"language" = "bad language", "L" = "(bad) language", and the OED

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Sun Mar 18 04:05:04 UTC 2012

On Mar 17, 2012, at 11:13 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> Yes, I missed that "mild language" would therefore mean "mild
> offensive language".
> Do we find this sense of "language" as "offensive lang." in the OED?
> ... Yes, as I see Arnold has written -- 2.e. "= bad language at sense
> 2a. ..."
> (I think this also answers Amy West's question.)
> All the OED needs here is a mention of movie ratings and a couple of
> quotations for "pervasive language" and "mild language".

MPAA ratings descriptors

Profanity: abusive, vulgar, or irreverent language

Some language
Brief language
Mild language
Some brief language
Some mild language
Strong language
Brief strong language
Some strong language
Pervasive language
Pervasive strong language (The Big Lebowski)
A substantial amount of strong language (The Usual Suspects)
“Salty language” (My Fellow Americans)

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

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