Obama's characterization in Rolling Stone

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Oct 26 17:13:57 UTC 2012

Next time, try "malarky" and see what the reaction is.


At 10/26/2012 08:22 AM, Charles C Doyle wrote:
>Just a couple of days ago, I overheard myself (well past 50!) using
>the word "bullshit" in class--while imploring my students to make
>their writing substantive, focused, and concise.
>I must report, however, that some students giggled in (presumable)
>reaction to hearing the word fall trippingly from such a superannuated tongue.
>I'm thinking that if I had, instead, said "b.s.," no eyebrow would have risen.
>From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of
>Jonathan Lighter [wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM]
>Sent: Thursday, October 25, 2012 9:57 PM
>I don't know about the rules, but I was just listening to HBO's _Real Time
>with Bill Maher_ and heard numerous "fucks" and a couple of "bullshits".
>  Earlier in the evening, I was speaking with a devoutly Christian friend,
>nearly my age, who frequently expresses himself that way to indicate only
>very slightly more emotion than usual.
>If you're under 40 (or maybe even 50 at this point), that level of usage
>presumably sounds unremarkable in most contexts unless accompanied by
>strident intonation and wild gesticulating.  The overall contents of
>UrbanDictionary are suggestive in this regard.
>For most people, I suppose "motherfucker" still retains some shock value.
>As does "cocksucker." A distinguished lawyer friend, however, uses both
>where I would choose the now mealy-mouthed "bastard" and "son of a bitch."
>Just be thankful that British unisex "cunt" is still rare here.
>For now.
>On Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 6:40 PM, David Barnhart
><dbarnhart at highlands.com>wrote:
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > -----------------------
> > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:       David Barnhart <dbarnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM>
> > Subject:      Obama's characterization in Rolling Stone
> >
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > Obama is quoted in Rolling Stone and other publications as characterizing
> > Romney's campaign as that of a _bullshitter_.  As odious a term as this is
> > for me (I'm 71), in the style of Rolling Stone magazine, my son contends
> > it's appropriate.   Is the term used here as odious as say
> > _mother_(+something or other)?  The cable news media have substituted
> > _bull****ter_.  Is that necessary to comply with FAA rules about obscenity?
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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