Dirty word fragments

Dennis R. Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Mon Jun 7 11:53:43 UTC 2004

Was there different bleeping in those regions which lack (or
vocalize) post-vocalic /l/?


>In the past, broadcast channels and radio have bleeped out offensive
>words. I notice more recently, though, that such words are only clipped.
>For example, an NPR show today had an interviewee repeatedly used the
>word "assho[bleep]". I found it interesting that the "ass" part was
>acceptable, even "assho", but there seemed to be something offensive
>about the final consonant.
>Offensive words are increasingly allowed to play themselves out to the
>extent that they are perfectly recognizable with only a small piece
>clipped off.  Why can we bear assho[bleep] but would assumedly be greatly
>offended by asshole? Does this fool children who may be listening? Are
>our broadcasters following primitive taboo customs?
>Higher budget operations don't bleep, they dub. I watch Die Hard With a
>Vengeance on broadcast channels just for the joy of hearing Samuel L.
>Jackson call Bruce Willis a "dirty melon farmer."
>I am Duane Campbell and I approve this message

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic,
        Asian and African Languages
Wells Hall A-740
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1027 USA
Office: (517) 353-0740
Fax: (517) 432-2736

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