil": The skittishness about saying "slut" put me in mind of a story out of Florida a couple of months ago:
Democrat chastised for saying 'uterus' on House floor
...At one point Randolph suggested that his wife "incorporate her uterus" to stop Republicans from pushing measures that would restrict abortions. ...
Apparently the GOP leadership of the House didn't like the one-liner. They told Democrats that Randolph is not to discuss body parts on the House floor...
House GOP spokeswoman Katie Betta: "The Speaker has been clear about his expectations for conduct on the House for during debate. At one point during the debate, he mentioned to the entire House that members of both parties needed to be mindful of decorum during debate.
"Additionally, the Speaker believes it is important for all Members to be mindful of and respectful to visitors and guests, particularly the young pages and messengers who are seated in the chamber during debates. In the past, if the debate is going to contain language that would be considered inappropriate for children and other guests, the Speaker will make an announcement in advance, asking children and others who may be uncomfortable with the subject matter to leave the floor and gallery."
> July 3:
> Tot-mom attorney Jose Baez claimed in his closing argument that his client
> was being defamed as a "lying, no-good slut." Later, the Headline News team
> expressed amazement that producers had not bleeped the word. Jane
> Velez-Mitchell said she'd sought guidance about whether she could repeat it
> on the air.
> In my day, though "slut" was obviously insulting (and thus "offensive"), it
> was not usually thought to be indecent.
> On CNN this morning Kirin Chetry quoted Jose Baez's use of the word "slut."
> She felt, however, that she had to spell it out rather utter it. She
> apologized for using the word, saying that she was only quoting someone
> else, and that she took the precaution of spelling rather than saying "just
> in case any children might be listening."
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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