Obama's characterization in Rolling Stone (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mullins, Bill AMRDEC Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Fri Oct 26 18:43:54 UTC 2012

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

> Obama is quoted in Rolling Stone and other publications as
> characterizing Romney's campaign as that of a _bullshitter_.  As
> 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?

For me, the hierarchy of odiousness goes:

1.  the most profane ones (Goddamn, Jesus H. Christ, etc.)
2.  the most obscene ones (motherfucker, cocksucker, cunt, etc.)
3.  lesser references to sexual organs and acts (dick, pussy, blow job,
4.  references to elimination (piss, shit, etc)
5.  euphemisms and everything else

There are nuances -- calling someone a "dick" isn't as bad as calling
them a "dickhead", and that isn't as bad as saying "suck my dick".

When I was first learning that some words were bad (i.e., would get
punished by my parents/teachers for using them), racial slurs were about
a 3.5, and sexual/gender slurs didn't really come into play.  Now the
n-word is # 1 with a bullet, and "fag" or "bitch", depending on context,
can be pretty far up the chain as well.

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list