"uterus" an indecorous word? ("slut" in the news)

Geoffrey Nunberg nunberg at ISCHOOL.BERKELEY.EDU
Fri Jul 8 18:02:43 UTC 2011

Add "anal" to the CNN banned list: in playing an audio of the chanting outside a women's center that got the Yale fraternity DKE in trouble last October ("No Means Yes! Yes Means Anal!"), CNN bleeped out the 'anal'. Kyra Phillips explained, "You can look online if you want to know the bleeped word."

However she did quote in its phonetic fullness the text of a poster that appeared at an earlier Yale event: "We love Yale sluts."



> 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.
> JL
> II
> Today
> 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."
> JL

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

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