[Ads-l] mild language (UNCLASSIFIED)

Jeff Prucher 000000b93183dc86-dmarc-request at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Fri Dec 20 00:32:38 EST 2019


On Thursday, December 19, 2019, 02:25:57 PM PST, MULLINS, WILLIAM D (Bill) CIV USARMY CCDC AVMC (USA) <0000099bab68be9a-dmarc-request at listserv.uga.edu> wrote:

CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED

When I was in high school (1970s), the f-word was what I perceived as the most taboo word in English.  Now I'd say the n-word is.  And my perception is that it is more taboo now than it was in 2006.  

I've read many times that a single use of the f-word in a movie is an automatic R-rating (but that often an appeal will pull it back to PG-13, depending on circumstances).  I've never heard that the MPAA has similar absolute standards with respect to the n-word.

This
https://www.scripts.com/script-pdf/2638
is supposedly the script for "Amazing Grace".  The n-word appears twice in it (and "damn" and "hell" a few times).  OTOH, "Do the Right Thing"
https://www.scripts.com/script-pdf/642
has the f-word over 60 times, and the n-word 8 times.  "True Romance"
https://www.scripts.com/script-pdf/735
has the n-word 25 times and the f-word 134 times.

So maybe the number of times taboo words are used also influences whether a movie's language is "strong" or "mild".  


-- I think that must be right. This is what the MPAA's Classification and Ratings Rules say about it (in part):

"Every motion picture assigned a rating of PG, PG-13, R or NC-17 by the Rating Board also is assigned a “rating descriptor.” This rating descriptor helps guide parents on the type of content that resulted in the motion picture being assigned that rating; modifiers indicate the type and intensity of specific elements in the movie."
http://filmratings.com/Content/Downloads/rating_rules.pdf

"Mild" strikes me as an odd choice to mean "a small amount of", but that seems to be how they mean it.

Jeff Prucher

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> On Behalf Of
> Wilson Gray
> Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2019 2:59 AM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: [Non-DoD Source] Re: mild language
> 
> 
> On Wed, Dec 18, 2019 at 10:32 AM James Landau
> <jjjrlandau at netscape.com>
> wrote:
> 
> > I posted my post on ADS-L in hopes of getting some feedback.  So far
> > you are the only person who has responded.  Thank you.
> >
> > Could I ask you to please post your response on ADS-L?
> >
> > James Landau
> > jjjrlandau at netscape.com
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com>
> > To: Jim Landau <JJJRLandau at netscape.com>
> > Sent: Tue, Dec 17, 2019 12:56 am
> > Subject: Re: mild language
> >
> > > Mild?
> > "Harsh" is probably a more appropriate descriptor.
> >
> > On Sun, Nov 17, 2019 at 10:21 AM James A. Landau
> > <JJJRLandau at netscape.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > I just enjoyed seeing the move Amazing Grace (the 2006 movie about
> > William Wilberforce, not the 2018 Aretha Franklin movie).
> >
> > The movie was rated PG for "thematic material involving slavery, and
> > some mild language".
> >
> > The "language" was mostly the use of the N-word (by participants in
> > the slave trade).
> >
> > Mild?
> >
> > - Jim Landau
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > -Wilson
> > -----
> > All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
> > to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> > -Mark Twain
> >
> >
> 
> --
> -Wilson
> -----
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to come
> from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -Mark Twain
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED

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

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


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